Exeter Award Week 2018

Olivia Evans is a Work Related Learning Assistant, based on the Streatham Campus. 

Olivia Evans, Work Related Learning Assistant

The Exeter Award is an employability achievement award for current undergraduate and taught postgraduate students. It’s for both Exeter and Penryn students and is delivered in partnership with the Students’ Guild and FXU. Completing the Award is a fantastic way to gain new skills and boost your CV at the same time. Find out more as we celebrate Exeter Award Week, 22 – 26 January.

The Award will help you transfer skills on paper into the real world and teach you how to really impress employers with a great CV, an impressive job interview, and well-developed soft skills. In fact, students who complete the Exeter Award are more likely to get a graduate-level job within six months of graduating.

“Employers are looking for so much more than just academics in such a competitive market place. The Exeter Award could make the difference for a candidate in terms of making them stand out from the rest.” John Lewis Partnership

Completing the Exeter Award doesn’t just make you more employable though. Many of the skills you will learn can help with your University studies. Our Personal Development sessions can teach you how to better manage your time and stress, how to work productively in a team and how to create and deliver an effective presentation. Learning how to write a strong CV/covering letter and give a good interview could be key to you gaining an internship, work placement or year abroad during your time at University.

“The Exeter Award helped me to improve my CV enormously, which was the first step to getting my first job. On a personal level it improved my confidence too, as the Exeter Award gives you the opportunity to challenge yourself, both on paper and when facing others.”  Sam Ellis, Contract and Sales Manager at Lionsgate (MA English Studies)

The Exeter Award can be easily completed alongside your studies, and you can do it at any point during your course. There are lots of things you might have done during your time at University that can contribute to the award e.g. attending certain Personal Development sessions, employability activities, eXfactor, Grand Challenges, Common Purpose and working a part-time job, internship or volunteering. Almost all of these are automatically uploaded to your Exeter Award progress report- all you need to do is register online to check- you might have done more than you think. Find out how to register here: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/exeteraward/structure/

“Students who complete the Exeter Award are more likely to get a graduate-level job within six months of graduating.”

If you’re already taking part in the Award, thinking about it or just want more information, we’ll be in the Career Zone and the Forum all week. Come and speak to our teams to find out about the range of opportunities we offer:


Monday– We’ll be in the Forum all day, so come and win prizes playing our Exeter Award Game and speak to the team to find out more about the Award and its benefits for you.

Tuesday and Thursday (PM): Our International Internship Ambassadors will be there to have a chat and answer all of your questions about International Internships.

Tuesday (10am-12:30pm) and Thursday (12:30pm-1:30pm): Doughnuts and Sign-Ups! If you’re interested in taking part in the Exeter Award, come to the Career Zone and when you sign up you’ll get a free doughnut too!

Wednesday: The Exeter Award and Enterprise teams will be holding drop-ins in the Career Zone all morning, so come and chat to them about Student Start-Ups and the Exeter Award.

Wednesday: Our Grand Challenges Team will be in the Forum all day to answer any of your questions about Grand Challenges this summer. You can also find out how you can complete your Exeter Award and prepare for Grand Challenges at the same time.

Friday: If you’re already taking part in the Award, our Careers advisors will be in the Career Zone all day to give you help and guidance on your mock application form, to help you perfect your job application skills.


Tuesday (10am-12pm) – Antonia Coppen will be holding drop-ins all morning in the Career Zone for anybody who has questions about starting or progressing with the Exeter Award, or just wants to find out more about it.

All Week: the Career Zone team will be at the Exchange and the Hubs all week, which is great for anybody who wants an informal chat or just has some questions about the Award and how it can benefit you.

We look forward to seeing you.

Stand out from the crowd with The Exeter Award

Current Exeter students Bianka Weber (BA History and Politics) and Sofia Marmorini (BA English and Drama) told us why completing the Exeter Award should be top of your New Year’s resolutions.

