Ten perks of being a UWE Bristol alumni

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So, you’ve graduated, hurrah! This isn’t goodbye, though. You are now part of our active network of more than 310,000 professional alumni. We have dedicated alumni and careers teams who are on hand to help you make the most of your degree and continue to grow in the working world. We’ve put together ten perks of being a member of the UWE Bristol alumni community.

1. Trailblazer Programme

Offered exclusively to UWE Bristol alumni, our Trailblazer Programme gives you a chance to build on your leadership, innovation and business skills whilst networking with other UWE alum. The programme aims to maximise personal impact, boost effectiveness and develop leadership styles.

Taking part in Trailblazer enables you to take advantage of your lifelong connection to our expertise and community. You will also gain access to a growing and vibrant community of Trailblazers with future networking events.

2. Discounted access to Postgraduate study and Executive Education Programmes

As a UWE Bristol alum, you can access our Postgraduate education courses at a 25% discount. In addition, you can browse our range of Executive Education courses and enjoy a 15% discount on the full price of our programmes. Give yourself the edge in a competitive jobs market by upskilling yourself and take the opportunity to learn something new.

3. Alumni Connect

You may have already made use of this online mentoring and connection tool (exclusive to UWE Bristol) as a student, but if not – it’s not too late to start! Alumni Connect is our free site linking students, new graduates and alumni around the world. You can use it to find UWE Bristol alumni in different industries and reach out to them for advice and tips.

4. Access to free Careers support up to 3 years after Graduation

That’s right! You can speak to a member of UWE Bristol’s Careers Coaching team for free and get personalised, impartial advice and guidance to help you start planning your future. You’re also able to attend our employer events (these are all run virtually in 2021-2022, so it’s even easier to join in). You have free access for life to our cloud-based Career Resources via the Career Toolkit to help you find vacancies, write a CV, practice aptitude tests as well as get interview tips. No one expects you to have your future all wrapped up once you graduate – together we can help you make that first step.

5. Access to desk space and business support from our University Enterprise Zone

If you have a business idea you would like to put into action, Launch Space, part of our University Enterprise Zone, can help you do just that. We’ll give you free business support and expert advice for up to 12 months so you can focus on achieving great things. We also have a small number of bursaries available for eligible entrepreneurs.

Launch Space is open to graduate-led, or early stage, businesses with high-growth potential. We’re looking for those that are working on products and services across key themes:

  • Health and life science
  • Advanced engineering
  • Digital futures
  • Sustainability and climate change

6. Alumni Membership to Centre for Music

UWE Bristol Centre for Music offers alumni a hugely discounted membership (£40 for a year – yes, you read that right!), which enables you to participate in any of our professionally directed groups, plus free access our annual programme of Masterclasses and other special events. Unfortunately, we have to reserve the booking of our spaces and studios for current students only to make sure everyone still studying can use our facilities!

7. UWE Bristol Sport

As a UWE Bristol alum, you’ll get great prices at UWE Bristol Sport when you join as a member. Choose from the all-inclusive Active Card for £17.92 per month which includes full gym access, unlimited exercise classes, access to the MOVE programme and use of the squash courts. Or opt for Gym Only at just £180 per year/£15 per month. With no contract or joining fee, fantastic facilities, high-quality equipment and fully trained instructors, make UWE Bristol Sport your go-to fitness destination.

8. Free access to LinkedIn Learning

For up to a year after you complete your course, you’ll have access to LinkedIn Learning (previously lynda.com). For those who haven’t used it before, it’s an incredible resource of training videos and resources to learn anything from leadership and management skills to Google Analytics and Photoshop. It usually costs £25 a month, so take advantage of it while it’s free!

9. Free access to BlackBullion

As a UWE Bristol graduate, you will continue to have access to the great financial education platform BlackBullion. BlackBullion offers modules and articles on all areas relating to money so you can be confident you have all the up to date info you need as you transition from student to graduate. Topics include repaying student loans, postgraduate funding, tax, investment, mortgages and much, much more! Don’t forget to make the most of this fantastic resource. Access lasts while you still have your UWE Bristol email address (about a year after your course finishes).

