You’re innovating and inspiring

Amber Probyn, MArts Anthropology with Innovation student, reveals what it’s like to benefit from both a bursary and the teaching at Bristol’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

I knew that I wanted to study Anthropology but when I found the option of studying MArts Anthropology with Innovation in the Bristol prospectus, framed with the question ‘Do you want to change the world?’, my answer was a resounding yes! I love studying and I love education, but after seven years of traditional schooling I really wanted something different. You can see how things like cars or phones have evolved over the years, but if you look at a classroom now compared to hundreds of years ago, it’s pretty much the same. Why should it be that way? Bristol has always had a reputation for its ground-breaking research and pushing of boundaries, and the new ways of learning at the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CfIE) immediately attracted me. I met the Academic Director of the Centre, Dr Kirsten Cater, on my offer day and she was incredible. She made me so excited for life and to learn. Education should be inspirational, and she really embodies that.

We work with local companies on business issues they may be experiencing. This year my group has been working on ways to increase the use of the Bristol Pound by small businesses, via a payment app, which has really stretched our thinking and encouraged our collaborative process.

When you put computer scientists, psychologists and historians in a team together for example, their varied ways of thinking build towards finding an innovative solution to the challenge at hand. We’re getting real world business experience within the safety net of the University. It’s a futuristic model that as students we find immensely rewarding and one that many more will have the benefit of experiencing once the CfIE moves to its new home as part of the planned Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus.

I have so many opportunities as part of my course, and something that’s helped enormously has been receiving a bursary. With that support, I’m able to invest my time and money into projects, business ideas and networking, without the worry of financial struggle. For example, I’ve been able to take a language course and buy professional materials for my project work. My sister is a student elsewhere, but she doesn’t have a bursary, and the difference in what we can do is obvious. Her budget is very constrained with no leeway to be spontaneous whereas my bursary helps me network, which is so valuable. Times are changing, and in today’s world meetings often take place in informal settings. It might sound like a small thing but knowing that I can afford to buy coffee in these meetings means that I can connect with other innovative minds, clients and entrepreneurs alike.

I’m both grateful and honoured to have received this bursary. It reminds me that people want the best for others, generosity isn’t lost, and dreams can be achieved. Thank you!


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