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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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”.