10. Free access to Kooth online services

UWE Bristol alumni can continue to access Kooth student for up to a year after they complete their course. You’ll have access to free online counselling, articles, forums and discussions on the site.

Five ways to up your exam game

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Exam season is just around the corner and we know that this can be a stressful time, so we have gathered our top tips from some of our Business and Law academics to give you a head start in acing your upcoming exams.

Read the question, answer the question

Lucy Rees (Associate Head of Department, Law)

It might sound obvious, but it’s really important that you carefully read the whole question thoroughly and actually answer the question. Take time to identify the key words – if it asks you to define, you get marks for defining, if you are asked to provide examples that means you will get marks for your examples. Only write what is relevant and required in the question.

Remaster the art of pen to paper

Hilary Drew (Associate Head of Department for Partnerships and Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management)

How much time do we actually spend writing these days? Writing with a pen on paper, for two and a half hours, even the thought of it is enough to make your wrists ache! When doing your revision, actually write up your notes by hand instead of typing them. Buy a fancy notebook, some highlighters, and a new pen or two! By writing your revision notes longhand, not only will you be training your arm for the exam marathon, but also engaging with your learning at a deeper level. It helps you to absorb the information you need to learn, making it easier to recall it in the exam room.

Make it easy for the person marking it

Osman Yukselturk (Associate Head of Department, Accounting and Finance)

Sometimes presentation can be as important as calculation and arriving at the result. Remember that somebody will be marking your paper, so present your work in a clear and understandable way that makes it easy for them to see how you got to the answer. Having a look at the mark allocation might give you a hint about how detailed your answer should be and how much time you should spend on it.

Prepare for the exam, not just the content

Marcus Keppel-Palmer (Senior Lecturer, Law)

Answering an exam is a skill, the same as any other skill or assessment. You get better at sport or piano by practising, and it’s the same with essays and exams. The more you practice writing out answers in full – adhering to time limits, word limits and structures – the easier it is under the extra pressure of the exam setting. If the first time you write an answer out is actually in the exam, you are trying to master a new skill under stressful circumstances. Write out your answers in full and within the time limit, then read them back. It’s amazing how you will see an improvement.

Read the entire exam paper

Yvette Morey (Associate Head of Programmes, Marketing, Events and Tourism)

Don’t dive straight in, take some time to read the entire exam paper first. Take in the scope of the paper and questions, and start thinking about what is being asked of you. By doing this, your brain will start doing some of the processing for you. Use some paper to do a rough plan of each answer – it’ll help you remember, save you time when you come to later questions, and break the paper down into smaller, more manageable chunks.

Together we make an impact

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As we are nearing the end of the challenging year of 2020, we are taking a look back at the positive ways the Faculty of Business and Law have made an impact on society. Below is a round-up of some of the top stories, successes and impactful research that has been achieved by the faculty.

Inside the black box: the public finances after coronavirus

Bristol Business School economist and Associate Professor Dr Jo Michell, alongside a colleague from the University of Greenwich, conducted a study acknowledging that the UK can afford to keep fighting Covid-19 crisis and have created an interactive tool to model the likely economic scenarios from COVID-19.

Business Schools for Good

The Chartered Association for Business Schools have launched a series entitled ‘Business Schools for Good’. It features Bristol Business School’s collaboration with Bristol City Robins Foundation. Students on the programme, Sports Business and Entrepreneurship, talk about the course and the sense of community they gain from undertaking IT. It is a great example of the work we do with a key faculty partner.

Business successes

A group of 40 entrepreneurs that we trained through our partnership with ChangeSchool and Mowgli Mentoring in February 2020, have gone on to secure £2.4m in sales and funding and are now seeing their businesses go from strength to strength.

AI software could help construction industry achieve net zero target

Bristol Business School’s Big Data Laboratory is leading an £800,00 project to develop software that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to help construction companies reduce the amount of embodied carbon in their building and infrastructure projects. It is a two-year project and is in collaboration with Winvic Construction, Castain and start-up company Edgetrix.

