Alumni Interview: Asha Mohammed (MBChB 2019), Junior Doctor

Junior doctor and activist, Asha Mohammed (MBChB 2019) graduated from the University in 2019. She’s since been given a Wonderful Woman Award and named as a Future Leader in recognition of her commitment to tackling gender based violence. We spoke to her about life as a doctor, her efforts to combat gender-based violence and her belief in in youth activism.

Why did you study medicine and how has your course shaped who you are?

I studied medicine because it is a versatile profession that is challenging, requires lifelong learning and good interpersonal skills. You’re always interacting with patients and colleagues from different teams and every day feels different. I like to think my passion was sparked from my interest in human biology and my desire to do a job that was fulfilling and one which would make a positive impact on society.

I love the mental challenges of the job and the breadth and depth of the subject. I am excited by the prospect that my learning and performance has a direct impact on the patients that I treat. I love the closeness that I get with not only my patients but also their families, and the impact that I can have on their lives.

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Meet our #TeamUoB London Marathon Runners (Part 2)

This October, an incredible group of ten Bristol alumni and students are taking on the 2022 London Marathon in support of the University’s Healthy Minds programme. 

This programme helps students who are experiencing mental health difficulties by providing them with a bespoke physical activity plan and access to sports facilities. Students are paired up with a mentor – a member of the University fitness team with advanced mental health training – who coaches them throughout their time on the programme. 

Introducing this year’s runners… 

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Meet Our #TeamUoB London Marathon Runners (Part 1)

This October, an incredible group of ten Bristol alumni and students are taking on the 2022 London Marathon in support of our Healthy Minds programme. 

This programme helps students who are experiencing mental health difficulties by providing them with a bespoke physical activity plan and access to sports facilities. Students are paired up with a mentor – a member of the University fitness team with advanced mental health training – who coaches them throughout their time on the programme. 

Introducing this year’s runners… 

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Legacy Pledger Alastair Hodge believes in giving back

Barrister Alastair Hodge (LLB 1996) is determined that those following in his footsteps will benefit from everything his Bristol education afforded him, by pledging a gift in his Will to the University.

Graduating with a degree in law & german, Alastair went on to take the Bar Vocational Course, followed by his one-year pupillage, and today is a successful barrister working in London. Alastair regularly returns to Bristol to speak to current law students and offer career advice, something he says he benefited from when he was a student. “If I derive a benefit from something I always try to give back,” says Alastair. “I love to see the enthusiasm of students when I come back to give talks, all those interested and expectant faces in the audience.” (more…)

2022 Alumni Award winner of the Vice-Chancellor’s Award: Sophie Pender (BA 2017)

Sophie Pender smiles facing the camera

While studying at the University of Bristol, Sophie Pender (BA 2017) founded the 93% Club to support university students who went to state school. With over 45 clubs across the country, the 93% Club is now a nationwide charity and the UK’s largest community of state-educated students. Sophie is also a lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills and a Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient.

As winner of this year’s Vice-Chancellor’s Award, Sophie speaks candidly about her time at university, why the 93% Club is so important and how telling her story has helped turn things around. (more…)

Nominate a Bristol Volunteer for the Alumni Association Community Award

Nominations for the Alumni Association Community Award are now open. The Alumni Association Community Award is awarded to volunteers who have worked hard to build and strengthen the University’s alumni community. This could be through organising alumni networks, coordinating events or actively participating in the Association.

The Alumni Association is the official body of the University’s alumni community – anyone that has studied at the University automatically becomes a member. The Alumni Association Committee represents the Association and it is now looking to recognise individuals who have championed the Alumni Association through their service.

Nominations will be open until Friday 2 September. You can nominate yourself, or a fellow member of the Alumni Association by completing the Alumni Association Community Award Nomination Form. If you would like to nominate more than one volunteer, please fill in a separate form for each nomination.

