Congratulations to the following Economics students for achieving the Outstanding Award as part of this year’s Bristol Plus Programme, the University’s employability award.
The Bristol Plus Programme Outstanding Award rewards students who have achieved something substantial and significant outside of their studies at Bristol, with award categories including innovation and enterprise, global citizenship, and sustainable futures. The following Economics students were recognised for their achievements this year:
- Saul Wilson, BSc Economics and Management: Distinction for “Change with Change” initiative, raising awareness and money for homeless.
- Mohamed Suwaid, BSc Economics and Finance: Distinction for Founder and President of 180 Degrees Consulting Bristol (see Mohamed’s case study below).
- Flavio Cannizzo, BSc Economics: Pass for Co-founding Fin-mod, a financial modelling workshop aiming at teaching students’ essential skills for a career in finance (see Flavio’s case study below).
- Chris Outlaw, BSc Economics with study abroad: Pass for Co-founding Fin-Mod, a workshop that teaches the principles of financial modelling to students with a range of abilities.
Learn more about Mohamed and Flavio’s projects and what they gained from taking part in the Bristol Plus Awards in their case studies:
Mohamed Suwaid – Innovation & enterprise, BSc Economics and Finance
Expert panelist: Toby Freeman, Capability Lead (Business Analyst), BJSS
Please give us a brief description of your Outstanding Award activity. My outstanding award activity is being a co-founder and the current president of 180 Degrees Consulting Bristol, established in September of 2019. 180 Degrees Consulting Bristol is the Bristol branch of the world’s largest student consultancy network to help charities and social enterprises maximise social impact. I managed a team of 10 committee members and 80+ student consultants and attained over 400+ UoB student followers.
What motivated you to do your Outstanding Award activity? I co-founded 180 Degrees Consulting in order to help make a positive social impact to the community at Bristol, consisting of both socially conscious organisations and the student body at our university. I wanted to give back to the community around me as I was grateful for the opportunities life has provided me. Due to my ardour for leadership, I decided to be the president and lead the committee and members towards collaboration and this consultancy to its overall success.
What impact did your activity have? I managed a team of 10 committee members, 80+ consultants and attained 400+ UoB student followers. So far, 180 Degrees Consulting Bristol has provided 1000+ hours and £30,000 worth of pro-bono consulting advisory to 14 charities and social enterprises across the world. My activity has acted as a nexus for 80 students to gain practical experience working with real life organisations. The several events and competitions we organised allowed many Bristol students to learn more about consulting and gain key employability skills. This helped create impact both within and outside the university.
What are you most proud of from your Outstanding Award activity? Something that I am extremely proud of since the launch of the consultancy is the rate of the growth and the vision we followed. We grew the fastest out of any new 180 branch that ever existed. I credit my hardworking and ambitious team for many of our feats. My proudest moments can be narrowed down to personally signing a United Nations supported social enterprise from Dubai and also leading the Covid-19 fundraiser for Age UK Bristol to help the older and most vulnerable citizens in the city amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
What was the hardest part of applying / interviewing for the Outstanding Award? Before the interview, I had some initial anxiety due to the coronavirus pandemic. I had some trouble showing full focus into the preparation for the interview, however I faced my fears near the interview data and did the practice questions last minute. During the interview, there were some technical difficulties but this was later alleviated followed by a comforting and enjoyable interview.
What would be your advice be to another student preparing for an Outstanding Award interview? My advice to another student when they prepare for the Outstanding Award interview would be is to learn how to handle pressure and practice answering varying questions early in the process. Interview skills can be developed by going through video interviews for jobs and also by undertaking the practice questions provided by the wonderful Bristol PLUS team.
Why should students take part in the Outstanding Award? I strongly believe that the Outstanding Award is the creme de la creme of the leadership and employability awards. The Bristol PLUS rewards students for their engagement and involvements at university. The Outstanding Award extends this by rewarding a small portion of these students for their leadership, impact and their ability to drive real innovation.
What is the most useful piece of feedback you received from your Outstanding Award interview panel? The most useful feedback I received from Amber and Toby is to be more clear on some of the background information regarding the consultancy. I have gladly taken this as a type of constructive criticism so I am able to implement this for self development in the future.
What is next for you? After my final year comes to an end, I will handover the presidency of 180 Degrees Consulting Bristol to another co-founder who will be resuming his final year in the next academic year. I will still be a co-founder for life. My academic journey continues as I will be undertaking a postgraduate degree at LSE, where I hope similar opportunities to give back to the community will be available.
Flavio Cannizzo – Innovation & enterprise, BSc Economics
Expert panelist: Sam Deacon- Senior Business Consultant- Atos
Please give us a brief description of your Outstanding Award activity. Fin-Mod is a 15 sessions financial modelling workshop aimed at introducing 32 students to the tools and data analytics techniques to solve real world problems. The project’s vision is to encourage and grow the curiosity of students in finance by making financial modelling an integral part of extracurricular education as well as an enjoyable learning activity.
What motivated you to do your Outstanding Award activity? I wanted to help students from any background to access the field of finance in an enjoyable, non-competitive and engaging way. I knew that the essential skill of financial modelling would have helped students to make faster and better decision making to achieve both personal and professional goals.
What impact did your activity have? Based on feedback, all students have found the sessions engaging and relevant. Many students started using financial modelling for personal objectives i.e. to model student loan repayments. Some secured competitive internships in finance. But most of all, we achieved our primary objective to make finance fun and accessible for all!
What are you most proud of from your Outstanding Award activity? Teaching modelling to students at such an early stage of their career planning provided them with a strong asset to obtain their target graduate jobs. This has a direct impact on their long-term success, and it makes me deeply proud.
What was the hardest part of applying / interviewing for the Outstanding Award? Getting a good interviewing technique required daily practice for 2 weeks. This is because I had to learn how convey all the messages that I wanted to transmit in the most concise and effective manner. The career service practice questions helped a lot there!
What would be your advice be to another student preparing for an Outstanding Award interview? You will probably have endless stories to tell. Learn how to pick the right ones and ask yourself: Am I the protagonist of the story? Does it meet the award criteria? Will it inspire the audience?
Why should students take part in the Outstanding Award? Because if you are doing something that you find outstanding, this is the way to get it on record.
What is the most useful piece of feedback you received from your Outstanding Award interview panel? As a non-native English speaker, the detailed comments on language and communication skills have definitely been the most useful.
What is next for you? I will join a graduate scheme at ION Group, a fin-tech company in London. I will work alongside the company to pioneer the AI transfomation in financial services.
Registration for the University’s employability award, Bristol Plus, will re-open in September. Keep an eye on the Careers Service website for further details.