Photo by XPS on Unsplash
Bristol Connects Live- our digital careers event series- has given over 1,600 recent graduates and students access to the Bristol alumni community’s wealth of professional insight and experience, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the latest event in our series, we heard from three alumni working as Economists. Clare Boynton (BSc 2001), a Freelance Portfolio Director, hosted alongside panellists Christian Shae (BSc 2019), a Business Intelligence Analyst at Kings Cross Hospital NHS Trust, and Hannah Slaughter (BSc 2016), who works as an Economist at the Resolution Foundation.
Clare shared an overview of her varied career spanning commercial organisations such as Unilever, MORE THAN, Amazon and KFC. She explained how each role has shaped her and helped her to understand what is important to her in her professional life.
Christian explained how he is using the skills he developed in his economics degree: creating the digital waiting boards in A&E; mapping COVID-19 admissions; and tailoring services to suit the areas hardest hit. Hannah agreed that her work in economics feels relevant and like she is making a difference right now, as she reports on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on certain groups, low pay and workers’ rights.
The panel went on to give some fantastic interview advice. Christian said, ‘Interviews are much easier the second time round. I want to encourage you that the first hurdle feels like the most challenging, especially with all the expectation and comparison that we put on ourselves’.
He went on to say that the best piece of advice he was given was from his personal tutor, who advised him to learn some coding. He did a 5 hour course on SQL, which opened doors for him in interviews.
Hannah advised recent graduates and students to brush up on their general transferable skills, such as report and essay writing; ‘draw on your experiences from a variety of roles’.
Clare said, ‘It is vital to look at your company’s website and values, so you know what it is they are looking for in the role. Have ready a little example of each of the values; no matter how big or small they are’.
All our Bristol Connects Live panellists are members of the Bristol Connects digital alumni network, which is available to all students and alumni. Clare highlighted what a useful tool this platform is and advised the audience to ‘ask people for advice because we love being asked!’. She continued, ‘Don’t be afraid to reach out to people. It is all there, and people are willing to help you’.
You can connect with our host and panellists on our exclusive Bristol Connects platform. Activate your account and take advantage of the Career Expert module to make connections with alumni working in your industry.
All alumni who helped out at the event are volunteers on our Bristol Volunteers programme. If you are experienced in speaking publicly and are willing to share your industry insights or ways of working, then we would love to welcome you as a panellist or event host.
Please contact the Bristol Volunteers team at firstname.lastname@example.org.