Meet Dave Jarman, Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Tell us about your journey into academia…
Like most of the team at the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, I’ve followed a slightly unconventional path into academia! We actually pride ourselves on the diversity of experience we’ve collectively accumulated!
I did actually do my master’s degree at Bristol, in the Arts Faculty; an MA in Myth from the Classics department. My passion was for Indo-European Heroic mythology including classical, Celtic, and Viking tales and you’d be surprised how useful that has been along my journey into entrepreneurship and innovation education!
I’d always done a lot more than just my degree though; I’d been involved in lots of clubs and societies and Students’ Union representation, and I took my passion for education in a slightly different direction. I initially became a skills trainer and development coach in the Students’ Union and later the Careers Service here at Bristol. I was supporting students to run better activities and develop their employability, then I switched into supporting freelancers and start-up entrepreneurs working for the University’s Research and Enterprise Division supporting new social and commercial ventures ranging from healthcare and high-tech ideas to charities and creative freelancers.
I eventually became the Head of Enterprise Education here at Bristol, chaired the UK’s national network of entrepreneurship educators, and then became the Head of both Careers and Enterprise at a creative arts university just down the road. I got tempted back to Bristol with a switch to the academic side of the house as a Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at what was then a brand new centre in 2016.
What’s your favourite thing about teaching on postgraduate taught programmes at Bristol?
What tempted me back and what I still love most about teaching is helping students develop their ideas into reality. Our MSc Innovation and Entrepreneurship is all about helping students build the skills and develop their half-ideas into workable propositions to change the world. As you can tell from my own journey, my interest is in people and ideas, and the stories people tell about who is allowed to do what and why. There is a lot of mythology around entrepreneurship which I love to debunk and make it accessible to everyone.
At the centre we teach in a really practical, professionally relevant manner. We provide a toolkit and a mindset to discover, create, develop, evaluate, and prototype ideas that create value. That’s still hugely motivating.
What’s your number one top tip for prospective postgraduate students?
My top tip for prospective PG students is to show us the trajectory that you’re on. What I mean by this is if we’re going to invest in you and support you we want to see in your application some evidence of your passion and skill so far, and also your ambitions for the future. We want to invest in students who’ve got the motivation to make the most of the course, so show us your initiative, show us your burning interest, show us your hopes for the future and that’ll excite us about wanting to work with you to achieve that.