CIMA award wins

The department of Accounting, Economics and Finance have won two Charted Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Excellence awards; the CIMA Prize-Winner Excellence award and the CIMA Global Excellence award. These awards celebrate university partners with outstanding students, pass rate and excellence in the CIMA exams and the highest number of CIMA students on campus.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Bristol Leadership and Change Centre’s Professor Peter Case has secured a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to assist the Ministry of Health & Child Care in Zimbabwe to improve HIV prevention. The project is in collaboration with the Malaria Elimination Initiative at the University of California and will run until December 2022. The overall aim is to integrate prevention services and move them forward in a more sustainable way. Further details of the project are available on UWE Bristol Leadership & Change Centre blog.

SAGE Prize for Innovation and Excellence 2020

Dr Jenna Pandeli won the SAGE Prize for Innovation and Excellence 2020 for her co-authored paper ‘ Captive Cycles of Invisibility? Prisoners’ Work for the Private Sector.’ The article critiques a case of modern prison-labour by exploring prisoners’ attitudes towards the prison-work they undertake while incarcerated and received the award due to its innovation – excellence in the field.

Systems Leadership Development in Public Health

Professor Richard Bolden and Professor Carol Jarvis (alongside an interdisciplinary team) conducted a review of systems leadership development in public health. The aim of the project, which was funded by Public Health England, was to inform the development of public health registrars and consultants in the UK. The insights support the capacity of public health leaders to respond to public health crises such as Covid-19.

Faculty Professional Service Team

The Professional Service Team in the faculty is a small but close group who have not only been incredibly flexible in taking on different duties this year but also genuinely look out and support one another and the Faculty community. We are so proud of this team and all they have achieved this year. We couldn’t do it without you!

Post-Occupancy Research Report

Dr Harriet Shortt, Dr Svetlana Cicmil and Dr Hugo Gaggiotti published their Post-Occupancy Research on Bristol Business School. The report captures how users feel about the building and how it used, all through one of the largest qualitative visual field studies in the field of Organisational Studies. The project was funded by Stride Treglown and ISG.

Combating Malaria in Namibia

Professor Peter Case’s research focus has expanded to Namibia during 2020. Three recent Zimbabwean graduates from our Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice in Change Leadership programme have worked on the project with Namibia’s Vector-borne Diseases Control Programme to combat malaria by improving frontline prevention and treatment of the disease in Kavango Province.

Criminal Justice Natters

Dr Ed Johnson from Bristol Law School has a podcast series called Criminal Justice Natters. His research interests centre on criminal justice and procedure; in particular, he has an interest in the law of disclosure, fair trial rights and adversarialism. In the series, he talks to people such as Chris Daw Q.C. about his bestselling book Justice on Trial and Liam Allan, who was wrongly arrested 2016.

Virtual Christmas Tree fundraiser

During December we have been fundraising for Shelter with our BBS | BLS virtual Christmas tree. You can see the running total and donate here and write a message on our tree here.

Women in Leadership | Women Aspiring to Leadership

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An equal world is an enabled world.

#IWD2020  #EachforEqual

For International Women’s Day 2020 we are celebrating everything UWE Bristol does year-round to promote equality for all, including the ‘Women in Leadership and Women Aspiring to Leadership’ (WILWAL) network fronted by Executive Officer, Amy Rogerson.

The group provides a safe environment for UWE Bristol staff, where women can discuss their leadership journeys, challenges and successes, and is for women at all stages of their leadership journeys. Since re-launching in 2019, WILWAL has hosted four sessions with a range of inspirational speakers at varying points in their careers and lives.

So far, speakers have included Chrissie Waple who spoke about Neuro-linguistic Programming (and also hosted an extra session to expand on the topic due to high demand from attendees), Aimée Sykes who gave a presentation on the celebration of future leaders and the importance of female role models and Yoma Smith who shared her leadership journey and how it has impacted, and been impacted by, her work in the community.

Each session reminded the group of their own unique abilities to become leaders in every aspect of their lives, and that not everyone has the same path – in fact they are all very different!

If you would like to find out more about the network please get in touch fbl.execsupport@uwe.ac.uk.

