‘Fail quickly and move on. And always cherish and celebrate your unsung heroes’: Jonathan de Pass on his unique career path

Jonathan de Pass (MBChB 1979) graduated with a degree in Medicine in 1979. After working as a junior doctor, and a spell at business school, he joined an investment bank specialising in financing pharmaceutical and bioscience companies. In 1996 he founded Evaluate, a provider of data and intelligence to the bioscience industry which would become a market leader.

A recipient of an honorary graduate degree this year, Jonathan shares insights into his unique career path and his advice to those starting out today. (more…)

New Infectious Diseases Suite opens

The University of Bristol’s new Infectious Diseases Containment Level 3 Laboratory Suite, supported in large part by alumni and friends, has opened this month. The CL-3 Lab is one of the highest security labs used in academic research in the UK, significantly increasing the University’s capacity for critical research and strengthening Bristol as a centre for excellence on dangerous pathogen research.   (more…)

Celebrating Volunteers’ Week 2023: Gowri Shankar (MSc 2012)

For Volunteers’ Week 2023, we’re celebrating our incredible Bristol Volunteers who give their experience, advice and time to support our students and alumni community.

Gowri Shankar Sivabala (MSc 2012) is the founder of SpaceNXT Labs, an innovation start-up specialising in industrial design and technology, and is a mentor for entrepreneurial start-ups around the world. Based in Sri Lanka, he studied an MSc in Integrated Aerospace Systems Design at Bristol and now supports current students through the online platform Bristol Connects. We hear from Gowri Shankar about his experience as a volunteer. (more…)

Celebrating Volunteers’ Week 2023: Savannah Coombe (MSc 2023)

For Volunteers’ Week 2023 we’re celebrating our amazing volunteers who have given their time, insights, and expertise to support our students and alumni community.

International student Savannah Coombe (MSc 2023) is Deputy Editor of Bristol-based non-profit communication agency Resource Media, which champions resource efficiency and sustainability, and she also holds the position of Chairperson of the Badock Hall Association.

Savannah shares with us her experiences as a student in Badock Hall, working on the UoB student newspaper Epigram, her career as a journalist, and what being a volunteer means to her. (more…)

Celebrating Volunteers’ Week 2023: Sarauniya Shehu (LLB 2016)

For Volunteers’ Week 2023, we’re celebrating our incredible Bristol Volunteers who give their experience, advice and time to support our students and alumni community.

Sarauniya Shehu (LLB 2016) studied Law and is now Public Affairs Manager at the National Housing Federation. As a volunteer for the Bristol Mentors programme, she reflects on the value of mentoring and why she finds it so rewarding. (more…)

‘It’s a fantastic continuation of my student journey’: Suwei Jiang on her role as a member of the Alumni Association Committee

Suwei Jiang (MBA 1997) moved to the UK from China in 1996, a year before joining the University of Bristol to study for her MBA in International Business. After graduating, she joined PwC as an Associate, and she is now a partner leading the China Business Group in London. She is also an advisory board member for the Confucius Institute for Business at LSE, an ambassador for the Women in Finance network in China, a mentor for the 30% club and a member of the University of Bristol’s Alumni Association Committee.

Suwei shares some of her university memories, her reasons for joining the Committee and why she finds it so rewarding giving back to her alumni community. (more…)

‘I couldn’t wish for a more interesting job’: Ben Emmerson CBE KC, 2023 Alumni Award winner for Global Citizenship

This year’s Alumni Award winner for Global Citizenship is Ben Emmerson CBE KC (LLB 1985, Hon LLD 2015), one of the world’s preeminent international human rights lawyers.  (more…)

‘It took me a long time to get a sense of what I wanted to do’: David Nicholls shares his insights into a remarkable writing career

David Nicholls (BA 1988, Hon DLitt 2016) is an internationally renowned novelist and one of the UK’s most successful screenwriters. His five books include the bestselling novel One Day which he adapted into a film in 2011 starring Anne Hathaway, and Starter for Ten which he adapted into the 2006 film starring James McAvoy and Rebecca Hall.

Among his notable screenplays, he has adapted Edward St Aubyn’s Patrick Melrose novels, Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd and Tess of the D’Urbervilles and he has a Netflix series coming out this year based on One Day. Having graduated from the University of Bristol with a Theatre and English degree in 1988, David returns to his university to speak to Theatre and Film & TV students, and shares some remarkable insights into a fascinating career.  (more…)

2023 Alumni Association Community Award winner: Raeesa Rajmohamed (LLB 2018, LLM 2019)

A Canadian alumna, Raeesa Rajmohamed graduated with a degree in Law and a master’s in Health, Law and Society before becoming a barrister in 2022, receiving an ‘Outstanding’, the Bar Training Course’s highest recognition. Raeesa has been involved in numerous projects since graduating, including lecturing at the University of The Gambia in West Africa, contributing a chapter to a book on Violence Against Women and Legal Justice in Africa, and managing her own photography and videography business.  

We caught up with Raeesa, recipient of the Alumni Association Community Award, to learn more about her time at Bristol, what inspired her to become a Bristol Mentor, and the advice she has found most helpful.  (more…)

‘I am, first and foremost, an advocate’: The Rt Hon. the Lord Paul Boateng, 2023 Alumni Award winner for Lifetime Achievement

The Rt Hon. the Lord Boateng (LLB 1973, Hon LLD 2007) is a lawyer and British Labour party politician. Throughout his groundbreaking legal and political career, he has championed civil rights, campaigned on social issues and provided powerful representation for marginalised people across the UK. Elected to parliament in 1987, Lord Boateng made history as the first Black UK minister in 1997. He was previously Chair of Book Aid International, is Vice-President of the London Library and sits on the board of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, among others.

This year’s winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Lord Boateng talks to us about life as a Bristol Law student and his astonishing career.  (more…)