Inside the BBC Natural History Unit with Creative Director, Mike Gunton

Image: (L) Mike Gunton, (R) The iguana vs snakes scene from Planet Earth II. Credit: BBC Studios Natural History Unit

In 2016, millions of people up and down the UK gathered in their living rooms, biting their nails and peeping through their fingers as a newly hatched iguana fled from a swarm of snakes – narrowly escaping with its life. The iconic scene from Planet Earth II went viral worldwide and continued on to win the ‘Must-See Moment’ BAFTA award a year later. It’s a sequence that Mike Gunton (BSc 1979), Creative Director of BBC Studios Natural History Unit, has watched hundreds of times, both in the editing room and during the talks he’s given on the Natural History Unit in recent years.

‘I still love it every time I see it,’ says Mike, ‘especially the reaction it gets. It’s an extraordinary combination of brilliant camerawork and brilliant editing. That’s a once-in-a-generation kind of sequence to be honest.’

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Alumni give insight on a variety of Economics roles at Bristol Connects Live

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                   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.

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Alumni share their career insights within Education

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

On Tuesday 26 January, our alumni volunteers shared their career stories with students and recent graduates. The event was part of our Bristol Connects Live series- our online series of career and professional development events. The session focused on careers within Education and our alumni experts shared their career stories and experiences to inspire students and recent graduates to help them understand more about the sector.

The event was hosted by Shanice Swales (BA 2014) who works as a Senior Policy Advisor in Higher Education Access and Admissions at The Department for Education. Shanice was joined on the panel by Abbigael Bainton (PGCE 2014/MSc 2018), Assistant Principal at the the Cabot Learning Federation. Mark Barrow (BSc 1995), Chief Executive Officer at the Seckford Education Trust and Dr Nigel Newton (PhD 2016), Lecturer, Education Consultant and Writer.

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‘We make sense of the world through stories’: Tim Gregory (PhD 2020) on life as a scientist, writer and TV star

Tim Gregory (PhD 2020) is a man of many talents. At any moment you might find him teaching children through BBC Bitesize revision classes, presenting BBC4’s The Sky at Night, or hosting online stargazing events for Bristol alumni.

Since graduating from the University of Bristol last year with a PhD in Cosmochemistry, Tim has worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the British Geological Survey, published his first book Meteorite: The Stones From Outer Space That Made Our World (2020), and started a new job as a nuclear chemist. He’s achieved an astonishing amount, no doubt helped along the way by his infectious enthusiasm and passion for his subject.

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‘The University of Bristol is where I discovered my passion for the space industry’


On Tuesday 2 December, Adina Godeanu (MEng 2019) shared her career story with Engineering students. She shared her experience from studying at Bristol as an Aerospace student, to moving to Sweden to work at Saab.

Adina began her journey in 2015 when she moved from Romania to study Aerospace Engineering at the University of Bristol. Adina commented that she had a “truly amazing experience” at Bristol and felt supported by academic staff, career staff and friends. She highlighted that the “University of Bristol is where I discovered my passion for the space industry”.

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Alumni interview: Jonathan Phillips (BSc 1994), Head of Consulting at Simply Communicate

 Jonathan graduated from Bristol with a degree in Geology and is now a digital strategy consultant, focusing on communication, collaboration and digital workplace technologies. With 25 years’ blue-chip experience, he is a regular keynote speaker, contributor to the digital community and a recognised global expert. He is also Chair of the Alumni Association Committee at the University of Bristol. (more…)

Alumni gain exclusive insight into China job market 

This November, we were pleased to bring a series of events online to our Chinese alumni and students, as a response to the cancelled central delegation to China.

As part of Bristol Connects Live– our online series of career and professional development events, members of our Chinese alumni community shared their experiences at two webinars focussed on Top Accounting firms, and Entrepreneurship to an audience of students and recent graduates.

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Alumni welcome new School of Accounting and Finance students


As our students started to arrive back to Bristol in October, or for those that embarked on their online learning from home, 
our School of Accounting and Finance alumni were on hand to provide a warm welcome to new students at their first online lectures. Students were no doubt facing a different term of learning ahead and having our alumni there to welcome them helped bring the student experience to life. 

Five graduates from the School of Accounting and Finance shared their experience with current students, giving advice from their studies at the University and details of their career development after graduation.  

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Alumni interview: Hillary Gyebi-Ababio (BSc 2019), Vice President (Higher Education), National Union of Students

Recently elected as Vice President (Higher Education) for the National Union of Students (NUS), Hillary Gyebi-Ababio (BSc 2019) has taken remarkable steps since running as Undergraduate Education Officer for Bristol’s Student Union.

Empowered by her new role and inspired by an increasingly vocal national student body, Hillary shares unique insight into her experience at Bristol, the importance of her role on the Alumni Association Committee, and the integral role she believes alumni have in shaping the University and student experience.

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Alumnus Alfie awarded top prize at Crowdfunding challenge

The Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards is a UK-wide entrepreneurial business pitching competition for students and recent graduates. This year, the competition included a ‘Crowdfunding challenge’ where the businesses worked with the team at Crowdfunder to create a campaign for their business.  

Working with Crowdfunder, Student Travel Tips created a campaign for the business, winning a cash prize of £6,000 from Santander at the final and crowdfunding over £5,000.  

Alfie Laurence set up Student Travel Tips while studying at Bristol to provide peer to peer advice for students studying abroad. From paperwork and accommodation to culture and socialising, Alfie aims to reassure students as they embark on a daunting, yet exciting, year abroad.

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