UWE Bristol launches Spring Bristol Distinguished Address Series

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The successful Bristol Distinguished Address Series is back for 2020. This series of free public lectures brings top-level business leaders to Bristol and has seen a wide array of inspiring talks since its launch. The talks provide a unique opportunity to hear about the challenges, issues and decisions being made at the highest level of strategic leadership.

UWE Bristol have announced the Spring dates for the Bristol Distinguished Address series that are held at Bristol Business School, with talks from five innovative leaders.

Upcoming Bristol Lectures

Bankers must become Eco-warriors – Dr Bevis Watts, Chief Executive, Triodos Bank UK

29 January 2020

Could banks serve the needs of society better? Are they undermining our long-term ability to sustain ourselves by not actively seeking to address the climate emergency, inequality and societal needs?

Perhaps the first and only environmentalist to lead a UK bank, Dr Bevis Watts puts forward the case that much of the financial sector is undermining efforts to tackle these issues. In fact, the UK’s current banking system holds the potential, through adaptation, to be a catalyst for a sustainable future.

For 25 years in the UK, Triodos Bank has demonstrated a model of sustainable banking that uses the intermediary power of finance to benefit people and the planet. They are also 100% transparent about who they lend to – focusing only on organisations that deliver positive environmental, social or cultural change. With the right values, banks can be a force for good and affect real positive systemic change in society.

What does internationalisation mean in C21st for global corporations? – Katherine Bennett CBE, Senior Vice President, Airbus & Chair, Western Gateway

12 February 2020

Katherine will deliver a lecture on Airbus’ approach to internationalisation. She will touch on internationalisation versus the role of continents from an economic perspective; she will provide a summary of current issues and ambitions within Airbus; she will reflect on the Brexit debate and finally, in light of her new role as Chair of Western Gateway, she will also reflect how a nation’s regional strategies can best be aligned to the future evolution of businesses, both large and small.

Living and moving well together – Xavier Brice, Chief Executive, Sustrans

26 February 2020

Transport shapes our relationship with each other and with our environment. It enables people, goods and ideas to spread and flourish, but it is also the biggest contributor to climate change in the UK and has poisoned the air in our cities and towns.

The history of transport is often presented as a series of technological revolutions – canals, railways, the motor car. We stand on the cusp of another transport revolution. New technologies and business models are bringing electric vehicles, driverless cars, e-scooters, drones and air-taxis, and promising quicker, easier journeys, cleaner air and less carbon. But technology is only ever a means to an end. Xavier’s talk will explore how we need to rethink what we want from transport so that we can all live and move well together.

TV as a Force for Good – Lisa Opie, Managing Director, UK Production, BBC Studios

11 March 2020

Lisa Opie, Managing Director of BBC Studios UK Production, talks about the power of television to drive positive change locally, nationally and internationally. 

BBC Studios world-leading Natural History Unit was recently awarded the prestigious Chatham House Prize for Blue Planet II’s global impact on the issue of ocean plastics. 

Also made in Bristol, DIY SOS highlights social issues and has seen more than 20,000 volunteers give their time and complete over 16 million worth of builds over the last 20 years. 

At a time when it is hard to tell what is real or fake and when there is division and discord, content can play a key role in raising awareness of important issues, bringing communities together and changing the world for the better.

Sustainability – The Long View – Laura Marshall, CEO, Icon Films

25 March 2020

Icon Films was founded in 1990 by husband and wife team Harry and Laura Marshall. Thirty years on the company is still growing, working in a global market in a golden age of scripted and unscripted content. Based in Bristol where being different is the norm, and where disruption and innovation is in the city’s DNA, how does a company evolve to keep succeeding? Is planet content infinite – or are resources and creativity finite? Where do you go when you want to keep going and what do we need to learn from those around us?

You can find more information about the Bristol Distinguished Address Series on the UWE Bristol website. Please use #BristolLectures to discuss the events on Twitter.

The Everest Challenge

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Staff at UWE Bristol took part in the Everest Challenge in aid of promoting physical and mental wellbeing at work.

