The City Challenges are an exclusive programme of events which provides you with the opportunity to engage with Bristol’s charity sector, gain informal work experience, and develop your skills through working on real life challenges posed by local community organisations.
The first City Challenge involved piloting a problem-solving session focusing on reducing HIV stigma within the medical community, which was supported by the Brigstowe charity and the Careers Service Community Engagement team.
A total of 10 students took part, developing their teamwork, communication, and decision-making skills to create presentations in which they gave details of how Brigstowe could approach raising awareness in the medical community of unfair and untrue beliefs around people living with HIV.
This City Challenge allowed students to explore their interest in community outreach as well as learn about how they can be aware of and actively combat their own biases around their attitudes to people who are living with HIV. They explored issues such as how General Practitioners and students can destigmatise their work when dealing with people living with HIV. Brigstowe will now be able to use these ideas for possible future funding bids, marketing campaigns and training sessions.
The next City Challenge will be based ask the question ‘How can we encourage male university students to talk about their mental health?’ and students will be working with Talk Club and the Community Engagement team. This challenge will be eligible for the Bristol PLUS Award and held on Wednesday 27 October from 11.30am to 5pm and you can sign up on myopportunities.
Maximise your time at university by gaining skills and experience alongside your studies. The Bristol PLUS Award recognises your commitment and personal development in extra-curricular activities such as part time work, internships, student leadership roles and society committees.
‘At the start of my postgraduate degree in Bristol, I was keen on engaging in as many extracurricular activities as possible and honing my employability skills. The Bristol Plus Award provided just the right motivation for me to do that.’ – Babatunde Osho, Climate Change Science and Policy MSc
2. Stand out to employers
You’ll make your CV stand out from crowd with the Bristol PLUS Award. Less than 5% of the student population achieve the award each year and it is endorsed by employers, who you can read about on our website!
3. Make progress with planning your future
The Bristol PLUS Award can help you kick-start your future plans. Evidence shows that PLUS achievers are more likely to make positive progress in their career planning than students who do not take part: 37% of PLUS achievers record a positive change in their career planning progress compared to 27% of non-award students.
‘It has been a fulfilling and positive experience, which has given me a much deeper awareness of my future.’ – Katie Ingram King, Sociology BSc
The Bristol PLUS Award rewards you for going above and beyond alongside your studies
Maybe you have a part-time job, are running your own small business, or are thinking of doing some volunteering or an internship. If so, you could already be partway there to achieving the Award! As long as your experience takes place during your time as a student, you could get recognition for it.
Third-year Music student Honey Wyatt achieved the Bristol PLUS Award after working in a café during the holidays, and also set up and ran her own podcast.
‘Through working as front of house at a restaurant and café, I developed my communication, teamwork, and resilience. You need to be able to handle high pressure situations, such as if there is a rude or impatient customer or you have to manage several tasks at once (and we were understaffed, so this happened often).
Along with that I learnt an element of independence, as I had to figure out how to deal with a situation if there is nobody there to ask for help.
Running my podcast has been a completely different experience, although I have also developed my teamwork, independence and communication skills, as well as my reliability and how to run a business. There are two aspects of the podcast: the creative side, and the business side, both of which I have had to develop different skills for.’
Honey used both of these experiences to achieve the Award, as well as completing a variety of workshops in employability skills:
‘I have learnt the importance of developing a variety of different skills no matter what I am doing, as these could be useful in applying for jobs in future.’
It can be tempting to put off thinking about what you want to do when you graduate, especially when you are busy with university work. Chloe Henshaw, (BA English), shares how she started thinking about careers in her first year, and went from having no idea what she wanted to do to securing a place on the Civil Service Fast Stream.(more…)
We are excited to announce that this year, six University of Bristol students have been chosen as finalists for the TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards!
The TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards is an annual competitionto celebrate the best undergraduates in the UK. Each award is partnered with a graduate recruiter who offers an amazing prize for the winner, including a paid internship, trips abroad, and other exclusive opportunities.
To become finalists, students first had to complete an application, including essay-style questions and online tests. Once passing that stage, students were either invited to a telephone interview or to take part in an assessment centre.
We caught up with our six nominees to hear more about their journeys to becoming finalists. (more…)
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. Your Careers Service is using the week (8-14 February 2021) to celebrate your achievements in volunteering over the past year. However, we are also keen to remind you of the employability benefits to be gained!
Will volunteering really make me stand out to employers?
Absolutely! But don’t take our word for it – in this blog some of our Bristol PLUS Award endorsing employers explain exactly how they perceive volunteer work from their applicants, and just why volunteering is so beneficial for both you and the organisation you go on to work for.
The world of employment has changed significantly over the last 12 months due to the pandemic. What has felt like months ofuncertainty over what the future holds, the prospect of diving into the deep–end and starting your own businessmight seem daunting.
However, working for yourself and launching a start-up in 2021 can be a greatopportunity. Particularly if your enterprise fills a gap in the market, is well researched and it is something you’re passionate about.
The New Enterprise Competition– Development stage is now open for applications. This stage of the competition awards up to £1,000 to 10 start-ups. Funds can be used towards developing student and graduate start-ups. Historically winners have ranged between social enterprises combating foodwaste, to sustainable clothing businesses and much more.
The pandemic has impacted so much, including the world of work. The ongoing uncertainty can feel de-motivating; it may feel easier to avoid thinking about careers right now and to put it off until later. However, it could be an ideal time for career thinking and looking at what the Faculty of Arts Careers Series has to offer, (more…)
With restrictions still imposed upon much of society, some of you may be wondering just how achievable the Bristol PLUS Award will be for you this year?
Well, fear not! There are still loads of opportunities out there for you to develop skills and experience to use towards your Award (and your future!)
Restructured format to support you
In September 2020, in response to Covid-19 and the new blended student experience, the Bristol PLUS Award was restructured. Meaning we nowrecognise a wide range of online and virtual experiences – making gaining evidence for your Award totally achievable!(more…)
The Bristol PLUS Award is the University’s employability Award, open to students across all years of study – including Postgraduate Researchers (PGRs). In fact, PGR achievers speak so highly of the Award process, we thought we’d share highlights from their feedback: (more…)