Meet your Employer Engagement team

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by Careers and Enterprise

The Employer Engagement team works in partnership with employers across the South-West and UK wide to create inclusive employment opportunities for UWE students and graduates.

What do we do?

We run events, talks and panel sessions with our partners throughout the year, giving you the chance to speak to a wide range of employers from a multitude of sectors.

Some of our most recent events have included the Law Fair, Professional Practice Week and Science Futures Fair.

How can we help?

We can connect you with employers giving you the chance to network and find out more about:
• placement schemes
• graduate opportunities
• the skills required for specific roles and sectors
• current vacancies

Want to know more?

You can find out more about our upcoming employer events on our employer webpage.

Angelica’s dissertation experience

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by Angelica Mutiara, Student Content Coordinator

Preparing for a dissertation is a daunting and challenging task, it can be very intimidating and leave you feeling helpless. As a third year myself, I have been working on my dissertation for a little over two months now and I know exactly how it feels not knowing what to do and doubting yourself. However, I am very grateful that at UWE Bristol we are allocated a supervisor that specialises in the area of our proposed research. For instance, I am currently doing research on a public relations subject and my assigned supervisor is a public relations lecturer.

Firstly, the process of picking a dissertation topic can be quite tough. I found myself having lots of ideas but was puzzled when it came to refining them. This is when my supervisor came into play, we brainstormed ideas together of what particular subject I’m interested in and she helped me to narrow down my options. Once I was confident enough with my topic selection, I had to submit a proposal, and she then provided me with very thorough feedback on how I could improve. She challenged me to think critically about my topic and encouraged me to consider alternative perspectives and approaches. Not only that, but she also complimented how interesting my topic was! It was a huge confidence booster.

As I began to dive deeper into my research, I had more and more questions. Fortunately, my supervisor and I have regular one-on-one meetings and she always reminds me I can always get in touch with her via email, whilst reiterating  ‘no question is a silly question’. I sent her an email every time I was confused about something and she was always very generous in sharing her knowledge and helping me out. Sometimes, she even sends me an email about particular things that might help with my project without even being asked. For example, the other day I received an email from her suggesting that I should watch a particular movie that relates to my subject as it will help me to see it from a different point of view.

Our frequent one-on-one meetings have been very accommodating. These sessions have provided me with a space to discuss ideas, ask questions, and receive feedback on my work.  She helped me identify key points of my research and It made such a tremendous difference as a researcher and writer to be supported by someone that excelled in the field.

Overall, it has been a great experience working with my dissertation supervisor. She has provided me with invaluable advice and assistance as I developed my proposal and carried out my research. As a result of my supervisor’s guidance, I am much more confident and in comfort knowing I can always get help whenever needed.

Security update for Microsoft Authenticator app used for MFA

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by IT Services

Microsoft are introducing a new security feature called ‘number matching’ to the Microsoft Authenticator app.

If you use this app for your multi-factor authentication (MFA) you will notice a change from Monday 27 February. Other authentication methods (such apps as Authy or Google Authenticator) remain unchanged.

New Microsoft Authenticator process  

Anyone who uses the Microsoft Authenticator app will be shown a number when logging in via Single Sign-On (SSO) as in the image below. This is replacing the ‘Allow/Deny’ option you’ll have used previously.

You will need to open the Authenticator app on your mobile device and type the number where shown – like the example in the smaller image – and then tap ‘Yes’. This will confirm that it’s you making the request and will complete the MFA approval process in Authenticator.

Above where you enter the number, you will also see which application is requesting verification. If this is not what you’re expecting you should tap ‘No, it’s not me’

Can’t enter numbers in your app? 

If you don’t have the option to input the numbers into your Microsoft Authenticator app when asked, it may be that you need to upgrade your Authenticator app to the latest version. This will not affect your second method of authentication, if you have set this up, which you will be able to use as usual.  

If you have not yet set up a recommended second MFA method this is a great time to do so. We recommend that you explore the other available authentication methods and choose one that suits you best. If you lose or change the device you use for MFA, you will need a second authentication method in order to set up a new device. 

Using Microsoft Authenticator on smart watches 

If you use Microsoft Authenticator on a smart watch for approvals, this will no longer be possible when number matching is introduced. We recommend removing the Microsoft Authenticator app from smart watches.  

Why is this update happening?

Microsoft is changing how you use the Authenticator app to make it harder for hackers to access your account. In this case, the additional layer of security is to stop MFA fatigue attacks. These happen when a hacker who has managed to access your password and triggered your MFA, possibly over and over again, is hoping you’ll just click ‘confirm’ without thinking about it, giving them full access to your account.

