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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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…)

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…)

2022 Alumni Award winner for Achievement in Sport: Hannah Mills OBE (DipHE 2012)

This year’s Alumni Award for Achievement in Sport has been given to Hannah Mills OBE (DipHE 2012) in recognition of her incredible career in sailing and sustainability.

At Tokyo 2020, Hannah became the most successful female sailor in Olympic history, after she won gold with Eilidh McIntyre in the women’s 470 event. Hannah also sailed to a gold medal in Rio in 2016 and a silver medal at the London 2012 games, alongside her then sailing partner Saskia Clark.

Cardiff-born Hannah started sailing at age eight, while on holiday in Cornwall with her family. She went on to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bristol, training in her spare time to prepare for the London 2012 Olympic games.

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2022 Alumni Award winner for Community Engagement and Impact: Ben England BEM (BA 1998)

We spoke to Ben England BEM (BA 1998), recipient of the 2022 Alumni Award for Community Engagement and Impact, to hear about his time at Bristol, his desert island disc and how he used music to keep people connected during the COVID-19 lockdowns. (more…)

Alumni Interview: Paul King (BSc 2008, MSc 2009), Environmental and Social Impact Consultant

Paul King works with start-ups as a chief financial officer, consultant and co-founder, with a focus on environmental and social impact. He is passionate about harnessing the power of technology for the greater good and using responsible and sustainable business practices.

After studying for an undergraduate in Biochemistry, he stayed at the University of Bristol to do an MSc in Management and went on to lead two major technology start-ups, Pentatonic and Masuku. Ahead of joining us for a panel discussion on responsible business, he shares his favourite things about entrepreneurial life and the best advice he’s been given.

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“It really does mean everything to me”: William’s scholarship story

First-year student William Shelley was inspired to study for a degree in law, after working as a Royal Marines Commando and witnessing the importance of humanitarian law.

William is one of the 160 Futures Scholars who have received support through the programme since it began in 2019.

Futures Scholarships provide undergraduate students with a £2,000 bursary, which helps them to buy essential items for their studies and a further £2,500 for employment opportunities.

Speaking about the impact of his scholarship, William said: “The moment that I found out that I received the Futures Scholarship it was life changing. The first person I told was my mum, and she was elated.

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Alumni interview: Gordon Richardson (BSc 1974), Co-Chair and Treasurer of Bristol Disability Equality Forum

Gordon Richardson (BSc 1974) was three years old when he contracted polio while living in Hong Kong. He was initially completely paralysed, save for some movement in his right eye, but over time he regained some muscle use in his upper body. While a young undergraduate student at the University of Bristol, he was told it was unlikely he would live beyond the age of 50.

Now in his 60s, Gordon is Co-Chair and Treasurer of the Bristol Disability Equality Forum and National Chairman and Chair of the Bristol Branch of the British Polio Fellowship. He has worked tirelessly to advocate for people with disabilities and this April is being awarded an Honorary Degree from Bristol in recognition of his achievements. We talk to him about his remarkable career, fond memories of being a student and his advice for students graduating this year.

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Liam White (BEng 2015): From investment banking to start-up success

After graduation, Liam White spent two years working in the world of investment banking before embarking on his entrepreneurial journey. Alongside co-founders Dr Will Breakey and Josh Rose, Liam launched Dr. Will’s, the UK’s first all-natural condiment brand. Now, the trio are leading a low-sugar revolution, with their products stocked in retail giants such as Tesco, Waitrose, Ocado and Selfridges. We spoke to Liam to find out more.

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Alexandra Hearth (BA 2014): Succeeding in the digital world

Bristol alumna, Alexandra Hearth (BA 2014) is a young powerhouse bursting with ambition, discipline and creativity. She is an extremely successful digital marketing specialist, having worked with top brands including Uber, British Airways and Audi. Alongside her current role at Nike, she manages her own online magazine called Cleaopatras which explores navigating success as a woman, and runs a podcast series called Hot Girls featuring MOBO award winning guests and music industry elite. To top it all off, this year, Alexandra has signed her first record deal as a music producer.

We interviewed her to learn more about her career journey, the secrets to her success and communicating in the digital world. (more…)