‘We are all born scientists’: Professor Aradhna Tripati on diversity in the sciences and her climate priorities

 

Three outstanding international academics are joining the University of Bristol after being awarded the prestigious Royal Society Wolfson Visiting Fellowship. One of them is the renowned geoscientist Professor Aradhna Tripati from the University of California (UCLA). Aradhna is passionate about fostering diverse voices in sciences and is the founder of the Center for Diverse Leadership in Science at UCLA. We talked to her about her journey into geoscience, diversity and inclusion in the field and her main research priorities during her time at Bristol. (more…)

Maria Gallo, author of The Alumni Way, on getting more from your relationship with Bristol

In 2021, Maria Gallo published The Alumni Way: Building Lifelong Value from Your University Investment with Policy Press, an imprint of Bristol University Press. Here, she shares key insights on how Bristol alumni can continue to benefit from their connection to the University post-graduation.

When you think of the word ‘alumni’ what comes to mind? In casual conversations, and in my research into university-alumni relationships over the last decade, two of the most common responses to this question are: ‘the university only contacts me when they want to ask for money’ and ‘I haven’t really given my university or my alumni status much thought since graduation.’

In my book, I make the case for thinking bigger and bolder about your alumni relationship, from the moment of graduation through the rest of your life.

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Genevieve Schwartz (BA 2012): life as a jewellery designer

After graduating from the University with a History of Art degree, Genevieve Schwartz (BA 2012) went on to train as a silversmith. She started working in jewellery design and production, developing her craft at iconic brands such as Vivienne Westwood and Astley Clarke. This year, she took the plunge and started her own business – Genevieve Schwartz Jewellery. She now makes beautifully crafted pieces from her studio in London and most recently, she launched a collection of engagement rings for men. We spoke to her to learn more about life as a creative entrepreneur.

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Jessica Felton-Page (BSc 2007): Fighting food waste at Rubies in The Rubble

In the UK, an estimated 20 to 40% of all fruit and vegetables grown for human consumption are rejected before they reach the shops. This means that around 9.5 million tonnes of food is thrown away annually. This is mainly because they do not match the supermarkets’ strict cosmetic standards meaning they are not the right colour, shape or size to be deemed attractive for sale.*

Jessica Felton-Page works for Rubies in the Rubble, an ethical food company that fights food waste by using the “unattractive” fruit and vegetables to make beautiful condiments. The company suggests “if we stop wasting food that could have been eaten, the benefit to the planet would be the equivalent of taking 1 in 4 cars off the road.” In 2020 alone, the company cooked 115 tonnes of rejected produce into delicious sauces, rescuing them from going to waste. Their mission is to double that number in the following year.

In early November, Jessica will join a panel discussion on Responsible Businesses, with insights and advice from other career experts in the sustainability profession. Ahead of the event, we spoke to Jessica about her journey from an undergraduate degree in Chemistry to fighting food waste at Rubies in the Rubble and her memories of studying in Bristol. (more…)

Vincent Onuegbu (BA 2018) Co-Founder of Young Goat: a clothing brand with purpose

Founded by a group of University of Bristol graduates, Young Goat is a clothing and lifestyle brand that’s driven by its values. Since launching in 2019, Young Goat has amassed a loyal fan base (pleasingly referred to as the Herd) and has appeared in publications including GQ and Vanity Fair. As the brand goes from strength to strength, they’re using their platform to raise money for mental health charities in Bristol and beyond.

Throughout Black History Month, Young Goat will be raising money in memory of their friend Olisa Odukwe, who very sadly passed away earlier this year. The Young Goat team will be donating all profits made through sales of a special edition t-shirt to Black Minds Matter, a charity which connects Black individuals and families with free mental health services.

We spoke to one of Young Goat’s founding members, Partnerships Lead Vincent Onuegbu (BA 2018), to hear more about what the brand stands for.

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AssessmentDay Director, Oliver Savill (MEng 2006): taking the fear out of psychometric testing

We all know how it feels to sit an exam that we haven’t properly prepared for. The racing heartbeat. The sweaty palms. The feeling of impending doom. It’s a sensation that Bristol graduate Oliver Savill (MEng 2006) has helped thousands of people to avoid.

During his final year at the University, Oliver had to sit a number of psychometric tests for graduate job applications. After struggling to find resources which could help him to revise, he took matters into his own hands by launching AssessmentDay – which is now the UK’s number one site for practice psychometric tests. Here, he reflects on his time at Bristol and his entrepreneurial career path.

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Elodie Read (BSc 2016): Combatting climate change through tech

Elodie Read (BSc 2016), Programme Lead at Subak

After graduating from Bristol with a first class honours degree in Philosophy and Politics, Elodie Read has advocated for her passions all over the globe. She has worked on gender equality and refugee rights programmes with NGOs in the UK, Spain, Indonesia and Kenya. Now, she is channeling her energy into tackling climate change by working as the Programme Lead for Subak – the world’s first accelerator for climate nonprofits.

Co-founded by fellow Bristol alumnus, Gi Fernando MBE (BEng 1992) and Baroness Bryony Worthington, Subak was launched this summer. It connects like-minded environmental non-profits, helping them to share data and collaborate in order to address the climate emergency. Elodie is responsible for running Subak’s Accelerator Programme and is the main point of contact for the organisations it supports. Here she recalls some of her favourite Bristol memories and gives her advice on starting a career in sustainability.

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Subak Co-Founder, Gi Fernando MBE (BEng 1992): “Data is a source of truth and numbers don’t lie”

Subak Co-Founder, Gi Fernando MBE (BEng 1992)

After the extreme weather events of this summer and the stark warnings of the recent IPCC report, the climate crisis feels more pressing than ever before. But could data be the key to us living in greater harmony with our planet? Bristol alumnus and serial entrepreneur Gi Fernando (BEng 1992) certainly thinks so.

This summer, Gi and Co-Founder Baroness Bryony Worthington launched Subak, the world’s first global non-profit tech accelerator dedicated to combatting the climate emergency. Subak acts like a business school by helping to speed the growth of climate focussed tech start-ups; the organisations that Subak supports share data and collaborate in the fight against climate change.

As well as being a social impact entrepreneur, Gi is also an engineer, investor and a father-of-three. He was awarded an MBE in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to the digital economy and has also been named as one of the UK’s top 100 Asian stars in tech. We caught up with him to hear about his newest venture, and to learn more about how data could save the world.

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The five greatest impacts of COVID-19 on the creative industries

The creative industries account for almost one in eight UK businesses and contributed £115.9 billion gross added value to the UK economy pre-pandemic. So what will happen to this booming industry in the aftermath of COVID-19?

We spoke to three Bristol alumni working in creative industries to get their thoughts on what the future of this sector might look like beyond the reach of COVID-19. Here’s what they had to say. (more…)

After your English degree: Seven top takeaways from our alumni event

In April, three fantastic Bristol alumni hosted a digital event aimed at English Literature students and recent graduates starting out in their careers. Our hosts shared their career insights and tips on how to get the most out of an English degree after graduating.

We were joined by Alice Johnston (BA 2013), a Freelance Journalist who specialises in lifestyle pieces and has written for titles including CNN, the Daily Mail, the Metro and Culture Trip. Alongside her was Catherine Spencer (MA 2015), Senior Digital Marketer at the National Trust, who has a wealth of experience in creating and delivering marketing strategies for the organisation. We were also joined by India Fallon (BA 2014), Senior Programme Officer at Development Pathways, an organisation which aims to create evidence-based solutions to social and economic challenges faced by nations around the world.

We rounded up some of their best tips below! (more…)