For general guidance about MFA and setting up a security profile, visit our Microsoft account and security info webpage where you’ll find easy-to-follow advice. If you still have problems after that you can contact IT Services.

Meet your Student and Graduate Opportunities team

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by Careers and Enterprise

The Student and Graduate Opportunities team run all the UWE internship schemes, and advertise funded opportunities for students at all levels.

So, what do we do?

Internships and opportunities

We work with local employers (including internal colleagues at UWE) to provide you with a variety of opportunities from internships, to graduate jobs.

At the minute, we’re busy with the UWE Summer Internship Scheme launch, making sure employers (and more importantly you) know about the scheme!

This isn’t our only internship scheme though – there’s also the International Talent Internship Scheme for international students and the new part-time term-time internship scheme.

We also manage the Infohub vacancies platform to make sure you know about the other opportunities available to you, and we attend careers events where we can support with job searching.

Local employers

Did you know UWE provides at least 50% of the wages for every intern? We do all the paperwork to make this possible so that employers are incentivised to hire UWE students and to make sure you earn the living wage whilst interning.

How can we help you?

Our main job is to help you navigate internship schemes and opportunities. We do this by making sure you’re in the know about the schemes through our web pages and offering email support where needed.

You might have also seen our ‘Walls of Work’ either on Padlet or on a board on campus, showcasing jobs in different industries to help show the scope of roles available to you and aid your job search. We also attend careers events on campus and help students navigate Infohub vacancies to find relevant opportunities

Want to know more?

For more information on all our internship schemed, including criteria and how to apply, visit our internships webpage.

Why apply to be a PAL leader?

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by Max, BA(Hons) Philosophy and PAL leader

Becoming a PAL Leader is about more than the added income, ability to undertake the ILM L3 in Effective Mentoring, or having some experience on your CV. It’s about having fun and making an impact with students who are going through the same thing you have just been through!

In this post I want to talk a bit more about the other sides of being a PAL Leader, that might not seem so obvious.

What do I do as a PAL leader?

What I really love about being a PAL Leader is how flexible the work is. At the end of the day, you’re there to help the students and facilitate their success at UWE.

This means that you help on a range of topics, from managing money, preparing for second year, or thinking about careers, on top of all the usual course-related content, like essay planning or even discussing particular books/topics as a group.

I have a handful of semi-planned sessions for some of the above key topics, but otherwise I will find out what my students want the following week and come prepared with a handful of resources – and maybe a toned back presentation (always using a Mentimeter where possible!) This means that outside of the timetabled session, there really isn’t much preparation required, as the training helps you deliver quality content and the rest of it comes from your experiences.

I haven’t had any other job quite like it. The flexibility truly makes it interesting, every single week.

Why did I apply?

  • For the chance to help students through things I struggled with. Ensuring that the next cohort get to enjoy all the tips and tricked that I picked up, through trial and error.
  • To make a positive impact and legacy on my course, ensuring the year below are going to enjoy the course just as much as I have – that’s where it’s really about applying your personal experience and sharing what you’ve learned with them.
  • To develop myself as a well-rounded individual. It’s rare that you get the opportunity to develop mentoring skills so early in your career, so this was a great introduction to that.

My favourite moments

Especially in the current virtual environment, it meant a lot to my students that I could facilitate a safe space for them to share and speak up, where they wouldn’t feel confident doing so in the larger lecturers/seminars.

There are both direct and indirect moments that you can help and an indirect one for me was getting their feedback about a particular extra-curricular session they had last term. I was able to take this and work with the lecturers to facilitate these sessions again this term. The students were very grateful that I went out of my way and helped arrange something that they wouldn’t have done themselves.

What have I learnt?

I’ve learned many great soft and hard skills as a PAL leader, while at the same time working and developing some skills I already picked up from previous jobs.

Organisation and the ability to be agile

The role taught me to plan a session in a matter of days and then successfully time manage within that session. It was also key to understand the balance of having enough material to fill an hour, but also not have too much that we can’t go off plan and discuss something completely different that the students want.

It’s also about not being phased if no one contributes, or if you don’t make it past the first planned exercise. As long as you can provide value to the students, then you have succeeded in that session.

Professionalism and responsibility

You’re a lifeline to students, who really value getting your insight. It’s not just about having a chat with them for an hour but delivering meaningful content that has a positive impact. And where necessary, signposting or flagging important issues to the relevant staff.

How to mentor, engage and lead classes

This is brilliant experience if you’re interested in a career in teaching but also great to show varied experience on your CV. I was able to work on my training skills from a previous job but now I can also show how I adapted them to a different setting and audience.

