visual branding for Bounce

Bounce! is a personal and professional development programme, open to students who identify as a woman at the University of Plymouth, including undergraduates, postgraduates, and recent graduates.

Bounce logo

Build your:

  • confidence in recognising your skills, strengths, qualities and values
  • personal power (you have a lot 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 we will be joined by various guest speakers, who will share their personal experiences and invite you to ask them questions.
Whether you are wanting to get a professional role, work for yourself and/or just want to build your inner confidence this programme is for you.
You bring the motivation; we’ll bring the tools!
There are two options to engage with the programme. You could attend our popular two-day Bounce! Accelerator programme, or our new four-week Wednesday afternoon programme.

Don’t just take our word for it, this is what our 2021/22 and 2022/23 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.

Individual event information

28 February to 20 March 2024

Join our Bounce! four-week Wednesday afternoon programme, Wednesday 28 February to Wednesday 20 March
Session one: Wednesday 28 February 2024
Start time: 13:30
Finish time: 16:45
Location: Main campus, room TBC
Session two: Wednesday 6 March 2024
Start time: 13:30
Finish time: 16:45
Location: Main campus, room TBC
Session three: Wednesday 13 March 2024
Start time: 13:30
Finish time: 16:45
Location: Main campus, room TBC
Session four: Wednesday 20 March 2024
Start time: 13:30
Finish time: 17:00
Location: Main campus, room TBC

Guest speakers include: Hope Timberlake, Michelle Finlay and Anna Sendall
Please note you need to attend all four sessions.

22 and 23 May 2024

Join our two-day Autumn Accelerator programme on Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 May 2024
Start time: 09:15
Finish time: 16:45
Location: Emdeck, room TBC
Guest speakers include: Hope Timberlake, Michelle Finlay and Anna Sendall
Please note you need to attend both days.

Event FAQs

I would like to attend but I can’t make both days/all four sessions – can I apply?

As mentioned above, it’s really important that everyone please attend each of the two days/four sessions.
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, actively engaging gives you and other attendees the maximum amount of time to build new support networks and maximise you’re learning. If you’re unable to attend the whole of one programme, take a look at our next available dates.

How do I secure my place?

You need to book your place by logging into myCareer or selecting 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. Places are free but limited. If you apply to attend a workshop, please do everything you can to ensure your attendance, as by booking a place you will prevent someone else from attending.

Who is it suitable for?

Bounce! is inclusive and open to all students who identify as a woman at the University of Plymouth, including undergraduates, postgraduates and recent graduates.

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 and/or are non-binary 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?


Is there a virtual / online version?

No, the Bounce! programme is in person only.

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?

We would love for previous attendees to re-attend the programme but since places are limited, you would unintentionally prevent someone else from attending.

What our participants say

Previous guest speakers


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 16 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.
12 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.
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.
Sarah and Clare
Sarah (on the right) with her best friend Clare
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
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.”
Olivia Way
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.”

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. 

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 Angelou's ‘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 & Artist Shirley Bebbington
Polly (left) and her great friend the photographer and artist Shirley Bebbington
Careers Service