Meet Lola Karpf: volunteer, advocate, and champion of LGBTQ+ friendly spaces

LGBTQ+ History Month aims to increase the visibility of LGBTQ+ people, their history and experiences.

It’s an opportunity to reflect on the progress that has been made for LGBTQ+ rights, whilst also recognising the barriers that still exist and the importance of continuing to fight for equality. 


We caught up with Lola Karpf, an Anthropology (MA) student who is currently completing the Bristol PLUS Award, to find out about the work she’s done to champion LGBTQ+ friendly spaces.

(more…)

How extracurricular activities helped me graduate into the music industry

David Simkins is a 2023 MA Music with Innovation graduate with a developing career in music and media.

Between working at a local record label alongside his studies, conducting student orchestras and scoring soundtracks for media projects, (including two feature films and a short film), being mentored by the Head of Marketing at Sony Music’s Columbia Records and interning at SoundCloud, David (pictured right) has been busy in the past 4 years!

Drawing on his experience with soundtracks, tech, and client management, David is pursuing a music career in creative sync and marketing while working to improve industry transparency, education, and inclusivity, especially for the LGBTQIA+ community.

We caught up with David about how his extracurricular activities throughout his degree helped him get to where he is:

(more…)

How I discovered my passion for the non-profit sector (and how you can do the same!)

I’m Amelia, a second-year International Social and Public Policy with Study Abroad (BSc) student and 2022/23 Bristol PLUS Award achiever.

Committing to the Bristol PLUS Award pushed me out of my comfort zone and exposed me to lots of different experiences.

It helped me to narrow down possible career avenues and even led to a part-time job.

Read on to find out how… 

(more…)

Supercharge your employability with the Bristol PLUS Award!

Open to all students – undergraduate and postgraduate – the Bristol PLUS Award offers a gateway to gaining invaluable employability skills.

Whether through volunteering, gaining practical work experience, or attending tailor-made workshops, the Bristol PLUS Award is your key to standing out in today’s competitive job market.

Hear some first-hand PLUS Award testimonials from our students from diverse backgrounds, who are studying different degrees and carving unique career paths, to discover how the PLUS Award could benefit you.

(more…)

My SME Internship: Audrey – Pointer Consultancy Group

Hello! My name is Audrey and in my first year studying Economics and Maths, I completed an internship at Pointer Consultancy Group.

Pointer is a small but growing consulting company based in Bristol. It focuses mainly on project, bid, and change management but has begun offering sustainability consulting to help companies achieve their environmental, social and governance goals.

I worked at Pointer part-time during term time from February until June, completing 10-12 hours per week, mostly virtually from home but also coming into the office for a few hours each week.  

A photo of Audrey, smiling.

My role

I was given the task of creating a tool in Excel to help guide clients through the Business Impact Assessment, which is the first step towards becoming a certified Benefit Corporation (B Corp). I worked mostly with one person, Ben, during the internship but frequently would present what I had done to other employees and directors at Pointer. 

Challenges and skills I gained

Time management: The greatest challenge of this internship was learning to manage my time effectively, especially since I was working during term time. Pointer was very supportive and flexible, being happy to let me do more or less each week depending on the intensity of assignments I had due, as well as letting me take a few weeks’ break to complete my exams.

Analytical skills: Another challenge I had was learning to analyse a problem I was facing in the development of the tool and decide which questions were the most important to ask. Everybody at Pointer was always happy to help guide me but were often very busy, so it was important for me to ask precise questions and learn to take initiative.  

This experience taught me to be more organised, solve problems efficiently and communicate well with my colleagues. Not to mention my skills in Microsoft Excel, which I greatly improved.  

Real-world experience: I also learned a lot about consulting and how a small company operates. I had the chance to attend the Bristol Sustainable Business Festival which showed me the importance of networking and making personal connections to create opportunities for work and growth.  

I had a great time during my internship. I loved working with everyone at Pointer and learned so much about the company, industry, and myself. This experience made me more certain of my desire to enter the field of sustainability.  

Advice

I would advise anyone looking to take on an intern role with an SME to take the time to first read the job description in detail and the SME Internship Scheme Guide and to tailor your cover letter and your CV to include relevant information for the job.

Take the time to read around the company and industry so you can enter an interview with confidence, already have some knowledge of the job, and can ask interesting questions.

During an internship, always communicate with the company any worries you might have about the workload or responsibilities while you are working there, and they will be happy to listen and help. 

I wish you all the best in applying for internships and hope you have a great time! 


Want to be an SME Intern? 

The SME Internship Scheme is open and we are advertising internships that you can apply for, or you can arrange your own internship, find out more here

SME Internship Scheme logo

Check out our “My SME Internship” blog series to hear more student stories. 

So you’ve found an opportunity you’d like to apply for: 

Securing paid internships can feel challenging, but there is plenty of support to help you make the most of the SME Internship Scheme. 

Here are some resources to support your application: 

If you have any questions about the scheme, writing your application, or anything else relating to careers you can speak to us on live chat, or pop into 5 Tyndall Avenue from Monday to Friday, 10 am to 4.30 pm during term time. 

My SME Internship: Noa – Under the Wing Productions

My name is Noa. During my third year studying Classical Studies I got the opportunity to do a 10-week internship at Under the Wing Productions (UTW) through the University’s SME Internship Scheme. 

A picture of Noa smiling

UTW is a Bristol-based video production company that focuses on developing aspiring filmmakers.

I have always had a keen interest in filmmaking and the media industry, so when I came across the advert for this role, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity for me to gain valuable skills and experiences, whilst also building up my CV for when I leave University. 

(more…)

My SME Internship: Anika – Safer Industries

“Hi, I’m Anika. For my SME Internship, I was working for a start-up called Safer Industries Ltd.

A photo of Anika smiling.

I worked closely with the founder, Tim, to begin fleshing out the brands of his company and organise some elemental ideas around environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policy.

Apart from occasional meetings in local Bristol cafés, my work was remote and flexible.

By the end of my internship, which spanned two months part-time during term-time, we had collaboratively created logos for one brand and created a Venn diagram covering some starting points for what would later be developed into a comprehensive and novel ESG policy. 

(more…)

How to get into green jobs: the takeaways

In November, the Careers Service hosted speakers from a variety of environmental career paths who are each tackling the biggest sustainability issues we currently face using their own unique skills and experiences.


Meet the panellists:

Ann Cousins, Associate, Resilience and Climate Change Advisory, ARUP

Ann is the lead in the resilience, energy and climate change advisory team at Arup which is a sustainability consultancy firm. The team is multidisciplinary including engineers, psychologists, and lawyers. Ann started as a receptionist with Arup after graduating with a French and Italian degree at the University of Bristol and worked her way up to their leading consultancy role.

Recently, Ann also assisted in setting up the Bristol One City environmental plan.


Pierce Griffith, Principal Economist (Chemical), the Environment Agency

(more…)

My SME Internship: Tom – Ipsa Consulting

Hi, my name is Tom and I graduated with a BSc in Geography in July 2022. 

After graduating, I sourced an internship opportunity myself, and I completed an SME Internship in November and December 2022.

My company of choice was Ipsa Consulting, a Devon-based consultancy supporting the sustainable growth of purpose-led organisations. 

My role

(more…)

My SME Internship: James – The Strange Thoughts Group

A photo of James, smiling to the camera, outside.

Hi, I’m James. 

I entered into the internship process in a bit of an unusual state; I’d withdrawn from my PGCE (History) course earlier the same year and was just coming out of that self-reflective headspace we all go through when we’ve made our latest “big choice”. 

(more…)