City Challenge: Student volunteers help to launch Hartcliffe City Farm cut flower farm.

A group of smiling students outdoors at Hartcliffe cut flower farm
The student volunteers and Careers Service Community Engagement Team

For the most recent City Challenge, University of Bristol students helped local organisation Heart of BS13 to come up with ideas to promote the opening of a new cut flower farm, focusing on sustainable growth, soil health, and biodiversity. 

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Bristol PLUS Award Achievers! Could you win an Outstanding PLUS Award?

Calling all Bristol PLUS Award achievers: have you gone above and beyond in your PLUS Award? Did you make a significant change or impact in a PLUS activity or role? If so, you can nominate yourself to receive extra recognition with an Outstanding PLUS Award.

The Outstanding PLUS Awards, from the University of Bristol Careers Service

Select one of your Bristol PLUS Award Experience activities where you were able to shine and use it to nominate yourself for an Outstanding PLUS Award! With 8 categories to choose from, the Outstanding PLUS Awards celebrate a broad range of achievements.

Did you make a difference to the people in your community? Maybe you helped create a positive change that would not have happened without your efforts? Did you consistently go the extra mile in your role 

For your Bristol PLUS, you reflected on the skills you developed and how you can articulate these to employers. For the Outstanding PLUS, we ask you to put that into action by telling us how your activity meets the brief of your chosen category and why you deserve to win! 

The Outstanding PLUS Award is open to students who achieved the Bristol PLUS Award this academic year, so if you have not yet completed your Bristol PLUS, this is a great incentive to do so!  

What if I completed the Bristol PLUS Award in a previous year? 

The Outstanding PLUS Award is intended to be completed in the same year as your Bristol PLUS. The Outstanding PLUS Awards are open to students completing their Bristol PLUS Award in the current academic year only.

Applications are open now until 26 March 2022, and winners will be announced in April 2022.  

For the full details on how to apply, including all the categories and briefs, head over to the Outstanding PLUS Awards guide.

Get involved in local community outreach!

Students have been engaging with older community groups in Bristol by running a series of showcases and activities at Parkway Methodist Church in St Werberghs on Monday afternoons. Not only are these experiences a great way to give back to the local community, but they also develop planning and presentation skills, and it looks great on a CV!

We caught up with Kayleigh, Katie, Lillian, and Darya to hear about their sessions: (more…)

Ways to develop your skills and employability from home – the student experience

At the end of March, we posted a blog about the ways that you can continue to develop your skills and employability from home. As the lockdown has continued, we’ve seen more and more students taking up these remote activities and finding ways to adapt their plans or practices in response to COVID-19.

Read about the experiences of some of these students below.

Carlos Shanka Boissy Diaz – volunteering for the Green Impact Scheme from the Canary IslandsHeadshot of Carlos

I am really passionate about sustainability so I applied to be an auditor with Green Impact in March. However, the lockdown came, and departments had to close their doors, which meant that I would not be able to audit in-person.

Luckily, The Green Impact staff team managed to transfer all our work online and it was extremely successful. I was able to interview the staff in the departments and review the work that they had done throughout the year virtually. It was really fun to have a chat with all of them.

I believe that now more than ever, other students should get involved in these sorts of opportunities. We are in a self-isolation bubble, where our minds are in more need of social interaction and our brains need different stimuli. Also, I feel it’ll be great for my employability, so, if possible, I advise others to stay active with volunteering from home!

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Find work experience for this summer 🌞

Work experience is any opportunity which gives you experience of work, or the non-academic skills that will prepare you for work. It can be paid or unpaid experience and is not necessarily related to your degree or your future career plans. This can include internships, summer vacation jobs, volunteering, insight events and shadowing as well as self-driven projects. 

Good quality work experience should: 

  • Teach you new skills including professional behaviours. 
  • Highlight which skills you need. 
  • Let you explore a career idea. 
  • Connect you to people you could use as contacts in the future. 
  • Improve your understanding of that sector. 
  • Demonstrate your interest in that sector. 
  • Provide you with a reference. 

We know that many of you have had your summer internships and work experience cancelled or are struggling to find opportunities. 

Here are some ways we’d suggest you look for new opportunities for this summer. 

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#10YearsOfPLUS: A decade of devotion to employability.

We are getting a little nostalgic as we draw closer to the end of the PLUS Award’s 10th anniversary year  (just under 6 weeks to go!) We are so proud of all the achievers, past and present. 

via GIPHY

The PLUS Award has certainly grown and evolved in the past decade; In its pilot year, 165 students achieved the PLUS Award, since then over 5,000 students have achieved it. Another 800 have finished so far this yearpersevering to bag their Award despite changing circumstances! (more…)

Ways to develop your skills and employability from home

In recent weeks the situation in the UK has been changing almost daily with the most recent advice being that we stay at home. Many of you would have been due to start internships and work experience opportunities over the Easter and summer breaks, which now might have been cancelled as a result of COVID-19. While this is really disappointing for you, the good news is, there are loads of online opportunities to get involved with and develop your skills!

The Engagement Opportunities Team have pulled together some remote and online-based opportunities that you can still get involved with. (more…)

It’s the start of Student Volunteering Week today!

Student Volunteering Week is a national event, with Higher and Further Education Institutions across the country using the week to celebrate existing student volunteers and to encourage more students to start volunteering.

This is the 19th year that Student Volunteering Week is taking place, but student volunteering has a long and rich history dating back to university missions in the 19th century and support for the unemployed in the interwar period.  If you’re interested in finding out more about the history of student volunteering, check out this video

Student Volunteering – a short history from adifferentdrumproductions on Vimeo.

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Broaden your horizons with the Bristol Futures Open Online Courses

The next run of the Open Online Courses starts on Monday 10 February, and don’t worry – there’s still time to sign up 

The three courses: Global Citizenship, Innovation and Enterpriseand Sustainable Futures are hosted on the online platform FutureLearn and are a fantastic way to expand your learning, develop your skills and share your knowledge with learners across the world. 

To help you make the most of the courses, the University of Bristol employs students to work as online mentors. Lots of these mentors have been with us since the courses launched, so we’ve asked a couple of them about what is that they enjoy about the Bristol Futures Open Online Courses 

Issy – Global Citizenship course mentor 

What has been the most enjoyable element of working as a Bristol Futures Open Online Course Mentor? 

I have worked as a Bristol Futures online mentor for three runs now on the ‘Global Citizenship’ course. I really enjoy the flexibility of this course, you can join in whenever you like during the week, talk to other learners or just read and soak it all in. The course is free so is very little pressure and you work at your own pace. The course content is also really interesting, presented in a user-friendly way with short informative videos, interactive quizzes and a comments section where you can input answers to some open questions that each module provides.  (more…)