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Students celebrate enterprise bursary awards in the Wessex Restaurant
Students celebrate enterprise bursary awards in the Wessex Restaurant

Press Release - 20 October 2008

Students celebrate enterprise bursary awards

Sixteen students who were awarded University enterprise bursaries were presented with the final instalment of their funding by Ian Jamieson, Pro-VC Learning and Teaching, at a reception in the Wessex Restaurant.

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. An initiative launched by the Careers Advisory Service (CAS), it is funded by the Enterprise Education Venture Fund and is unique to Bath.

Students undertook a fascinating diversity of opportunities in the summer, most of which were unpaid, including:

• Research, design & development
• Developing their own businesses or working in a small business
• Competitive areas of work which require a portfolio of unpaid experience and the building of a network
• Voluntary work

Bethany Coles studies Coach Education & Sports Development, and she spent seven weeks as an unpaid project worker with West Yorkshire Sport (WYS). She says:

“Within the first two weeks, my main project was the Supporting Top Athletes Recognition Scheme (STARS), helping to implement and establish this new scheme within the region. It is a project aiming to provide free facilities and services to top athletes in the area and in return, they to help promote local authority facilities and projects. After a briefing of the scheme, my main tasks were to design an information booklet and develop the website. I was also involved in a partnership meeting between WYS and Leeds University, concerning discussions of administering the scheme and partnership roles.”

Jasmine Ngai went to South America to work as a volunteer in several orphanages, and two students worked for the Village-to-Village charity in Tanzania. Closer to home, Charles Elson worked in a small political consultancy called Open Road as a public affairs intern, several students worked in different areas of finance, and Alex Pengilly attended a course run by the British International Freight Association.

Other experiences included working as a hospitality assistant for Paragon Events, carrying out marine research, and working for a small company specialising in prosthetic limbs to design and build a prosthetic hand.


Students identified some important benefits, getting real world experience, gaining specific technical and interpersonal skills, clarifying their career prospects, creating a network of contacts, 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.

Students commented:

“The placement has helped me to put my degree into context, seeing aspects of what I have learnt on the course being used in the work environment and making the content more relevant and interesting. It has inspired me, going into my dissertation year of what I want to do in the future and therefore making me more work motivated when finishing my final year.”

“This bursary allowed me to take on a placement I could never have done without financial backing and hopefully contributed to the experience I need in order to acquire my desired job afterwards.”

“In terms of changing or developing my career plans, this placement has definitely been valuable. It has been a great placement in so many respects, for example in improving my knowledge of politics, in benefiting my studies, in learning about working in a business environment and in helping me develop skills and adding to my list of work experience to put on my c.v. It has been a thoroughly friendly and enjoyable environment to work in and it has helped me to rule out perusing a career in public relations. This is because I just don’t feel the work itself is quite right for me, which without having done this placement, I would not have known.”

“The enterprise bursary helped ease the financial burden of living in London for three months without being paid. This made me feel like less of a burden to my parents, who have already sacrificed so much for my education, and enjoy this priceless placement free of guilt.”

Most importantly, two students received graduate job offers from their vacation placement provider.

Bursaries for 2009

Full details and application procedures for 2009 will be advertised in December. Last year’s details are available via the link above.

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