The Bristol PLUS Award is the University of Bristol’s employability award which rewards students for extracurricular activities completed at any point during their degree and provides a structure to reflect on the skills developed as a result of these activities. Achievers receive formal recognition with a certificate, on their degree transcript and at graduation. Employers support the Award because it demonstrates that individuals have valuable skills. In order to successfully achieve the Award, students must complete a minimum of 2 experiences totalling a minimum of 70 hours together outside their degree, 4 workshops or courses, a Bristol Futures open online course and compose a reflective report. Janet Wewe has completed the Bristol Plus Award and shares her reflections on her experience below.
Working as a Bristol Scholars Peer Assistant at the University and recently taking on a Senior role has helped me develop my leadership, communication, problem-solving, time management and collaborative skills. I have had to oversee and support the Bristol Scholar Assistants by passing on good practise examples, generating ideas for events, taking the lead on Bristol Scholar events, or identifying the need for further training and support. I was able to generate some great ideas going forward for the Scheme such as a family system to help students feel more connected from different year groups. I learned how difficult it can be to manage a group of students when we went on a trip to Folly Farm, and I hope to develop my ability in this area in future.
My role as a Widening Participation Ambassador helped me develop my communication skills as I spoke to individuals of a wide range: from young prospective students to mature students and parents. Each demographic had different sets of questions and I learned the same information needs to be delivered in different ways depending on the intended audience. For example, for younger students certain terms had to be omitted or rephrased to enable better understanding. Yet, for older students and parents more jargon could be used to convey the same information. This has been a helpful experience.
Workshops and courses
Taking the ‘Career Ready Find and Apply course’ provided me with the opportunity to explore my career options including searching for internships and future job roles. As a result, I was able to apply for an internship role at Google aimed at neurodivergent and SpLD students. I realised I required to increase my network size and ‘Speculative applications and networking’ aided my understanding how to do this successful. Thus, I have now created an account with Bristol Connects and improved my pre-existing LinkedIn account. I am now aware I need to improve my online pitch in order to give a stronger impression to prospective connections, employers and business partners.
Bristol Futures course
I really enjoyed completing the ‘Sustainable Futures’ Bristol Futures online course which I chose because it was furthest from anything I would ordinarily partake in, and I wanted to expand my field of knowledge. I found it very interesting, and I appreciated the interactive element of the course with opportunities to comment at the end of each section. I did not actively partake in this and in hindsight, I wish I gotten more involved in the discussions. I loved the ‘Making a Difference’ section as it helped me reflect on my own actions and what I am doing for a better tomorrow.
CV or LinkedIn summary
I achieved this award from the University of Bristol, recognising my time commitment taking on multiple roles within the University such as a Widening Participation Ambassador and Bristol Scholar Assistant alongside my Dental Surgery degree. I also partook in a variety of courses and workshops that improved my problem-solving and leadership skills, including Career Ready Find and Apply course, The Start-up Accelerator: Finance and Accounting, Speculative applications and networking and the ‘Sustainable Futures’ Bristol Futures online course. I am now equipped to be future-oriented feeling I have the tools to drive and implement change in multiple contexts including the workplace and community. Fewer than 5% of University of Bristol students achieve this award per annum.
Registration is still open for the Bristol Plus Award until 13th February 2022. More information can be found on the website.