Thank you for taking some time to read my post, for more information on the PAL leader role check out the Be a PAL Leader web page and have a think if this is a role you can make your own and leave a lasting positive impact on fellow students.

You might not realise just how much you’ll enjoy!

Tips to feel more in control of your final year dissertation

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So it’s dissertation time. Whether you fall into the ‘I’m so stressed I can’t even think about it’, the ‘bring it on’ camp or somewhere in between – we’ve got you covered. Here’s some tips and reminders to help you feel more in control of your final year dissertation project and where you can find help if you need it.

Save your work

Technology is pretty nifty these days, but we’ve heard enough horror stories for a lifetime. Remember to save and back up your work as often as you can. Losing work and starting again is stress you really don’t need…

Start early and start well

Plan, plan and plan some more!

Think about what modules you enjoyed or what topics interest you. Remember, it will be a long road with this one theme, so make sure you’re really into it and won’t get bored of it.

Start your research waaaay ahead of time. Try to read widely around your subject and chat it through with friends, family or your dissertation supervisor. It will be handy to bounce ideas off of people at this early stage.

Look at a calendar and plan out what you want your progress to look like at different times of the year. You don’t want to be cramming towards the end, so leave enough time for edits and proof reading.

Figure out what you want to say

This is a significant amount of work, so what are you hoping to achieve/prove/explore/debate? A good, structured plan of what you want to say will help you stay on track and avoid rambling or disappearing down rabbit holes. Having a solid proposal will also give you something to come back to if you get stuck.

See where the work takes you

Don’t worry if your dissertation isn’t turning out how you expected it, or if you research data is saying something unexpected. This is great to use in your writing and shows the journey you’ve been on with this piece of work.

Use UWE!

It is really important to attend your dissertation supervisor sessions. Your supervisor will offer you all kinds of support from helping you plan, picking your topic, helping with research and generally being a sounding board. Also, this is your supervisor’s 9-5! They are SUPER interested in what you’re finding out and want to help you explore. Book in some regular catch ups for some double brain power.

Here to help

Remember you have a lot of resources here to help you on your way. As well as your dissertation supervisor, you also have student support services, library support, student success coaches and study skills, which run workshops from critical thinking to improving your writing, as well as our wellbeing team. You can also get your printing and binding done on campus.

Take care of yourself

This is a large piece of work which will take up a lot of your energy, so remember to be gentle with yourself. Take regular breaks, get outside for some fresh air and fuel yourself correctly. Try to lean into your friends and family for some help with proof reading; you’ll be glad for some time away from it and fresh eyes could spot something you’ve missed.

Dissertations are often seen as this big, scary accumulation of your time at university, which sounds terrifying, but it doesn’t have to be. Make use of the resources available to you and take it steady. We believe in you.

Meet your Student Ventures team

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By Careers and Enterprise

Student Ventures is an inclusive and engaging environment, supporting our community to explore possibilities, build confidence and turn ideas into reality.

So, what do we do?

With an offer of physical space, business support and funding, we’re on hand to help you at every stage of your entrepreneurial journey.

How can we help?

We can help you develop entrepreneurial skills, knowledge and support you to start your own ventures through a variety of opportunities, including:

  • 1:1 coaching and mentoring
  • Workshops covering key business topics
  • Funding competitions
  • Networking events

And that’s not all! If you need a physical space to develop or trial your start up, we have desk space in our start-up incubator and pop-up shop space on campus to test trade.

Want to know more?

To find our more about what we do and how we can help you, go to our webpage or give us a follow on Instagram!

Introducing MyAttendance

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You know when you haven’t heard from a friend in a while? They’re not answering your texts, and you haven’t seen them out and about in their usual haunts. You get worried.

Well, here at UWE Bristol, we’re the same when it comes to looking out for our students.

We have a duty of care to look out for you; make contact with you regularly and offer help and support when you think you might need it.

And one way we can do this is by logging attendance.

Research shows that when a student becomes disengaged with their course – not turning up for lectures or workshops, failing to hand in work, and not responding to emails – it’s a sign that something could be wrong.

You might be feeling overwhelmed with your workload. Or facing financial struggles. Or going through some personal stuff which is making life difficult.

That’s why we use MyAttendance. It allows us to identify students who might be struggling and reach out to them to offer some support.

And this could be anything from pointing you in the direction of some study support, to potentially stepping in to ensure you receive mental health treatment.

We know that you’re an adult, and we don’t want you to feel like you’re back at school signing a register to let your teacher know you’re here. But, MyAttendance is an important tool to look out for everyone across our community.

