Why I’m a Bristol Volunteer

Almost 2,000 people volunteered for the University in this academic year. We caught up with some of our volunteers to find out more about their roles and what being a Bristol Volunteer means to them.

(Top) Fran Wormald (MEng 2012) supported our Bristol Voices programme

Since moving back to Bristol, I’ve wanted to get more involved in the local community and support students at the University. I can imagine the coronavirus crisis has left students feeling isolated and lonely, with limited opportunities to meet and socialise. I wanted to be a friendly contact for a student during this difficult period.

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the student I’ve been paired with. She and I have lots in common and get on really well. We’ve been able to talk openly about our difficulties during lockdown and what we’re looking forward to in the future.

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‘It’s important to find what’s right for you’: Bristol Mentors share their insights

One hundred alumni and students joined us on 16 March for the Big Bristol Mentors Mingle, which was our first ever Bristol Mentors virtual networking event. This was a chance for alumni, students and mentors to meet each other and share invaluable career-focused insights. (more…)

Alumni Award 2021 Winner: Georgie Twigg MBE (LLB 2012)

Olympian Georgie Twigg MBE (LLB 2012) made history as a midfielder for England’s hockey team in the 2016 Rio Olympics, when the team stormed to gold after winning all eight matches in the tournament.

Juggling fulltime training at Bisham Abbey while studying for the final year of her law degree at the University of Bristol, Georgie knows a few things about ambition and working through challenging and stimulating times. As the youngest player in England’s squad at the time, Georgie helped win Bronze at London’s 2012 Olympics the same year she graduated, making her a double Olympic medallist.

Now an Associate at Bird&Bird law firm, Georgie uses her experience as an athlete to advise on sports-related commercial issues. As she accepts the University of Bristol’s 2021 Alumni Award for Achievement in Sport, Georgie shares her insights on the highlights of her sporting career and some life lessons she’s learning along the way.

You can also hear from Georgie at the Alumni Festival in May. Click here for more information on the Alumni Festival and to book your place. (more…)

Alumni Award 2021 Winner: Dr Tom Carter (MEng 2011, PhD 2017)

While studying for his undergraduate degree in Computer Science at Bristol, Tom developed an interest in how humans interact with computers. As his knowledge in the area progressed, he began investigating how ultrasound waves could allow people to interact with virtual objects using nothing but their bare hands.

Tom decided to develop the idea as part of his PhD research. During this time, in recognition of the technology’s commercial viability, Tom formed the company Ultrahaptics with two colleagues from the Department of Computer Science. Within two years, the company had 22 employees and £11.3 million in funding. In 2019, Ultrahaptics and Leap Motion joined to create Ultraleap, combining the world’s most advanced hand tracking solution with the only haptic technology that creates the sensation of touch in mid-air.

This year’s winner of the 2021 Alumni Award for Innovation and Enterprise, Dr Tom Carter reflects on what he’s learnt about himself during the pandemic, the advice he’d give to his younger self and the importance of the connections he’s made in his life. (more…)

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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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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University of Bristol Alumni of Eastern Canada Virtual Reunion!


Heather Proctor (BSc 1964):

On Tuesday 22 September 2020, the University of Bristol Alumni of Eastern Canada held their first ‘virtual’ reunion. Joanna Sochacka from the Development and Alumni Relations Office gave a very interesting overview of how Bristol has coped during Covid-19. Joanna informed us that the Eastern Canada Alumni group is the oldest continuously-running group in the world. The group has been organising annual reunions for the past 18 years.

Among the group, there were several old University of Bristol scarves to be seen, as well as photos of Bristol on walls. Dennis Osmond (MBChB 1954) showed a big photo of our dear Eastern Canada founder, John Bull (BSc 1958), and we virtually toasted him as Dennis waved a bottle of Bristol Cream! We talked of canoes, bears, a bobcat, skis snowshoes, a kayak, a wedding and a cross Canada drive, as well as ways we’re coping and trips we haven’t taken. All agreed it was so nice to hear from each other, and to meet a new member, Roger Moore (BA 1966).

Next year we look forward to welcoming as many alumni as possible to the 2021 reunion, it may be held in Kingston, if it is safe to do so.

If you are interested in holding your own online reunion and would like us to help please contact alumni-volunteers@bristol.ac.uk.

Alumni share their government and third sector career insights with students

On Tuesday 21 July, 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 in government and the third sector 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 Kim Slim (LLB 2016) who works as Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister’s Independent Grenfell Adviser and Head of Grenfell Community Support Team at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. Kim was joined on the panel by Annabelle Pemberton (BA 2018), Organisational Development Officer at Redearth Education and Shailini Vora (BSc 2016), Trust Fundraising Officer at St Mungo’s.

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Inspirational student speakers at Class of 2020 Virtual Celebrations

Our Class of 2020, who are enjoying their Virtual Celebrations this month, had some inspirational student voices speaking at their digital events. We caught up with some of them to hear about their time at Bristol, their passions, and their plans for the future. And we welcome them into our alumni community!

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