How might the Bristol PLUS and Outstanding Awards support your career journey?

The Bristol PLUS Award deadline is approaching on June 14. If you are close to completing the Award or are one of the hundreds who have completed in the past few years, you may want to reflect on how you could progress to the Outstanding Award. Adam Jellett, a Biochemistry (PhD) student explains how completing both awards supported his career planning. 

How did you come to achieve the Outstanding Award? 

PhD students can get tunnel vision of only considering an academic career, and there is even some stigma around considering other options. This is ridiculous – what will suit one person will not necessarily suit others! Part of the problem is that the main mentors available for PhD students are academics, who may not have experiences outside of a University setting. I have genuinely enjoyed my Biochemistry PhD and have no regrets but have come to realise that I personally would be better off pursuing a different path. Even if you do think academia is for you, there is no harm (and likely a lot of good) in considering and preparing for wider options.   (more…)

Be Outstanding! Beyond the PLUS Award

Last academic year, a record 50 students applied for the Outstanding Award. Christy Howarth Nunns received a distinction, and below tells us about his project and the benefits of doing the Outstanding Award.

What activity did you do for your Outstanding Award?

For two years I was the president of the University of Bristol Physics Society, ‘Chaos’. As my chosen award theme was ’Innovation and Enterprise‘, the main focus of my submission was the way I transformed Chaos by shifting our business model away from simply breaking even on all our events. My initiatives to increase cashflow, included sourcing sponsorship, allowed the society to thrive, and run more activities than ever before. The following year Chaos won ‘Best Academic and Careers Society’ among other awards!

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How running in a Bristol SU election could benefit you

The SU election period is here, and we thought it would be useful to look at how students can get involved with this process, focusing on employability and careers.

Nominations for the Bristol SU Elections have officially opened and will remain open until midnight on Thursday 28 February!

The nominations are for the main Bristol SU elections which will take place in March, electing Full Time Officers, Chairs of Networks, Chair of Student Council, Faculty Reps, returning Course Reps and Student Trustees. Find out more here.

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Who is the Bristol PLUS Award for?

It’s a common misconception that the Careers Service is only for those students who already know exactly what they want to do. Similarly, when it comes to the Bristol PLUS Award you might guess that it’s only for very high-achieving students, or those who are applying for grad schemes and internships.

If you’ve completed the PLUS Award, you’ll know that this isn’t true of the Careers Service, and certainly isn’t true of the Award itself.

Student priorities when registering for the Bristol PLUS Award

 

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Help! I don’t have any relevant work experience for my PLUS Award

We often get asked if the 50 hours work experience for the Bristol PLUS Award has to be relevant to your subject, or future career plans. The answer is no!

Student volunteers helping out at the University’s open day

One of the great things about the PLUS Award is that it helps you identify the value of the transferable skills you have gained from jobs or volunteer roles that you might have been dismissive of, because you can’t see how they directly relate to your future. When you complete your reflective report and final review – the final parts of the PLUS Award – you will gain a good understanding of how these skills are valuable to employers, even if the context in which you gained them seems irrelevant. (more…)

Find an internship for the summer with the UoB Internship Scheme

Are you looking for a summer internship? The UoB Internship Scheme may be just what you are looking for!

For those who haven’t heard of the scheme before, it supports students wanting to gain quality, paid work experience with Small and Medium size Enterprises (SMEs) in the UK. An SME is an organisation that employs up to 250 people and has a turnover of less than £40 million. This includes start-ups, charities and social enterprises, so there is a real variety of opportunities available.

Pay will be at least the National Living Wage. Our internships are 4 weeks full-time, or the equivalent 140 hours can be worked on a part-time basis. This is typically flexible and internships can be undertaken during term time or vacations.

Further benefits can include:

  • Providing a competitive edge to your CV; standing out in the job market is increasingly crucial.
  • Gaining transferable and desirable skills.
  • Networking opportunities.
  • Potential for extended employment.
  • Providing work experience hours for the Bristol PLUS Award.

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An international student’s experience of securing a graduate job in the UK

Experiences of being an international student at university can vary greatly. Despite having been at school in the UK since the age of 13, I still felt the specific pressures of being an international student at university, especially in regards to careers.

My career aspirations became a high priority from the beginning. Due to my student visa only allowing me to stay in the UK for the duration of my degree, I felt that I needed to have a post-graduation plan as soon as possible. I spent much of my first year getting to know what advice was offered by attending a variety of workshops put on by the Careers Service, numerous employer presentations, participating in university societies and volunteering. When I decided to complete the Bristol PLUS Award in second year, I found I had no trouble doing so having kick-started my career planning early on.

Anna Andreeva

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The PLUS showcases your efforts! Bristol Graduate Alex Yeates on how the award prepares you for interview

Alex secured a role with Selfridges as a Front End Developer after graduating in 2015 with a BSc Politics and the Bristol PLUS Award under his belt.

“The Bristol PLUS Award encouraged me to pursue hours of paid work which helped populate my CV and gave me experience of what to expect in an office. It also helped prepare me with examples that I could talk about in my interview, to help showcase various efforts I made in trying to gain employment.

 

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10 Things to look out for at the Spring Careers Fair

or those of you who haven’t decided on what you would like to do after you graduate – don’t worry, there’s still time!

Check out what we have on at the Spring Careers Fair 2 & 3 May from 12-3pm.

1. Careers Fair Plus App

Download the Careers Fair Plus App from the App Store or Google Play Store. Check out which employers are attending on each day and use the filters to narrow your search. Don’t forget to let us know your thoughts once you’ve visited via the feedback form.

2. Employers

This is your chance to meet a range of companies of different sizes, and sectors, and to find out about opportunities for future graduate jobs and internships. Also, employers are still hiring; use the filter on the Careers Fair app to find out who.

3. Global Opportunities

Are you an International Student looking to secure work in the UK or back home? We’re holding a short talk on how to secure a job or work experience in the UK. This will be followed up by employer films highlighting their recruitment across the globe. Click here to sign up.

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