Bounce! Women’s Student Development Programme 2022/23

If you identify as a woman and are currently studying at the university,  this free two day personal and professional development programme may be for you.

<p>Bounce graphic-edited</p>
Build your:
  • confidence in recognising your skills and strengths
  • personal power (you have more than you think!)
  • assertiveness and impact when speaking
  • sense of mindfulness and wellbeing
  • ability to make personal and professional connections.
Overcome some of the barriers that can get in your way including:
  • overthinking
  • self-doubt and insecurities
  • staying in your comfort zone
  • gender bias and the ‘glass ceiling effect’.
The programme is interactive and each day we will be joined by guest speakers, who will share their own experiences and invite you to ask them questions.
Whether you are wanting to get a professional role, start-up your own business/work as a freelancer and/or just want to build your inner confidence this programme is for you.
Relevant to all it will help to energise you, enthuse you, connect you and move you forwards both personally and professionally.
All we ask is for you to bring an open mind to share what you’re willing to, and attend the whole of each day. Morning refreshments and lunch provided.
You bring the motivation; we’ll bring the tools. If you are a woman or identify as a woman then sign up today!
Don’t just take our word for it, this is what participants had to say:
  • 100% would recommend the programme to others 
  • 100% said it improved their knowledge, understanding and confidence in the topic areas
  • 100% said the content was very good/good
  • 98% said that the guest speakers were very good/good.

Thank you so very much. I am an outwardly confident women but under the surface I am not. This has allowed me to see that I have so much more potential and that I have a voice- I needed a little push to see that so thank you, it means a lot. I also liked feeling comfortable to speak and share my experiences.

Bounce! participant


Book your place

Individual event info

14 and 15 December 2022
Join us on Wednesday 14 December and Thursday 15 December 2022

Start time: 10:00
Finish time: 16:00
Location: Wednesday - Emdeck 003, Thursday - Emdeck 205
Guest speakers: Hope Timberlake, Michelle Finlay, Loren Munnelly and Alison Turner
Refreshments: Morning refreshments provided courtesy of KPMG
22 and 29 March 2023
Join us on Wednesday 22 and Wednesday 29 March 2023

Start time: 13:00
Finish time: 19:00
Guest speakers: Hope Timberlake, Michelle Finlay, and Lucia Gould
7 and 8 June 2023
Join us on Wednesday 7 June and Thursday 8 June 2023

Start time: 10:00
Finish time: 16:00
Location: TBC
Guest speakers: Hope Timberlake, Morag Noades and Anna Sendall
Event FAQs
I would like to attend but I can’t make both days – can I apply?
As mentioned above, it’s really important that everyone please attend the whole of each day. We don’t often take time for ourselves to reflect on, think about and act on things that are happening in our lives and it’s an important part of being able to move on or move forward. As each section of the programme builds on and integrates with the next, attending the full two days gives you and other attendees the maximum amount of time to build new support networks and maximise your learning. If you’re unable to attend the whole of one programme, take a look at our next available dates.
What is the application process?
You need to book your place by logging into MyCareer, or clicking on the link in the dates and how to book section. We will allocate places on a first-come, first-served basis so please make sure you book in good time to give you the best chance at securing a place on the programme. If the programme is full we can add you to a waiting list and inform you if a place becomes available.
Who is the programme suitable for?
Any University of Plymouth student who identifies as a woman can apply for the programme. You can be studying any subject at any level.
What should I do if I have additional support needs?
Please let us know in advance so that we can work with you to provide any necessary adjustments. Email and mark it as for the attention of Sarah Plunkett and Katie Finnimore so that we can liaise with you directly.
Can I bring a friend?
Of course! As long as they are able to attend the full dates, are a University of Plymouth student and identify as a woman they are also welcome to apply. Don’t be afraid to come on your own either, there will be lots of opportunities to make new friends and sometimes it’s easier to discuss things that are on your mind with relative strangers.
How much personal stuff do I have to share?
What, and how much information, you share during the programme is entirely your choice. Everything discussed as part of the programme will be kept confidential; the only exception to this would be if safeguarding issues were raised.
Will you provide lunch?
We will provide refreshments but kindly ask that you bring your own lunch and water. This gives the option and flexibility for you to network freely with other attendees and guest speakers over the lunch break.
How is the programme delivered?
We plan to deliver the sessions in-person on campus. If government guidance changes this will be reviewed.
Who is delivering the programme?
The programme facilitators are Mrs Katie Finnimore and Mrs Sarah Plunkett, both Career Consultants at the University of Plymouth. They have developed the programme in collaboration with Karen Govier - a senior manager at EDF who has delivered their Women’s Development Programme for the past 12 years and Ms Polly Macpherson (MA SFHEA FRSA.) Polly is the Associate Professor of Design Practice in the school of Art, Design and Architecture and an Advance HE Aurora Mentor and Senior Fellow HEA. She is a firm advocate of gender equality.
I have previously attended the programme, can I sign up again?
You are welcome to sign up, but please be advised that the content will be the same.

