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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Exeter chapter.

The Career Zone has such a wide range of employability schemes; there’s bound to be one for you! They run at various times of the year, and most are open to all current students regardless of whether you are an undergrad or a postgrad! I’ve researched five schemes to give you a head start on them. 

NB: This is only a brief overview of the schemes – for more information, please check the links on the titles or contact the relevant schemes.

Exeter Award

Starting off strong, we have the Exeter Award. Run through our partner software Handshake; the Exeter Award is a really easy way to boost your CV. You can start and complete this at any point in your academic journey, which makes it really manageable when it’s spread over three or more years. The Award is split into two sections – the development stage and the mock assessment stage. In the development stage, you have to: 

  • Complete 35 hours of work or volunteering experience 

This might seem really daunting, but you can use volunteering with a charitable society (such as Uni Boob Team) and holding a committee position as part of the hours, or if you get a part-time job, then it adds up really quickly

  • Attend a CV, Cover Letter or Application Form session 

These sessions can be found on Handshake and are beneficial when you apply for graduate jobs or casual vacancies. 

  • Two personal development sessions 

Personal development sessions are the perfect way to show employers that you are a well-rounded person and actively trying to develop your interpersonal skills. These sessions can be anything from presentation skills to time management but also include really interesting things like virtual escape rooms and bystander training.  

  • One of the following

Click here to find sessions that count for this goal. Examples include; Webinars, Employer presentations, Alumni presentations, Evening Language Courses, Create Your Future, Ask An Alum, Career Mentor Scheme.

After you’ve completed the development stage, it’s time to move on to the mock assessment stage. This is a much more practical part of the Award and will give you real-life job application feedback – which most companies won’t give you. During the mock assessment stage, you need to complete the following 

  • A task to help you prepare to complete the mock job application form
  • Completing a mock job application form
  • Watching a short video and completing a short quiz
  • Attending the Interview Experience
  • Completing a short reflection form.

Apart from looking really good to employers and on your CV, this scheme helps you to develop as a person and learn lots of valuable skills for the workplace. And if that wasn’t enough to convince you – it also goes on your university transcript! Now that you’ve completed your Exeter Award, why not try the Exeter Leaders Award?

If you would like to ask any questions, please contact the Exeter Award team at: exeteraward@exeter.ac.uk 

Career mentor scheme 

Now is the perfect time to get involved with the Career Mentor Scheme as applications will close on Sunday 14 May. 

What skills can you learn?

  • Develop personal and professional competencies that will help you compete in the jobs market
  • Gain a realistic insight into your chosen profession
  • Receive advice on how you can access relevant work experience and expand your network.
  • Boost your confidence.
  • Learn how to build a competitive CV.
  • Receive mentee training, resources and ongoing support from our dedicated team. 

The Career Mentor Scheme runs twice a year and will match you up with an industry professional related to the sector you are interested in. The mentorship with 1-to-1 sessions over a six-month period, usually runs between June and December. It is a really valuable experience if you have specific questions about how an industry works. It gives you extremely tailored and personalised advice from someone actually doing something you aspire to. One of the best parts of the career mentor scheme is that no matter what stage of your career you are at, you are eligible to apply. You can also participate in the Career mentor scheme multiple times as long as you are with different mentors. The mentors themselves are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, so make sure you get your application in early if you can!  

If you have any questions, please get in touch with careermentorscheme@exeter.ac.uk

Ask an Alum

Similarly to the Career Mentor Scheme, the Ask An Alum works with Exeter graduates so that they can answer all of your questions relating to a specific area or sector. Unlike the career mentor scheme, there is no long-term commitment for this scheme, and you will connect with the alum via an email thread. The scheme runs during term time only, and you are eligible for it for up to three years after graduation.  

  • How was your transition from University to work?
  • What was your first job, how did you feel when you started, and what did you experience?
  • Job hunting techniques.
  • What are the sector entry requirements?
  • What would a typical day look like in your role?
  • What are the main challenges in gaining employment in your profession?
  • What are the top 3 skills needed for someone to succeed in the industry?
  • Can you recommend any potential networking opportunities where I may make my own contacts for further career advice?

For further information, please email AskAnAlum@exeter.ac.uk

Green Consultants 

If environmental consultancy is your thing, then the green consultant’s programme would be perfect for you. There is no application needed, so you can start as soon as you finish reading this article. The project runs in three parts; training, on campus project, and an internship. 

The training is run virtually and focuses on employability. You will learn skills such as; working as a consultant, the soft skills you need, project management, and technical skills. With the training being all online, you can access it at any time and take as long as you need to complete it. This means it’s perfect for those spare hours you have in between lectures. Access the training here.

When you’ve finished the training, you will become eligible for the scheme’s next stage: the on-campus projects. During this stage, you will have to spend 30 hours on your project, but don’t panic if that sounds like a lot, as it counts towards The Exeter Award. The projects run throughout the year and change each time. You can find out which ones are currently running on the green consultant’s page or by searching for them on Handshake. If your project adds value to the university (like the current one adding to the biodiversity on campus), there is also a £100 stipend per contributing student.

After you have completed the project, you can complete an internship. These are really beneficial as it proves to an employer that you can work in that industry. Like the project, you can find the current internships on both the website and Handshake. These internships are 35 hours long and are paid. 

If you would like to ask any questions, please get in touch with the Green Consultants team at greenconsultants@exeter.ac.uk

Professional Pathways 

Professional Pathways is a competitive programme designed specifically to help you get into the following career paths:

As the scheme is so popular, it is also quite competitive. To become a successful applicant, you will have to get past the application stage (sending your CV and answering questions) and complete the assessment centre. 

Once you have got onto your professional Pathway, you will have to complete a training week which will give you all the industry information you need to complete your internship. This year we have talks such as ‘How charities are governed’, ‘Working in Archives’, ‘Doing Business Across Cultures’, and ‘Understanding Consumer Behaviour’. You will also get the opportunity to work on a group project where you will be set a task by an industry professional. 

After you have completed your training, you will be able to take part in a 35-hour PAID internship (£12.22 per hour), which also counts towards your Exeter award! You will be sent a range of internship opportunities which you will rank in order of preference. The internships will be a mixture of part-time and full-time but also a mixture of in-person, remote working and hybrid work. Internships this year include a wide range of companies, including Farms for City Children, National Trust, QWERTY Beer Box, and Reef & Rainforest Tours

Applications for this year’s Pathways have closed, but it runs every year, and you can register your interest for next year’s applications here

If you would like to ask any questions, please get in touch with the Pathways team at  professionalpathways@exeter.ac.uk

Hi! My name's India and I'm this year's Sex and Relationships editor! I'm in my third-year of Film and Television studies at the University of Exeter. I'm a plus-sized and sex-positive feminist who loves listening to Harry Styles and Taylor Swift (Taylor's version ofc) :)