When I’m not writing articles and essays or running the Sexpression and Uni Boob Team societies, you can usually find me in the Career Zone (around the corner from the SID desk in Forum), booking people in for career advice appointments and signposting them to sources of help. I am one of this year’s SCP (student-campus partnership) interns for the Career Zone this year. For those of you who don’t know what the Career Zone is, we are the central hub for all things careers and employability at the University of Exeter. We have in-person desks at both the Streatham and Penryn campuses. Thinking about careers can be stressful, so I’m writing an article to show you what the Career Zone has to offer you to make the whole process somewhat less stressful.
“Forever means forever” is something we at the career zone hold close to our hearts. So whether you graduated last year or ten years ago, you will still have access to our Careers Forever services. This includes the fantastic My Career Zone Digital, where you can learn about all things careers. There’s even a specific alum section under the employability programme.
My Career Zone Digital
My Career Zone Digital: it’s the central hub of all things careers and is divided into four sections; my tools, my learning, quick links, and employability programmes. My tools showcase all the practical services we offer, such as our CV builder, CV and interview 360 and assessment centre tools. My learning offers advice on how to boost your employability with employer webinars and business and IT skills. The Quick Links tab does exactly what it says on the tin; it gives links to relevant pages such as job search engines and our GoinGlobal page, which helps you find careers abroad. The employability programmes tab helps you with placement support and offers online skills tasks to improve your employability knowledge.
We can book you in for a range of appointments to fit whatever help you may need – and if you’re lucky, it might be me booking the appointment for you! Our appointments can be booked either online or in-person to fit your accessibility needs. Click here to find out how to maximize your appointments.
The Appointments are split up into three sections:
Advice appointments are for specific, practical advice related to your career. These are for when you have questions about the recruitment process, such as help preparing for an interview or assessment centre. This appointment could also include a CV/cover letter check, a review of a masters personal statement or if you have specific questions about interviews and the recruitment process.
Guidance appointments, on the other hand, are for when you need help making career decisions, such as how to get into specific sectors. We also have web pages on employment sectors and what you can do with your degree, which can be a good starting point before you book an appointment. Here is some more information on guidance appointments
Placement advice appointments are specifically for students who have placements as part of their degree, for example, a year in industry. You can discuss things like how to find or apply for placements. These appointments are self-bookable via Handshake.
If you are a business school student, your appointments are also self-bookable via Handshake. If you are a postgraduate research student, then visit the PGR students’ appointment booking page.
If you have yet to hear of Handshake, where have you been? It’s our partnered platform which offers everything career-related. One of the best parts (in my very biased opinion) about Handshake is the job application section. Handshake comes in both app and website form, which means you can access it no matter where you are. One of my favourite things about Handshake is being able to build a profile; it’s like a social media profile for your career. It’s also a brilliant starting point for your CV if you still need to make one. You can apply directly for all sorts of jobs, from part-time work along with your studies to graduate jobs and even internships over the summer. Handshake is also where you can sign up for all of our amazing skills sessions, which will usually count towards your Exeter Award. If you look at one thing from this article, then make it Handshake!
Here at the Career Zone, we offer a wide variety of events which will cater to all your career needs. Starting with the big ones, we have our spectacular careers fairs! Our Careers and Placements fair last October had 76 employers, including Deloitte, Aldi and many more. They are a brilliant way to network and learn about summer internships and graduate jobs. If that doesn’t persuade you, then these companies usually come with a stash, so if you need to replenish your pen collection, then why not do it somewhere you can get a career at the same time? We also offer a wide range of skills sessions both in person and virtually! Our events cover all things careers, with industry-specific Q+A sessions to career decision-making workshops with Lego. We also have a strong focus on accessibility in regards to careers with workshops such as ‘Top tips for exploring careers and jobs whilst managing your mental health’ and ‘disclosing a disability to an employer’.
Career planning and Research
Career planning is split into three core sections; deciding, planning and competing, depending on where you are in your career timeline. Deciding is where you do most of the research needed to work out what type of career you want. Planning is where you build on the skills you reached in your deciding phase by networking and gaining relevant work experience. Finally, competing is when you are ready to apply for postgraduate employment. This includes getting your CV ready and understanding how psychometric testing works. Whatever stage you’re at in your career plan, the Career Zone is here to help.
What can I do with my degree? As a film student, I’ve always been told that I should go into the film industry. I want to go in a different direction than this, and I have struggled to find what sectors interest me the most. The pages give you examples of job roles your degree equips you for, for example, employers to target, descriptions of the skills you learn on your degree (perfect to put on your CV), and advice on further study.
Our employment sectors page is perfect for researching more about the different sectors. We have administration, travel, and everything in between. Once you click on your desired employment sector, it gives you a description of the sector and how to start getting into the industry. There are also lots of tabs with further information, such as; job vacancies, potential employers and whether postgraduate study is recommended.
Speaking of postgrad study, we also have a page on choosing postgrad study. It gives you loads of really helpful and friendly advice on whether postgraduate study is right for you – even for PhD study as well. If you still have questions after reading the page or want to talk to someone about whether a Masters is useful for you in regard to employability, then make sure to get yourself booked into a guidance appointment with our advisors.
Last but definitely not least, the help with pages are perfect for when you have specific queries about all things careers. This is the central hub to find everything you need – for example, help with assessment centres and psychometric testing or help with networking. They always have a wide range of resources in them, and further reading if you still have questions!