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Internal News - 10 October 2007

Enterprise Bursary students given final funding

A message from Diane Hay, Head of the Careers Advisory Service:

Eighteen students who were awarded University Enterprise Bursaries have been presented with the final instalment of their funding by Ian Jamieson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Learning & Teaching, at a reception in the Wessex House Restaurant.

They included Alex Vakil (Politics & Economics), who went on placement in a Congressman’s office in the US House of Representatives, handling calls from difficult constituents and lobbyists and attending committee hearings and press conferences - including rubbing shoulders with Senator Ted Kennedy, amongst others.

Nilima Ajaikumar (Maths) volunteered with Careplus in the Regional Cancer Centre in Trivandrum, Kerala, India. She set up a project to give jobs to mothers who have lost husbands to cancer, not only providing them with some income but also to give them support and self-confidence. Through the “Fruit Aid “ project, women now make and deliver healthy fruit drinks for paediatric cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

The Bursary scheme was set up to develop the employability and entrepreneurial skills of students who are not on degree programmes which include a work-based placement. It funds students to undertake vacation work or projects which would otherwise be very difficult to afford. It is an initiative driven by the Careers Advisory Service, is funded by the Enterprise Education Venture Fund, and is unique to Bath.

Students undertook a diversity of opportunities in the summer, most of which were unpaid, including: scientific research; developing own businesses or planning and training to help others do so; competitive areas of work which require a portfolio of voluntary experience; and voluntary work.

Ten worked locally, and the other eight were on projects overseas, in countries including India, Japan, Malawi, USA, Bolivia, France, Cyprus and Peru.

Students identified some important benefits – getting “real world” experience, clarifying their career prospects, creating a network of contacts, communication skills, teamwork skills and improving self-confidence. The experience of applying and having to justify their application and costings in an interview was also useful experience for the future.

Full details and application procedures for 2008 will be advertised in December. Last year’s details are retained for reference - see Related Links.