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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How an SME Internship can kick start your entrepreneurial career

“The decisions you make at University are often life-shaping. They set the tone for your future and compound over decades”

Adam Chambers is a Bristol History (BA) alum, and President of Nurse Recruitment Experts. In his third year at the University of Bristol he participated in our SME Internship Scheme.

Here are his thoughts on how this has shaped his career:

“Why am I writing to encourage you to apply for an SME Internship? 

I started Nurse Recruitment Experts (NRX) in 2019, nine months after graduating from studying History at Bristol.  

Since then, we’ve sourced and hired 10,000 plus Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, and Certified Nursing Assistants for health systems across the US and Canada.

A photo of Adam smiling, outdoors in a suit.
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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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SME Internship Scheme: Finding an SME Internship at a careers fair – Windō

Last academic year, final year Engineering Mathematics student Patrick approached Windō at the Get Hired careers fair, and as a result was able to secure an SME Internship with them. 

We caught up with Oli, founder and CEO of Windō, and Patrick to hear about how a chat at a careers fair led to a connection…and an internship!

Windō 

Windō is a free platform for students to easily access, digest and compare the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) progress and plans that companies are making to drive positive change across sustainability, diversity, equality and inclusion, and employee wellbeing.

A photo of Oli talking to a student at the Get Hired fair.

“Hi, I’m Oli, CEO at Windō.

We were invited as a Sustainability Partner to have a stall at Get Hired in the Spring. It’s always a great opportunity to demonstrate our platform to students and meet the very people we built Windō for.

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Graduate stories: Working in software development at Ghyston as a Bristol graduate

Meet Bristol graduate Izzie who now works at Bristol-based, independent software company Ghyston, as a Software Developer.  

We caught up with Izzie to hear all about her journey from Chemistry student at the University of Bristol to where she is now: 

A photo of Izzie laughing in a group at a desk, as a colleague holds up a construction made of multi coloured plastic blocks.
Izzie, (centre) at a Ghyston training day.

“It’s a pretty well-worn path. Primary school, secondary school, A-levels, university, but what next?  

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Bristol Connects: How one click of a button solved all my job hunting and career fears

Hi, I’m Avellina, a recent Biology graduate from Bristol and I’m here to tell you how in my final year all my worries about job hunting, choosing the wrong career and job applications vanished and it’s all thanks to Bristol Connects.

With graduation looming, all the responsibilities and changes that were coming up weighed heavily on my back. For the first time in 17 years, my life wouldn’t be structured by exams, lectures and academic calendars. Instead, my life would diverge into an entirely new, unique path as I pursued my first job.

Amongst the excitement, fear and the uncertainty for what lay ahead, one thought routinely replayed in my head: How am I going to achieve my dream career?

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Study abroad students: make the most of your time at Bristol

Bristol harbourside on a sunny day. There is a blue sailboat against a backdrop of colourful houses.

Bristol is an exciting, dynamic city with lots to do and explore.

If you’re in Bristol for a short study abroad programme, exploring the city and getting involved with the student community can feel like a huge task.  

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My SME Internship: Lana – Supported Independence

Hi, I’m Lana. I carried out my SME Internship as a mental health support worker at Supported Independence (SI), within their Redcliffe branch.

I began by attending three days of training: the first two days were company-specific training carried out by SI staff, and the third was run by an external company regarding breakaway and challenging behaviour.  On the days of my inductions, I shadowed a few different experienced mental health support workers with clients they supported.

After approximately one week of shadowing, I began working with clients one-on-one. This included: 

  • meal supporting clients struggling with eating disorders 
  • supporting clients with their day-to-day activities, such as trips to the supermarket, appointments, managing finances, and supporting with medication  
  • listening to those who wanted to talk about how they were feeling. 
Lana drinking a cup of tea

Throughout my internship, I learned how to better support clients in a person-centred way, whereby their individual needs were my priority.

I was given the opportunity to ask other support workers about individual clients’ needs in order to make them feel more comfortable with the way I approach them.

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My SME Internship: Yueqi – New Silk Route

Hi, I’m Yueqi.  In the final year of my postgraduate studying Marketing (Msc), I luckily found an SME Internship as a Marketing Intern for New Silk Route.

A photo of Yueqi smiling.

My internship included writing content on social media platforms, such as writing posts to attract customers to enquire about the company’s services and close deals.

Most of the time I worked remotely but I still needed to meet with customers to fulfill their desires and offer appropriate services. 

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How volunteering can transform your university experience

Volunteering in your local community connects you with others and creates positive change.

Over the past academic year, the team at Bristol Hub have supported over 180 Bristol students to engage in social action.

Bristol Hub manager Sorcha Young shares the impact that volunteering can have:

Bristol Hub students volunteering

“Social action takes many forms. It can range from donating money to good causes to creating campaigns or running community-based events. I love making a change by getting hands-on and volunteering in my community.”

Niamh Harrington, Bristol Hub one-off Volunteering Coordinator 

How volunteering enhances wellbeing 

85% of Bristol Hub’s student volunteers agreed that participation enhanced their well-being during university. Where there are many challenges to university, such as loneliness, academic pressures and an overwhelming amount to do, volunteering provides a space to escape and connect.

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