So – what do you need to do? It’s simple:

  • Download the MyAttendance app onto your phone.
  • Log in using your UWE Bristol username and password.
  • During teaching sessions, remember to “check in” and log your attendance by using the six-digit code given to you by your lecturer.
  • Don’t share codes with other students! You may feel like you are doing them a favour, but it’s better for everyone if we have an accurate record of who is attending lectures.

For more information, or if you have any questions about how MyAttendance works, you can find everything you need online.

Find the joy in January

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We know, it’s cheesy but once the festive cheer has passed, assessments might be looming and everything™ is a bit, well, rubbish; the start of the year can feel pretty bleak. The holidays aren’t full of joy for everyone, and especially if you’ve returned home from uni for the first time since starting – or, haven’t been able to – things might be feeling heavier than usual.

We’re here to help you along and make sure you find some joy in January. It might be harder to find, but it’s worth it – we promise!

  • Look after yourself. You know the drill: a varied diet, plenty of sleep, and daily movement will all help you feel your best. Really.
  • Take January at your own pace. It’s the first chapter of the year: don’t feel you need to jump straight into the action if you don’t want to. If you’re setting goals, make them realistic and start small. Easy wins, for the win!
  • Make plans to look forward to! For January and beyond, schedule time amongst your studies to relax, recharge and reconnect with your people.
  • Stuck for ideas? Feel Good Fortnight is coming up, or check the UWE events calendar in the meantime for things to do on campus.
  • Do a good deed. Big or small: leave a 5-star review for your favourite café, buy a coffee for a friend, or search for volunteering opportunities online or in the local area. You’ll make someone’s day, and it feels good to do good.
  • It’s annoying but it’s true; you really DO feel better after exercise. Get moving – just 10 minutes a day will help! Who knows, once you’ve started you might just carry on..? And don’t forget – your MOVE membership is free, make the most of it!
  • Find your rhythm. Keeping up with regular routines, however small, will support your mental health.
  • Feeling the freeze? Make use of warm spaces on our campuses – they are here for you. Free meals on campus will continue, and from 9 January to 5 March you can get free hot drinks in Frenchay’s SU if you bring your own cup. 
  • Ultimately – take what you need from this list. You know you best, and you know when it’s time to do something different.

What if it isn’t the most wonderful time of the year?

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Despite the endless images of everyone enjoying the festive period in their matching pyjamas on social media, that isn’t the case for everyone and it’s ok if you aren’t feeling it.

Whilst it can be a great occasion for joy and spending time with loved ones, it can also be stressful, emotional and lonely. The key is to be honest about your feelings and focus on things which help. Here are some of our top tips on how to look after your wellbeing during the festive period.

Talk about your feelings

It can seem difficult to admit that you’re not feeling great, when you feel like everybody else is enjoying themselves, but talking about your feelings can be really therapeutic and help you to manage them.

And chances are, you’re not the only one – by talking to others you might find out that friends and family members are experiencing similar feelings, so try and make some time to speak to someone you trust.

If you can’t talk to those around you, or your usual support isn’t available, remember you can talk to Samaritans 24/7, 365 days a year and there’s a number of wellbeing support options available to you through the University.

Take time out for you

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, put yourself first and take some time out to look after yourself. It can be hard to say no, but as the saying goes, it’s hard to pour from an empty cup, so do something you enjoy and fill it back up!

Whatever your chosen act of self-care might be, whether it’s having a bath, doing some crafts or watching your favourite film, make time to do it, especially if you’re feeling stressed by all the festivities. And if you really need some time to breathe and unwind check out Bemindful, the Headspace app, or the Calm app for tips on mindfulness.

Find your festive routine

Having a break from uni often throws normal routines out the window, which can make you feel stressed and out of control. An easy fix is to try and maintain some consistency during the break. For example, if you normally go on a walk at lunch or head to the gym in the morning, keep doing it. It might be worth making a plan for each day or week of your break so you can schedule some time for yourself as well as seeing people.

Another thing which can suffer without the structure of normal life, is sleep! Especially with this being a busy time of year for social gatherings which often go on late into the evening. But sleep hygiene is so important to our wellbeing, so make sure you allow yourself to lie in and get the occasional early night.

Stay off social media

Endlessly scrolling through other people’s “perfect Christmas” can be detrimental to our mental health. It’s important to remember that what you’re seeing is just a snap shot of what’s going on, not the whole story. As we all know, our social media accounts are often carefully curated to show the very best version of ourselves so try not to compare yourself to others and take a break if you need it.

Remember there are always people there to help you

If you are struggling and you feel like you can’t cope, then it is important to speak to somebody. Visit our wellbeing support options for more information on the support available to you through the University.

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