What our participants say

  • 6 ‘Lots of useful and applicable content!’
  • 6 ‘Thank you! I will carry some of the things I have learnt with me for life’
  • 6 ‘Very enjoyable and valuable lessons learnt’
  • 6 ‘Really enjoyed this programme and would recommend to other women too!
  • 6 ‘Great content- it didn’t drag and I made new friends on the table I was on!’
  • 6 ‘Everyone was lovely and I really enjoyed the programme! I felt very safe and comfortable and it was all very informative and personal.’
  • 6 ‘I feel like this course couldn’t have come at a better time in my life. It has really provided me with growth.’
  • 6 ‘I really liked the programme- it changed my perspective on how I look at issues on my life. I will definitely try to implement some of the techniques I have learnt.’

Sarah Plunkett – Bounce Lead Facilitator

“My name is Sarah and I am a Careers and Employability Consultant at the University of Plymouth. For the past sixteen years, it has been my mission to help all individuals to discover their purpose, fulfil their potential and find happiness in their lives. 

I feel very fortunate to have met, and had the opportunity to support a range of individuals who have experienced substance misuse, emotional and mental illness, and been involved in crime. 

During the last recession, I also co-wrote and delivered a week-long course for senior managers, on six-figure salaries who had been made redundant. 

Every person is different, but I have always been impressed by individuals' resilience and inner strength, despite facing adversity or difficulties.

Twelve years ago, I began working in higher education and during this time I took the opportunity to experiment, learn and grow; progressing from a practitioner to a Head of Service senior manager role.

<p>Sarah and Clare</p>

Sarah (on the right) with her best friend Clare

I have had my fair share of ups and downs, but when it comes to my career, I have always tried to join the dots, discover what was right for me and stay true to myself. I am super excited to be leading on this programme and in terms of inspirational women the performance artist Marina Abramovic is top on my list, followed by Amanda Palmer and my best friend Clare (who opened up her own business during the lockdown), along with all women who succeeded in their ambitions against the odds.”


Katie Finnimore – Bounce Facilitator

“Hi! I’m Katie and I work as a Careers and Employability Consultant at the University of Plymouth.

I’ve had a deep and personal interest in the personal and professional development of women for many years now, so much so that I made it the topic of my Research Project as part of my Masters.

I am hugely passionate about equitability and accepting individuals to create and pursue their own definition of success, rather than constantly being pressured by societal expectations.

In more recent years this passion has expanded into understanding additional challenges of intersectionality and improving broader equitability such as in relation to race, disability and LGBT+.

I have attended a number of programmes specifically for women both as an attendee and guest speaker as well as delivering programmes. 

In my experience you can gain a huge amount from them including deep connections with new friends and have a lot of fun; I’m excited for you to join us on this programme.


Katie Finnimore and her gran<br></p>

Katie with her nan

I have two quotes that I’d like to share with you while you’re thinking about applying to the programme: the first from Baroness Shami Chakrabarti: “Aspire to be anyone’s equal but no-one’s superior” and the second, which I, unfortunately, don’t know who to attribute to: “Behind every strong woman is a pack of strong women who have her back.” 

I look forward to meeting you soon.


Kaitlyn Little – Bounce Lead Designer

“Hi, I’m Kaitlyn and I am a third-year Illustration student at the University of Plymouth. I have been working with the Bounce team to design the new branding of this programme, which has been a really fun experience.
My illustrations usually fit in the children’s market, but I do also love doing logos, advertising, and packaging design too. 
As a disabled young woman, and part of the LGBTQ+ community, I know I will face a lot of challenges when I am ready to enter the world of work. 
For my future, I hope to find a way to combine my creative skills, my experience working with children and my passion for authenticity, inclusivity and acceptance of all in society.
I have gained so much knowledge and confidence from the many careers workshops and lectures I have been attending whilst studying.


I hope this programme brings you one step closer to finding work you love and the support you need to do it.”

Olivia Way – Bounce intern

“Hello! My name is Olivia, and I am currently a first-year student studying Marketing at the University of Plymouth. 

I have been working alongside Sarah and Katie in the development of this programme. 

My main role has been to manage the marketing side of the programme, through helping to create an engaging website as well as suggesting content for social media campaigns to encourage students like myself to sign up for this exciting opportunity.

The woman’s development programme aims to help students to overcome the limiting factors which prevent woman for striving for success in the workplace. 

The opportunity to sign up for this programme is extremely beneficial is gaining useful skills for the future as well as overcoming personal struggles which many of you may face today.

<p>Olivia Way</p>

If you are willing to escape, your comfort zone and support like-minded woman like yourself, sign up today for a chance to navigate your personal and future aspirations! The team at Bounce hope to see you there.”


Polly Macpherson Bounce supporter and advocate

“Hello, my name is Polly, and I am the Associate Professor of Design Practice in the school of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Plymouth. As an Advance HE Aurora Mentor, trained professional development coach and mother and teacher of wonderful women I am a massive advocate of gender equality and I am so pleased to have been invited to contribute to this exciting new venture. 
I have had many ups and downs over my career, I have often been the only woman in the room with a trigger hand going up ‘in order to get things done’ which hasn’t always been the best policy! I have two mantras to live by which are Maya Angelous ‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you think, but people will never forget how you made them feel’ and Einstein’s ‘We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them’.

Polly (left) and her great friend the Photographer &amp; Artist Shirley Bebbington 


Polly (left) and her great friend the Photographer & Artist Shirley Bebbington

<p>Careers Service</p>