Over summer 2019 several staff across the University took part in the Everest Challenge in aid of promoting physical and mental wellbeing at work.

Organised by Fliss Cargill, Professional Development Team Manager at UWE Bristol, the challenge was to climb the equivalent of reaching the top of Everest using only the stairs in the Bristol Business School. The number of steps required to do this was 58,070, equal to 2,420 flights.

All staff members who were involved had 8 weeks to complete the challenge and they recorded the flights they had taken each day, giving way to a bit of friendly competition between colleagues.

Fliss explains, “The purpose of the challenge was not only because I had always wanted to see how many times I’d need to walk up to my office to reach Everest (403.3 times!) but just to make us all think about how we could add some exercise into our work routine by taking the stairs rather than the lift and how much this might add to our mental health as well as physical”.

After a summer of aching calves and red faces, our staff managed to complete the challenge in an impressive 6 weeks – 2 weeks ahead of schedule. This challenge proved that we can all add a little bit more movement into our work day which is especially important for those who have a sedentary job role sat by a computer. We are lucky to have the facilities in the Bristol Business School building to do this easily, with a staircase from floors 2 to 6 situated in the middle of the building with access from the downstairs Atrium café.

UWE Bristol believe in empowering staff and students to make healthy choices and have an initiative called Feel Good at UWE Bristol. Have a look at their programme and gather some ideas for inspiration to improve your wellbeing.

UWE Bristol sponsor ‘Start-Up Business’ award

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The Business Leader Awards is a prestigious event that showcases the region’s outstanding companies and recognises the entrepreneurs who run them. Each year the awards bring together hundreds of leaders in business, education and government along with VIPs and celebrities for one gala evening. This year the gala was held on 26 September at Ashton Gate Stadium.

UWE Bristol were proud sponsors of the ‘Start-Up Business’ award and headed to the evening full of excitement to see who would win this esteemed category. The evening of the awards was great fun, with the fantastic Michael Portillo hosting the gala and some fantastic food being served.

We would like to wish a huge congratulations to winners of the Business Leader Awards, especially, Smart Futures Training (previously AAA training solutions) who won the UWE Bristol sponsored Start-Up Business Award.

Business leader awards sponsors 2019

UWE Bristol wins Guardian Award for Equity Programme

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We were delighted to be finalists at this year’s Guardian University Awards but are over the moon to have actually won! This award means so much to everyone who’s been involved in developing and delivering the Equity Programme ever since our first pilot event in October 2016. It’s been a long and sometimes challenging journey to introduce a progressive positive action scheme like this. Working with students, local employers and national diversity thought leaders, we’ve created something which the University can be really proud of and which offers BAME students a chance to leverage leadership and enterprise skills as they embark upon their graduate careers. 

The Equity programme has 4 pillars: 1-2-1 mentoring, identity and leadership coaching, enterprise education workshops and large evening networking and guest speaker events. National statistics on the performance and progression of ethnic minorities in the labour market (as highlighted by the MacGregor Smith Race in the Workplace Review 2017) have to change and we are proud to be leading the way on the role universities can play in this regard. Finally, we want to thank every facilitator and the external guests who attend our events and enrich our student experience.

Equity evening events run throughout the academic year and are open to the public to attend. We warmly encourage alumni to consider attending the evening events to give our students networking opportunities as well as being part of the collective challenge to diversify the talent pipeline. To find out more please visit www.uwe.ac.uk/equityor email raceequality@uwe.ac.uk

Post written by Dr Zainab Khan- Equity Programme Lead

Take advantage of degree apprenticeship SME funding with UWE Bristol

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15 May 2019 15:00 – 17:00

Register here

Are you interested in upskilling your workforce and does the cost of training seem a barrier to accessing local talent?

This event provides an opportunity to hear first-hand accounts from existing businesses who have apprentices at UWE, and how to make it work. In addition to this, we will be highlighting upcoming degree apprenticeships and further opportunities for your business to train your employees at degree level with the funding available.