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Celebrating the success of Bristol Mentors

An enormous thank you to alumni and students who have participated in the Bristol Mentors programme this year. We were delighted to have many of you get together for our Bristol Mentors Thank You event last month, to celebrate the contributions of our alumni volunteers and the students who have been paired in the last academic year.

Bristol Mentors is an alumni volunteering programme where students from underrepresented groups are matched with a Bristol graduate who acts as their mentor. Mentors work with mentees to help them with their career development and provide support which can enhance their university experience. (more…)

Your 2022 – 2023 Alumni Association Committee

The Alumni Association Committee helps to champion and support Bristol’s alumni community by working in partnership with alumni, the Development and Alumni Relations Office (DARO) and the wider University. Committee members provide expert advice, strategic insight and act as ambassadors for the University and its alumni.  ‌

This year, three new members will join our 2022 – 2023 committee: Fred Moss (BA 2013), Vona Aghoghovbia Ezichi (BSc 2005) and Harri Davies (LLB 2013). Jonathan Phillips (BSc 1994) will remain as Chair for a second term to 2025. Read their bios below to learn more about them.

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Scholarships nurture talent: Matthew’s story

The Futures Scholarship programme awards talented students with up to £4,500 and enables them to access guidance and careers support from a dedicated coordinator. The scholarships are funded by Bristol’s alumni and friends and the support they provide gives students the security to focus on their studies and pursue their interests with enthusiasm. Read on to hear from economics and mathematics student Matthew, who is among the first cohort of 33 Futures Scholars graduating this year. 

In my final year at the University, I secured a graduate position with Lane Clark & Peacock LLP (LCP), as a pensions actuarial analyst. My position involves a blend of analysing the financial costs of risk in pension schemes and liaising with clients. In this role I’ll be able to use soft skills whilst also having the opportunity to solve complex problems, which is why I was overjoyed with the offer.

Laura, the Futures Scholarship Coordinator, encouraged me to apply for opportunities within the University very early on which helped me develop all the skills I needed to succeed. In my first year, I was selected as the vice-president of Riverside Junior Common Room at the Students’ Union, representing over 600 students. In my second year, I became treasurer for the Economics, Finance and Management Society. Then, in my final year I became the secretary of the Bristol University Actuarial Society and the head of finance for Epigram, the University of Bristol’s student newspaper.

The Scholarship Coordinator also encouraged me to enrol in a social mobility programme called upReach, where I received in-depth one-to-one career support and took part in mock interviews to prepare me for job applications. I was also offered insight days at Bank of America, Citadel, and HSBC. Initially I was apprehensive to apply to large firms like these, but upReach improved my confidence during the application process. All of this has led to my successful assessment and graduate position at Lane Clark & Peacock LLP.

Through the Futures Scholarship, I accessed employability funding, which I used to pay for accommodation and travel to assessment centres. I also bought a webcam for remote interviews and shirts so I could look professional when meeting prospective employers. The employability funding has been essential in my success; it removed the financial barriers involved in securing a graduate position.

The Futures Scholarship is vital in guiding students from lower income backgrounds; it allows us to pursue our passions and funds the leaders and thinkers of the future.

If you would like to support more students like Matthew, go to our Alumni website to make a donation. 

Scholarships empower: Keeley’s story

In 2022, 33 Futures Scholars will graduate from the University of Bristol, many of whom have already secured their graduate jobs, internships and opportunities abroad. The Futures Scholarship programme is funded through the generosity of the University’s alumni and friends. It awards talented students with up to £4,500 and enables them to access guidance and career support from a dedicated coordinator. Graduating psychology student Keeley tells us how she has developed her career path with the help of the scholarship.

I am not from a wealthy background. In my area few people go on to higher education and I am the first person to go to university in my family.

The Futures Scholarship is exciting because you receive funds along with guidance and employability support. If I had just been given money, I may not have known how to spend it in the best way. But having the support of the Futures Scholarship Coordinator meant that I got so much more out of this scholarship. It set me up for making long-term plans and helped me to really think about what I can achieve.

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