“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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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…)

Fred Moss (BA 2013): transforming company cultures through peer learning

Most office workers will be familiar with the annual cycle of employee training. You log on to a website, read some module material, complete a quiz and you’re done. It’s a tried-and-tested (if somewhat uninspiring) format that peer-learning company Hive Learning are aiming to disrupt.

Founded in 2013 by rugby world cup winning coach, Sir Clive Woodward, and digital venture builder, Blenheim Chalcot, Hive Learning’s technology is based on a combination of network science and nudge theory – borrowing some of the principles that draw users into social media. Users of the platform can come together with their colleagues to learn about a wide range of topics, which cover everything from improving resilience in the workplace to becoming a more inclusive company.

Bristol alumnus Fred Moss (BA 2013) has worked at Hive Learning for seven years, during which time he moved to New York to set up the company’s US business. We caught up with him to learn more about life in the US and how Hive Learning is reimagining corporate learning.

(more…)

‘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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)