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:

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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… 

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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.

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Developing career resilience as a graduate – how can you develop this increasingly important attribute?

Resilience is becoming an increasingly crucial attribute in the job market. Whether you’ve just started your career or are navigating the job application process, building career resilience is an essential skill that can set you apart from the competition and contribute to your long-term success.

In this blog post, we will explore the meaning and importance of career resilience, and most importantly, how you can develop and strengthen this valuable trait, both as you apply for jobs, and navigate workplace challenges.

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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. 

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How IKEEP can help you become an INTRApreneur

Would you like to develop your Intrapreneurial skills and gain invaluable experience working with entrepreneurs?

Our IKEEP (Intrapreneurial Knowledge Exchange Enterprise Pathway) programme is designed for current students from all disciplines to undertake training and engage with industry on knowledge exchange projects as business advisors.

Students will get the opportunity to develop business model solutions and market awareness whilst enhancing their skills as intrapreneurs and future employees.

IKEEP students attending a training session with Deloitte.

The IKEEP programme includes training in a range of business areas such as managing innovation, business model canvas and leadership strategies. After completing the training, you can apply for a project placement which matches businesses with teams of proactive students to tackle innovative project briefs through flexible 4-week project placements.

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Top tips from the world of AI and tech

In October, we ran our “How to get in AI and tech panel” event, which was for anyone with a non-technical degree, looking to enter the tech industry.

From Experience Design Leads to Senior Account Technology Leads, our panel provided anecdotal tips on applying for and flourishing within tech companies. All without an extensive understanding of technical practices. Below are a few of the keynotes that were particularly emphasised:

Pictures of all the speakers and their job titles: 

Caitlin Bloom 
Project Manager, Kinneir Dufort 

Cherry Lin 
Experience Design Lead, Accenture Song

Ian Gardner 
Senior Account Technology Leader 
IBM

Jessica Roussou 
Senior Specialist - Security Governance, Risk & Compliance, Wise 

Sarah Matesun 
Business Analyst, ClearBank

1. Don’t worry about your lack of technical knowledge

Lacking a tech background when working in the industry is no barrier. Most non-technical roles will involve some jargon that may mean nothing to you – and that’s okay!

Our speakers recommend getting comfortable with not knowing and asking questions.

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City Challenges – Building Communities with Bristol Hub

Earlier in November, Bristol Student Hub teamed up with the Careers Service to run our latest City Challenge.

27 student volunteers attended in order to work together and generate ideas which would help Bristol Student Hub reflect on their current methods of community engagement and recommend new ways to build sustainable communities within their network of alumni and volunteers.

Bristol Hub is part of a national network that includes student hubs in Southampton, Bristol, and Cambridge as well as individual projects that run at other institutions.​

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Embracing Neurodiversity: Navigating university life and beyond

At the University of Bristol, we are proud to celebrate neurodiversity. We recognise the unique strengths and perspectives that neurodiverse students bring to our campus.   

In this blog post, we explore the resources and events available to neurodiverse students. Find out how these have been put into practice, to empower you on your journey through university and help you plan your next steps.

Join us in celebrating neurodiversity and uncovering the opportunities that await! 

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Why start the Bristol PLUS Award despite a challenging Health Sciences degree?

Hello prospective Bristol PLUS Award achievers! I’m Lana Henry and I’m a fourth-year Veterinary Science student who’s now working as a PLUS Award Ambassador.

I completed my PLUS Award in the 2021/2022, and am here to answer the age-old question: is it worth taking on the PLUS Award despite a busy degree?

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