Bianka  When I began the Exeter Award, I didn’t know much about it, and didn’t realise how much I could learn from the sessions provided by the Career Zone. However, as I attended session after session, I realised how beneficial they were. Not only did I improve my CV, build a great LinkedIn profile and learn how to write effective job applications, I also made new friends and met like-minded and inspiring people.

Bianka Weber
Bianka Weber

“Not only did I improve my CV and learn how to write effective job applications, I also made new friends and met inspiring people.”

I learned how to network and negotiate with people and how to positively influence them. Completing the Exeter Award gave me great employability skills and when participating in interviews for summer internships, I was asked about the Award several times. Interviewers were always impressed by the fact that I took the time – during my studies – to take on extracurricular activities and develop the skills they required.

Last year I was asked to become an Exeter Award Ambassador, and I took on this responsibility with great joy as I find happiness in encouraging students to do something profitable for their careers. I hope others will follow my example and gain as much from the Exeter Award as I have.

Sofia The Exeter Award, in an increasingly competitive field, is a certificate that can really help your job application set you apart from other candidates. Independently of what you study you can take courses to increase your employability. Because the classes don’t belong to a particular subject, you meet students that are proactive, have a will to learn, and improve in areas that aren’t exclusively linked their academic subject. It’s therefore a nice way to make friends that branch out of your usual routines.

Sofia Marmorini
Sofia Marmorini

“Essentially, the Exeter Award pushes you to improve in the areas you decide to pursue, which is exactly what employers want to see you’re doing.”

I’m an international student and I study English and Drama, a subject that doesn’t really address job applications and CVs until the third year (as most subjects at the university do). Through Exeter Award classes, I was able to build a CV in a correct format that helped me apply for things such as summer jobs.

The Award offers skill-sessions that are targeted at improving your performance outside of the strict academic sphere. However, the extra classes I took in Creative Writing to help my studies also contributed to my Exeter Award, so I benefited twice.

Essentially, the Exeter Award pushes you to improve in the areas you decide to pursue, which is exactly what employers want to see you’re doing.

For more information about the Exeter Award visit www.exeter.ac.uk/exeteraward or ask a question through My Career Zone.

Completing the Exeter Award

The Exeter AwardAre you struggling through a dry January? Or are you trying to lose weight? Give up coffee? Sugar? Chocolate perhaps? Why not make a far less painful New Year’s resolution and aim to complete your Exeter Award in 2015!

What do I have to do?

The Exeter Award is an achievement award designed to give you recognition for the extra-curricular activities that you take part in whilst you’re a student here at Exeter. It’s a fairly easy way to really beef up your CV. You’ll need to attend a few skills sessions and gain some work experience, but there’s a good chance you’ve already taken part in some activities that you can count towards attaining the award, so you might already be halfway there!

The diagram below shows the steps you need to go through to complete the Award. You can see a larger version and find more information on the Exeter Award website.


Register or check your progress

Completing the Exeter Award is managed entirely through My Career Zone, this is where you will register to take part, sign up for events and track your progress. When you login click on the Exeter Award box in the centre of the screen to access your profile.


Work out which skills sessions appeal to you

Your Exeter Award profile provides links to the different activities you can count towards your Exeter Award, including events your College might be running.

Typical events include:

  • Alumni panels
  • Employer talks
  • Skills sessions such as:
    • time management
    • stress management
    • negotiation skills

Book up

Once you know which skills sessions or events you would like to attend – book your place via My Career Zone and put it in your diary. When you attend and scan-in this will automatically update on your award profile in My Career Zone: Magic!

Work experience

Not sure what to do for the work experience element of the Exeter Award? You can count any paid work experience or any voluntary work undertaken since starting at the University. You can see what other students have done by following the links above.


If you have a question about the Exeter Award, someone else has probably asked it too, we have lots of Exeter Award FAQs for you to look at. You can also find out more about the different elements of the Exeter Award on the Exeter Award webpages.

Over 350 students completed their Exeter Award last year – will you be completing yours in 2015?

