Closing time

Every ending, a beginning.

It is that time when we are reaching the end of the academic year. A final flurry of exam stress and there, for finalists, your university life is over.

The first line is quote from a lyric of an American songwriter whose work I like.

Another similar quote is “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”   That one is from the Roman Philosopher Seneca the Younger, according to Wikipedia.  Ahem, and we a research university. I first heard it in song called “Closing time” by Semisonic late in the last century (have a listen below). This song was also used in the Simpsons TV series.  It was a dating song for Homer and Marge. Ahem.

We careers advisers like to talk about “transitions”. It is the bit between one settled period of your life, where you know what you are doing, to another settled period.  An ending and a beginning. An odd, exciting but unsure period.  Our first years will have made a major transition to university. Some will have sailed through this period of change, some will have winged it and for some it has been a bit of a roller-coaster ride.  Our second years will, in the main, be in that settled period. Our finalists will be entering one of the major transitions in life, leaving education and entering the world of work.  Goodness. Where does the time go?

We are here to help all students with these “transitions” from the first year undergraduates to PHD students and even the postdocs.  We offer help in many ways. Whether it is deciding what to do, help with your plans, how to get an internship or advising you on your CV and applications. Find out more on the Career Zone website.

What many do not realise is that we help graduates and postgraduates up to three years after they have left university. In person, if you are around. By email, by phone, by SKYPE if you are not.

I have to rush. The blog editor, Andy Morgan, is standing over my shoulder and telling me I have to wrap this up and meet my deadline.

But that’s fine.  I have known how to finish this from the start. And, dear Reader, you probably have already guessed how this would all finish.

Every ending, a beginning.

Tom McAndrew
Careers Consultant at the University of Exeter

Student Traders website launched

Student Traders
Student Traders

Student Traders is one of the University’s latest projects. But what exactly is it? How can it benefit you? And most importantly, how can you get involved? The Student Traders team answer these questions and give an insight into the initiative.

Since launching a few weeks ago, Student Traders has almost doubled in size as students, staff and the local community alike are demanding the skills University of Exeter students have to offer. So for those of you who missed our launch here’s what we’re all about…

The Student Traders website is for students who are currently studying at Exeter and for students who graduated up to three years ago, to showcase and advertise their businesses, products, community skilled services and trades.

It has primarily been designed to provide a FREE advertising platform for students who want to find employment through their extra-curricular skills. This means that you can effectively create a stream of income for yourself whilst you study, just from doing what you love and what you’re good at.

Student Traders isn’t just limited to extra-curricular based skills though, if you’re a budding entrepreneur then we could help you too. We already promote a range of businesses on our website from student run clothing companies to homemade poetry CD’s.

So how can you get involved? Check out our website at and see what we’re all about. Then, when you’ve thought of a skill you could provide or have your business website up together, just contact us – either through the website itself or at our email address:

Keep checking up on our site as we will be introducing new businesses and trades all the time and we also have some exciting events in the pipeline.

We are really open to feedback so please do get in touch with us if you have any comments or if you would like to find out more.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!


Are you the right fit for the finance industry?

Wall Street Bull
Charging Bull, Wall Street

The finance industry is a highly desirable area of work, and consequently a competitive sector to make your first step into. Employers in the industry have outlined key things they look for in candidates; there are variations between different finance professions but there are a number of core skills that are required unanimously across them all. Before putting all your efforts into cracking into this industry, it is crucial to establish whether you have these skills.

One of the most common of these is the ability to think analytically and solve problems. If you are naturally inquisitive, the finance profession could be a great place to test your skill of finding solutions to complex problems.

Alongside this, many firms are interested in candidates that can show imagination, which goes hand-in-hand with the logic needed in this industry.

Employers will be keen to see evidence of both confidence and interpersonal skills in candidates, as having the confidence and ability to interact well with clients is crucial. It is a given that at interview you’ll be asked to provide examples of a time when you have demonstrated these qualities, so brainstorming specific occasions is a helpful exercise to have done in advance.

It’s not only specific skills that financial employers look for, but an understanding of and passion for the sector. This displays a candidate’s enthusiasm and commitment to a career in the industry.

Candidates should also show strong levels of commercial awareness, understanding the latest trends and issues to hit the financial sector. To really shine you’ll need to take it one step further, it is important to form opinions on these and voice them; showing a genuine interest in financial markets.

To gain a better understanding of how students enter the finance industry, have a read of the Inside Careers employee profiles, including one from an Exeter alumnus, who interned at RBS.

To find out more about a range of careers in finance, head on over to the Inside Careers website.

Welcome to the Career Zone blog

Welcome to the University of Exeter Career Zone blog! Here you’ll find tips, advice and resources on all things career related. Our first post is about two very important resources that you need to know about to help you with your career planning while you’re here at the University of Exeter.

1. My Career Zone

My Career Zone

The first is our online system My Career Zone which contains career information and opportunities exclusively for University of Exeter students and recent graduates. Login with your Exeter username and password and you’ll find hundreds of adverts for:

  • Part-time jobs and casual work during term-time and in the holidays
  • Graduate jobs from employers targeting Exeter graduates, some of which you can apply for while you’re still a student
  • Work experience opportunities and internship schemes
  • Jobs and placements overseas, including the Erasmus Work Abroad scheme
  • Volunteering opportunities

My Career Zone is also where you can book onto the huge range of careers and employability events that are run by ourselves and by your College, including:

  • Employer and alumni talks and events on campus, where you can hear about what it’s like to work in certain sectors and what you need to do to get into them
  • Skills sessions to help you become more employable – these might be anything from listening and presentation skills to how to write an effective CV or how to use social media when hunting for jobs
  • Events that count towards The Exeter Award, which provides you with recognition from the University for you extra-curricular achievements

You can access My Career Zone at or you can login from our careers box in the MyExeter Portal. It’s a really fantastic resource, and you can use it for three years after you graduate – so make sure you get the most out of it!

2. The Career Zones

The Career Zone

The Career Zones located in the Forum on the Streatham Campus and in the Exchange on the Cornwall Campus, are open Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm. This is where you can drop-in and use our careers resources (print and digital) and speak to our Information Team who will be on hand to help with a range of enquiries, such as:

  • CV or application form reviews
  • Advice on finding work experience, graduate jobs, or postgraduate study
  • Finding information and advice on interviews and assessment centres
  • Information on our programme of workshops and events
  • Help if you have absolutely no idea what you’d like to do after you graduate!

Check out this video to find out more about the Career Zone:

The Career Zones are split into separate areas:

  • Resources – you can use our PCs to search our online resources and look through over 200 magazine and books on a wide range of employability topics
  • Community & Volunteering – Find out about opportunities with the Students’ Guild such as course reps, volunteering, signing up to societies and activities
  • Employer Zone – Meet employers in a relaxed and informal setting and find out more about their opportunities for you
  • Enterprise & Self Employment – Talk to entrepreneurs and get advice about setting up your own business or becoming self employed
  • Global Opportunities – Explore international work placements, jobs and opportunities abroad, discuss options and gain advice and support with the global employability team
  • Work Experience & Jobs – Come and talk to us about finding casual work, internships or graduate jobs both on and off campus

So don’t be shy – pop in and say hello! We look forward to meeting you and helping you start to think about life after Exeter.

Andy Morgan, Web Marketing Officer
University of Exeter