Category Archives: Graduate Business Partnership (GBP)

Devon County Council – Employer Case Study

Name of Organisation:  Devon County Council

Description of Organisation: Devon County Council is the county council administering the English county of Devon which is based in the city of Exeter. The members are elected every four years to reflect the electorate of each county division. Most being nominated by the large national political parties.

Name of Employer:  Nicola Channon

Job Title: Resilience Lead

Internship Scheme used:  GBP

Graduate Business Partnership (GBP) – Employment Services – University of Exeter


The internship process enabled us to recruit an intelligent and capable young person to be part of our Emergency Planning Team. The intern responded effectively to emergencies in the County by having up to date and comprehensive plans, specifically the Coastal Pollution Plan. The information was gathered through site visits and meetings with partners and the data gathered in this way provided. the detail needed to ensure plans are up to date and reliable sources of information. The intern completed all tasks with enthusiasm and diligence.

The graduate completed a piece of work that needed focused effort and would have been difficult to get done otherwise – but that is an important aspect of our work. It was completed to a very high standard.

Our intern has proved to be an interested and effective member of the team. His experience has led to a post with a neighbouring authority which he well deserves.


Ambios – Employer Case Study


Name of Organisation:  Ambios

Description of Organisation: Ambios Ltd provides nature conservation training in UK and EU via traineeships and volunteering opportunities. Our Mission is to ‘provide inspirational education, practical action, science and technology training and volunteering opportunities in nature conservation in the UK and abroad.’ We help people achieve their goals for nature, science, education and employment.

Name of Employer:  Simon Roper

Job Title: Director

Internship Scheme used:  A2I, SBP

Employer subsidies (A2I) – Employment Services – University of Exeter

Student Business Partnership (SBP) – Employment Services – University of Exeter


We have  hired  a number of interns from the University of Exeter’s Internship scheme.

One intern was as a part-time Grant Funding & GiftIn-Kind Researcher and Bid Writer. The intelligent and dedicated individual  we chose managed to successfully juggle a complex and diverse work pattern. She balanced the demands of her studies while building networks and undertaking the research and bid-writing tasks we asked of her with amazing operational dexterity. Her overt enthusiasm is a credit to her and will undoubtedly support her future career. While with us, this enthusiasm for learning how to research specific funders in the context of our organisation’s mission was a great asset.

Our intern successfully undertook very detailed research into possible funders we might approach for assistance with a capital project at our nature conservation training farm in South Devon. This research is challenging, as funders can have a long list of criteria, any one of which can mean the applicant is unable to apply. Sorting through this data was a major task which our SBP completed well. This learning led to her formulating and proposing a written letter-form application to a specific Charitable Trust identified from her initial research. This letter was submitted in the Ambios Ltd name by the end of her time with us. In the context of what was about to unfold with Covid-19, and the response of the charitable sector (to reallocate their funding to Covid-19 emergency support), the bid was not successful on this occasion. It does, however, represent an asset which can be used to approach other funders when the time is right.  Our intern therefore leaves Ambios Ltd with that legacy for which we are very grateful. We have no doubt that there is bright and exciting future for her and we wish her well in her future endeavours.

We also recruited a Carbon Offset Project Development Officer and were very impressed with how prepared they were for the workplace. Our Intern looked at our carbon footprint in relation to our European mobility programmes. She proved to be an excellent asset to our organisation producing quality outputs which challenged our thinking, and which signposted an urgent need for change.

We recommend the Internship Scheme to other companies. It is very well managed and implemented.  We thoroughly enjoyed taking on an intern and hope to host more in the future.

Quote from Carbon Offset Project Development Officer Intern:

“I carried out internet searches on the potential options and finally found documents which enabled me to work out the values. As a result, I demonstrated to Ambios how harmful flying is and they are now looking at changing the business model to less harmful methods of travel or looking at generally less movement- perhaps focusing the work of the projects to the UK rather than abroad. Also they are looking at planting trees because I presented the positive benefits of this apart from just offsetting- air quality, water quality, biodiversity, mental health etc.”


Devon County Council- Employer Case Study

Name of Organisation:  Devon County Council 

Description of Organisation: Devon County Council is the county council administering the English county of Devon which is based in the city of Exeter. The members are elected every four years to reflect the electorate of each county division. Most being nominated by the large national political parties. 

Name of Employer:  Heather Hillman

Job Title: Team Manager

Internship Scheme used GBP 

Graduate Business Partnership (GBP) – Employment Services – University of Exeter


We recruited a graduate to work as Economic Development Project Assistant in the Business Innovation Team within the Economy, Enterprise and Skills ServiceThe intern provided secretariat and administrative support to 2 ERDF funded Programmes.   

Our Intern’s hard work enabled both Programmes to meet the funders requirements for complianceIn order to do this, she organised and recorded steering group and management board meetings, checked output claims and instigated robust document retention plans.  

We enjoyed a positive intern experience and found that the candidate was fully able to understand the complexities of providing Project Management support within the content of European Funded Programmes. Our graduate was offered another role in Devon County council when her contract had finished. She made a very brilliant contribution to our company and worked well within our dynamic team.  





Devon and Cornwall OPCC -Employer Case Study

Name of Organisation: Devon and Cornwall OPCC

Description of Organisation:  The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is a non-political, impartial organisation and its head of paid service is the chief executive officer. The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner is a separate organisation to Devon and Cornwall Police. It fits into several categories such as strategy, policy and performance, Criminal justice, commissioning and partnerships, collaborations, and national activity as well as, many more. The Police and Crime Commissioner is to be the voice of the people in policing.

Name of Employer: Andrew Kirchin

Job Title: Communications and Engagement Manager

Internship Scheme used:  GBP

Graduate Business Partnership (GBP) – Employment Services – University of Exeter


We employed an intern to work within our office of the police and crime commissioner. The GBP became a valued member of the team very quickly and showed her worth. She worked hard in the workplace and made a great impact on our organisation. We were very impressed with her work so we have extended her internship with us and we would also like to offer her a full-time contract too.

This is the third intern I have brought into my team and, in all the fifth into the office. All have made a fantastic impact, and all have been offered a full-time roll as a result. Bringing in bright, ambitious individuals has changed the dynamic of the office for the better in a way I have seldom seen in the public sector.

I would just like to say that, yet again, the standard of applicant we attracted through the University’s Graduate Business Partnership was outstanding. All three passed the threshold for appointment at interview. We were very impressed with the way the chosen candidate presented herself. She was a credit to whatever work the University does to prepare students for this next stage of their lives. I would highly recommend the University of Exeter’s internship team and we will continue to use this brilliant service.


Devon County Council- Employer Case Study

Name of Organisation: Devon County Council

Description of Organisation and Role: Devon County Council is the county council administering services across Devon. The members are elected every four years to reflect the electorate of each county division. Most being nominated by the large national political parties.

The main purpose of the internship was to support the Democratic process of Devon County Council to assist in ensuring those processes are carried out in accordance with statutory requirements and the Council’s Constitution and procedures and also with the promotion and encouragement of public involvement and participation through, for example, webcasting and social media.

Name of Employer: Karen Strahan

Job Title: Head of Democratic Services

Internship Scheme used:  GBP

Graduate Business Partnership (GBP) – Employment Services – University of Exeter


We recruited an intern to work as a Democratic and Scrutiny Support Officer. He worked on a task group which researched air quality and congestion in Devon. This included producing a report with innovative recommendations targeted at improving air quality and congestion. The report attracted media attention with the Chair undertaking a radio interview, based on the work done by our brilliant intern. Our student became a very important part of our team.

I believe quite passionately about giving young people the opportunity to start their careers and give them a platform to move onwards and upwards. At present there was no vacant full-time position to offer so I made the decision to go through the intern process for a second time.

As a newly appointed manager, I was keen to explore the opportunities offered by the GBP. The fact that I am about to undertake a second placement is testament to the GBP and the calibre of candidates that apply for the positions. The experience was very positive, support from the University of Exeter is excellent and also a fresh face joining the team is always good to shake things up and look at how we do things differently. I recommend hiring an intern, ours was timely and smart and made a positive contribution to our organisation.


Graduate Ambassador (Widening Participation and Direct Recruitment) – University of Exeter

The internship was invaluable in helping me to develop the skills required to secure a training contract to be a solicitor. I am now back in full time education completing an MA in Law and look forward to starting with the firm in 2020.

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

As a Graduate Ambassador, I worked in both widening participation and direct recruitment. This involved delivering presentations for schools and colleges to inform students about their Higher Education options. I represented the University of Exeter at Information Fairs and UCAS Exhibitions, as well as helping with events on campus such as Open Days and Offer-Holder visit days.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Leadership, strategic planning, IT

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Commercial awareness, logical thinking, professionalism

Social Innovation Consultants Intern – University of Exeter

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

Approach and communicate with a variety of companies, via email, to secure student work experience placements for the Easter to summer period of the next academic year. Initial research of the company was needed to ensure they were suitable for Geography and Environmental Science Students and then an email was drafted and sent. I was responsible for any communications between the company and the university through answering questions, queries or any ideas they may have for the placements.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I created loads of new networking links and provided my fellow students with exciting work experience prospects that could lead onto further employment.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

Completed a project that lightened the workload of other colleagues.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Persuasion, customer service, focus on goals and outcomes

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Perseverance, logical thinking, independence

Eva, Employability and Work Placement Assistant

Degree: MA in Human Rights and International Politics 2017

Job Role: An Employability and Work Placement Assistant works within the Student Employability and Acadmic Success team to provide administrative support covering all aspects of emplyability and in particular, work placements across all colleges.

Eva’s Experience: I am originally from Athens, Greece and started applying for jobs, in various NGOs in the UK, Belgium and France. I decided to apply for a GBP position as I am aware of how placement schemes work in some European countries. I would encourage students to apply for the GBP scheme as it gives recent graduates the opportunity to explore their options, before they have a finalised career path. After the end of my internship I will apply for field work in Argentina, promoting equal access to education, for all children.

Rosie, Waste Management Support Officer DCC

Degree: BSc Biological Sciences 2017

Job Role: A Waste Management Support Officer works for Devon County Council on various projects, including promoting schools waste education work, supporting the Waste@Work scheme and changing behaviour.

Rosie’s Experience: Completing a GBP is a perfect opportunity to try out a field of interest without committing the rest of your life to it. I have really enjoyed my internship but have realised that I prefer to be outside of the office. I now want to peruse a career in global wildlife health and conservation. My internship has given me confidence in all my soft skills, given me more to talk about at interviews and, I have also learnt that waste is a dynamic, interesting sector to work in and I might be interested in a more hands-on role here in the future.

Simon, Higher Education Project Officer

Degree: BA History and Politics 2017

Job Role: A Higher Education Project Officer provides support for projects in the Exeter Education Incubator, supporting academics who are working on projects to reimagine how university education can be delivered.

Simon’s Experience: I applied for this GBP because it was an exciting chance for me to learn a variety of useful employment skills in quite a short time, whilst also earning money. The fact that the GBP is only 6 months is actually convenient for me, as I am planning on doing a Masters in September. I graduated summer 2017 in history and politics, and I would absolutely encourage any other graduate to take up a GBP, particularly those who don’t know exactly what they want to do career-wise, but still want to do something that will significantly improve their employability. Beyond doing a Masters my own long-term plans are still quite vague, but what I do know is that whatever I end up doing, the skills and experiences I have picked up here will definitely prove relevant.