Rachel Sloan,
Work-Related Learning Co-ordinator


2nd year Economics student Harry Ravi explains what korfball is and how playing sport at university can develop your employability

What is korfball? Answering this question has become all too much the norm for me.
Integrating the freedom of basketball and discipline of netball has created this great game of korfball. Unlike any other university sport, korfball provides a unique experience of mixed gender team work, resulting in a very sociable experience. Each team consists of 8 players; 4 boys and 4 girls whereby the aim is to simply get the ball into the basket (a korf).
A court is split in two, consisting of a defending and attacking zone. After two goals you switch ends. This provides everyone with a chance to enhance both their attacking and defending skills creating an all rounded player.

I discovered korfball as I wandered around campus during my Fresher’s week, with the imposing sight of the basket luring me in. The taster sessions soon followed and the enthusiasm of the relatively small group was infectious –as a first year it was easy to feel lost within this vast campus, and sport provided me with the perfect opportunity to find my feet and meet some great people along the way –and as they say, the rest is history. Circus themed socials, road trips to tournaments across the country and frequent trips to the RAM made for a fantastic year.

Sport is brilliant in bringing out the best of you; showcasing talents which most people don’t know they have within them. To be vocal and to coach 50 young adults are two things I would not have thought I would be able to demonstrate, until I was put into this position. Striking a balance in a team with various levels of ability and motivation, as well as finding a way of bringing everyone’s unique skill sets together, is challenging but ultimately very rewarding.

Simply as a member of the club and representing the university on a regular basis, has led to a greater appreciation of professionalism and integrity. This showcases the link between sport and becoming more employable, with both expanding and fine-tuning your skill set. While the skills demanded on the court differ to those put in practice in an office, the personal development is something that cannot be understated. Progressing from 2nd team to 1st team to now filling the shoes of the coach, it is evident that adapting to different roles is important and exemplifies how korfball and employability can be linked.

Check out the vast range of sports and societies that are available to take part in over on the Students’ Guild website.

Harry Ravi, 2nd year, BA Economics

Completing The Exeter Award

History graduate Emma Oliver talks about completing The Exeter Award and The Exeter Leaders Award which are designed to enhance your employability and boost your CV through giving you recognition from the University of Exeter for the activities you are participating in outside of your studies.

Emma Oliver, History

In my final year at the University of Exeter I completed both The Exeter Award and the Exeter Leaders Award. Neither of the Awards took up a large amount of time nor were they detrimental to my degree, as the extra-curricular activities I was already taking part in fulfilled some of the award criteria.

Aside from studying History at Exeter, I devoted a huge amount of my time to extra-curricular activities which included being an active member of the History Society and playing netball for the University. In my final year I was President of the History Society and helped to coach netball to the clubs non-BUCs teams. Both of these activities fulfilled the criteria for the Exeter and Exeter Leaders Award.

I believe that the Awards have helped to enhance my CV as they demonstrate the skills I have learnt and developed through my personal activities as well as the skills development sessions which one must attend, such as team work and leadership, as part of the Awards. These short but effective sessions are valuable preparation for graduation and provide official university recognition to the range of activities I have undertaken during my time at Exeter.

Furthermore, active involvement in university life or any extra-curricular activity has been proven to be vital to any job interview. The skills and insight both the Exeter Award and the Exeter Leaders Award have provided has been hugely beneficial.

In the summer of my second year I gained an internship at HSBC for 8 weeks. During the 8-week placement I was able to gain a further insight into the banking industry. I was placed in the operations department and every week I attended a presentation from a variety of departments within HSBC, such as Risk and Asset Management. I not only learnt and contributed to work within my own department but also gained an overview of HSBC and the banking industry and how it operates as a whole. It was extremely interesting and valuable, not just as work experience but also in utilising and practicing some of the skills the Exeter Award and the Exeter Leaders Award encourages – such as the value of effective communication, team work and establishing a rapport with people.

The Exeter Award is sponsored by EY

I am now about start the Teach First programme, which is an independent charity founded to encourage ambitious graduates, who would not normally enter teaching, to teach for at least two years in challenging secondary schools throughout the UK.

You can find out more about The Exeter Award and Exeter Leaders Award on the Career Zone Website.

Emma Oliver