UWE Bristol is the only university in the region with funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to support non-levy employers and has secured funding to support apprentices from Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

David Barrett, Director of Apprenticeships at UWE Bristol, will welcome you to the event and alongside the Degree Apprenticeship Hub team will be able to help identify your training needs and suitable solutions.
Spaces are limited for this event, so please register below.

If you have any questions about this event or degree apprenticeships please feel free to contact Ellen Parkes.

We are looking forward to meeting you and beginning the degree apprenticeship partnership journey.

The event takes place in the University Enterprise Zone on Frenchay Campus from 15:00 – 17:00.

Register here

Guest blog post: A student representatives’ perspective of the Times Higher Education awards ceremony

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Guest author: Mia Collins, 3rd Year Business and Management Student 

Currently in my final year of studying Business and Management, I have been fortunate enough to represent the department as its Lead Department Representative and the Finance, Business and Law faculty as its Learning, Teaching and Student Experience Committee member. These roles have demonstrated huge benefits to my educational and professional development, yet, the most monumental opportunity the positions have brought me is attending the Times Higher Education Awards in London. As a typical student does, I have had significant exposure to Bristol’s nightlife – but none of them compare to the night I had at the awards ceremony.

The night began on, rather, a stressful start; having only 1 hour to get to get ‘black tie’ ready, I was under significant pressure– for those who know me well enough, will understand exactly the level of stress I mean. Despite this, I was immensely excited. We ventured over to the JV Marriott Grovesnor House in London, where we were met with bubbly and snacks. Walking into the reception room, in itself, was an experience; everyone had gone above and beyond with their appearance and looked fantastic. Before the night had really began, this was a great opportunity for me to get to know the people who facilitate the day to day operations of UWE; as a team of 14 (2 being myself and Lily Liu, the only students in attendance), were able to get to know the likes of Steve West, Donna Whitehead and lot more. Before one too many glasses of prosecco, we got a #teamUWE picture:

(Don’t we scrub up well!)

After a chatter and a social, we were taken into the main awards hall. Merely walking towards the hall, you are greeted by the most amazing floor imaginable (see below). From the onset, everything about the night was glamourous. Once we (eventually) found our tables, we sat down to a starter of crispy salt cod fritter (essentially, the fanciest fish finger ever), followed by slow braised beef short rib with vegetables, finishing off with a Greek yoghurt tart and petits fours – yum.

As time went on, the more nervous we all became, and before we knew it, our category was up next. We had thankfully been shortlisted, for the second year in a row, Business School of the Year and were up against some intense competition. The category was announced… UWE’s participation was mentioned… a huge cheer from all of our 3 tables… on the very edge of our seats…the winner was announced… and THEN, ah. ESCP Europe Business School were awarded the winners of 2018. Despite not winning, this year(!), we didn’t lose spirit. We were up for Most Innovative Contribution to Business-University Collaboration. Again, we didn’t quite get it this time; we did, however, receive a special commendation for our efforts. Not all bad, eh?

The night didn’t end there – a disco was to follow. Thankfully, we were sat the closest to the stairs, so UWE were the first to get to the dancefloor. I must add, we took over the ENTIRE dance floor, truly a UWE takeover. The night didn’t purely involve partying, it was a great opportunity for me to develop my networking skills and get to meet some senior figures from all across the country – one in particular, the Sponsorship Director of the Times Higher Education awards. After hours of singing our hearts – out at the very top of our lungs – lunging and squatting(?) to the beat and showing the other universities why UWE really are the best, the disco came to an end – it takes a lot of skill and endurance to be the FIRST and LAST ones on the dancefloor, but we executed it so well.

We got back to our hotel in the early hours of the morning and, with no voice left and feet in agony from high heels, we sat in the lobby, each with our takeaway laughing and chatting until it was time for bed.

The night as an entity was phenomenal, I am incredibly grateful to be 1 of the 2 students fortunate enough to attend. I’ve not only taken away great memories from it but have also made great relationships with senior staff whom I would never usually have the opportunity meet. A huge thank you to everyone who facilitated the evening and made it as incredible as it was. Every day I am more and more honoured to represent UWE and everything we achieve. Bring on Business School of the Year 2019!

Below are a few photos from the evening: