Category Archives: Sector

Alumni Profile: John Rhodes (LLB Law Degree)

Name: John Rhodes

Nationality: British and German

What did you study at the University of Exeter? LLB Law

What year did you graduate? 1973

What country are you currently working in? Switzerland

Tell us a a bit about your time at Exeter, why did you choose to study here?

I chose Exeter for several reasons: mainly because the course involved foreign and European laws. Exeter was at the forefront of teaching European law and at that time also taught French law. Very few Universities were as forward thinking. I knew I would be using my languages in my career. Secondly, Exeter’s surrounding area is one of the most beautiful in the country and I did not fancy being in an urban sprawl, having been brought up in London. Thirdly, it’s a long way from anywhere!

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

The friendliness of the teaching staff (although Professor Parker was a bit scary) and the size of the University, in those days only 4.000 students!

Did you use the Careers Service while you were at Exeter? If so, how did they help you?

No, I didn’t need to, I made my own enquiries.

Your career,  what have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

I became a Solicitor and found a firm in London which needed German speakers. (That was not so easy as most just wanted French speakers for their Paris and/or Brussels offices). The two firms I found both made me offers of articles and I accepted one. I became a Partner in that firm, and eventually Head of the German Department (we had offices in Hamburg and Frankfurt). I ran the Frankfurt Office for a while. I was with that firm for 32 years and then, when the firm’s fortunes waned, decided to look outside the box and joined a commercial and international firm in Zurich. Now I know why I studied trusts at Exeter!

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I advise on English law in a Swiss law firm. The Swiss lawyers come to for advice on their English law/English language cases, litigation, arbitration, contracts and I advise clients who may have business or assets in Switzerland who require assistance -company/commercial or tax/trusts.

How have your University of Exeter studies helped in your career?

Everything one learns at University has some relevance at some point. I never thought trusts law would come to so important for me. Of course company law and commercial law were the backbone of my career. Criminal law was fascinating in the first year but of little practical use as it turned out.

Do you have any advice for current students wishing to pursue your career?

If you are a German speaker, do get in touch with the British-German Jurists Association who will guide you towards those firms, all round the country, and abroad, who will be most interested in giving you articles, or a summer placement.

What are your plans for the future?

I am nearing retirement age. Luckily, or unluckily, I can work as long as I wish…..

Do you have any tips or advice on being employable?

I used to interview prospective trainees. Ensure your CV has no spelling errors and that your referees know they are your referees (I once received a very poor reference from an academic – he said he neither liked nor trusted the applicant!). Make sure the CV includes all hobbies and extracurricular interests. If you speak a language, say so and mention how fluent you are. Particularly if your grades are mediocre, you have to sell yourself in some other way.

Student Case Study: Saudi British Joint Business Council

Name of Student:  Sophie Wormley

Degree Subject:  BSc Politics and International Relations

Job Title: Membership and Marketing Assistant

Company Name:  Saudi British Joint Business Council

Description of Company: We are an independent and private sector-led body, which aims to develop and enhance business relations between Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. Through both its British and Saudi members and its Secretariat in London and Riyadh, the council offers a range of services and provides access to high-level governmental and private sector networks in Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom.

Type of Internship:  Student Business Partnerships (SBPs) 

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

Throughout this internship I have had many responsibilities including marketing events, recruiting new members, drafting the monthly newsletter and helped organise our big event.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

One output I produced was the monthly newsletter which I drafted each month, this would inform the members of any updates to our organisation as well as some news updates in Saudi Arabia. We would encourage members to take part in our upcoming events and it certainly increased the engagement. Another output I produced was marketing our organisation’s events on LinkedIn to increase awareness of not only our events but also our organisation to encourage new members to join. Through several posts, the organisation’s LinkedIn gained many followers.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

My biggest achievement was my input in ensuring the smoothness of the big event we ran. SBJBC hosted the ‘UK/Saudi Sustainable Investment Forum’ in mid July and it required a lot of effort in all areas. My role was to market the event as well as complete a lot of admin tasks including creating spreadsheets of the attendees and ensuring they had the relevant documents (ie. approval and Covid restrictions). As a result of my work, the event ran very smoothly and was well organised across all areas.

What did not go so well on your internship? How did you overcome any challenges?

I certainly felt shy at some points in the internship and lacked the confidence to talk on group calls. However, throughout the course of my internship I have made a considerable effort to improve on this. Through researching the events and asking questions, I now feel a lot more confident speaking on calls.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Leadership
  • Strategic Planning
  • Decision Making

Attributes Developed:

  • Logical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Independence
  • Work Ethic
  • Professionalism

Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector?

“I have loved completing my internship this summer. Not only has it massively improved my confidence, it has given me many employability skills which will certainly help in the future. I have learned the importance of team work, especially working within such a small team as I have had constant communication with my colleagues. Although I may have felt shy at some points, I overcame this by asking questions and carrying out lots of research to ensure I felt confident speaking on calls.”

 

Student Case Study: University of Exeter

Name of Student:  Emma de Saram

Degree Subject:  BA History

Job Title: SCP 5540 Environment & Climate Emergency Education Resources Intern

Company Name:  University of Exeter Climate and Emergency Team

Type of Internship:  Student Campus Partnership (SCP)

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

I interviewed 68 academics, staff and students on the University of Exeter’s engagement with the Sustainable Development Goals and used these interviews to create 19 Vodcasts based on the SDG’s for the University to promote.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

We provided 19 Vodcasts for the University, as well as a report summarising our findings of the University’s progress on each of the Sustainable Development Goals to be presented at the Education Executive meeting, and covering quantitate data, with our recommendations of what can be done next to achieve them and integrate the SDG’s into all aspects of University life.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

My biggest achievement was learning how to create an informative dynamic video for promotional purposes. I managed to interview a broad range of lecturers and staff at the university, and transform this into a video through learning how to use software like iMovie, and working with the guidance of the design team. The result of adapting to this software and way of online working was the creation of the videos.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Leadership
  • Strategic Planning
  • Decision Making

Attributes Developed:

  • Logical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Independence
  • Work Ethic
  • Professionalism

Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector?

“This internship has been without doubt one of the most rewarding experiences I have had. I was able to channel both my climate activism, creativity and organisational skills into creating 19 Vodcasts with the Climate and Emergency Team and my colleague, who is now one of my good friends! I learnt a huge amount from interviewing leading academics, and finding out about student projects. Although the internship was hard work, it all paid off, especially in the last week where we really saw our output come to life in the form of our first produced video.”

Student Case Study: University of Exeter

Name of Student:  Ghalia Abel

Degree Subject: MPH Biological Sciences

Job Title: Digital Learning Developer

Company Name:  University of Exeter

Type of Internship:  Graduate Business Partnership (GBP)

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

Providing digital support to university staff for online and blended learning materials.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

As part of a team I produced a digital magazine showcasing the innovative teaching and learning used by The University of Exeter Business School academics to enhance the student digital Learning experience. This magazine highlighted the numerous methods and creativity of the UEBS academics when teaching.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

An academic was looking to produce a short conference video with the speaker as the main subject on the screen. My task was to find a software that allowed video editing flexibility. I began researching and found an open source software that could be used to achieve the academics vision. The academic was able to produce the video and submit it for the conference in a timely manner. The talk was accepted and received great feedback.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Focus on Goals and Outcomes
  • Organisation
  • IT
  • Strategic Planning
  • Decision Making

Attributes Developed:

  • Logical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Independence
  • Work Ethic
  • Professionalism

Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector?

“The internship allowed me to learn many new digital skills and work as part of a welcoming and friendly team. The flexibility of the internship allowed me to manage my time and prioritise tasks while continuing to progress as an individual.”

Student Case Study: University of Exeter

Name of Student:  Katie Smith

Degree Subject:  BA CH Art History and Visual Culture with English

Job Title: GBP 5063 Education Support Assistant

Company Name:  University of Exeter

Type of Internship:  Graduate Business Partnership (GBP)

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

  • Providing first-line enquiry and standard transaction education support service for students and academic teaching staff, and high-quality general administration support as required for Humanities programmes
  • Communicating with students, staff and members of the public over a broad range of enquiries and issues in a clear, professional and friendly manner via email, phone and face-to-face interactions
  • Training and understanding of a variety of general programmes and specialised database systems, with a high level of competency in Microsoft Office
  • Responsible for a number of key administrative processes within the subjects of English and Film, such as processing assessments and allocating modules, all of which required management of large databases, problem solving and attention to detail, both during the initial processing and subsequent checks.
  • Working closely with the student welfare team to process sensitive and confidential information in an appropriate manner for students with a variety of mental or physical disabilities
  • Improving the efficiency of other team members and tasks through devising clear, systematic methodologies and creating simple ‘How to’ documents, as well as continuously committing to internal training sessions

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

Outputs = On a daily basis I would produce clear answers to student enquiries. Behind the scenes, I also produced ‘How to’ documents for internal use within my team, which helped to improve understanding of key processes and programmes. These were also beneficial for new starters. I also produced numerous reports for key members of staff, such as personal tutor allocations and module allocations.

Outcomes = I have had really positive feedback from within my team and have been given an above and beyond award for my hard work. The administrator I assist has also been able to focus on more important and complex tasks as they have trusted me to be able to take care of processes independently. In what has been a very tough year our team has been able to maintain efficiency, and I believe that is in part due to my efficient working and assistance.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

My biggest achievement was successfully allocating modules to all 2nd and 3rd year students on English and Film programmes. My administrator and line manager were both on annual leave, which meant that I was left responsible for the entire process, which I had not completed before. This process included harvesting the data of module selections from over 300 students, going through each student and creating a spreadsheet of potential module numbers, meeting with the Director of Education with our department to discuss these and which modules needed to be capped. I then needed to go through each individual student and allocate modules to them based on their rankings, as well as specific programme rules, ensuring terms were balanced and that they had the right number of credits. Many of the students had issues with their selections, and so I had to get in touch with them to explain the problems and provide solutions. Once all allocations were made, I then needed to open the record of each student on our specialised database programme SITS and add in/remove the modules they had been allocated. I also had regular assistant tasks to complete such as answering the phone and general enquiries. To achieve all of this, I ensured that I had all the information organised beforehand and set myself smaller more achievable goals throughout the week. As a result of this hard work, I was able to complete all of the above within the 5 days that my managers were away. Upon their return they were extremely impressed with how much I have been able to achieve. I would say this is my biggest achievement because I was really proud of my work ethic and how I was able to work so well under pressure.

What did not go so well on your internship? How did you overcome any challenges?

It was challenging to start the position remotely, and this has meant that over 1 year on there are still members of my team I have never met in person. However, I think this has really improved my computer skills and communication. I have found it a challenge to provide customer service over the phone, however as this is a task required on a daily basis, I have pushed through and I think my confidence has definitely improved.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Leadership
  • Strategic Planning
  • Decision Making

Attributes Developed:

  • Logical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Independence
  • Work Ethic
  • Professionalism

Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector?

“My internship experience has been really positive, and has been a great way for me to get a full time role in a real position without feeling out of my depth. Most administrative positions advertised require previous office experience, so completing this internship has given me a whole host of useful experience to take forward into my career.”

Student Case Study: University of Exeter

Name of Student:  Bryony Dennison

Degree Subject: MSCI Natural Sciences WIS

Job Title: SCP 5540 Environment & Climate Emergency Education Resources Intern

Company Name:  University of Exeter

Type of Internship:  Student Campus Partnerships (SCPs)  

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

Helping to create a compulsory climate literacy training course for staff and students at the university. This involved interviewing academics, researching content and discussing how to present this content.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

We produced the content for a 10 hour compulsory training course for the staff and students of the University of Exeter; this content is now being turned used to create a visually appealing module by an external company. It is hoped this module will lead to a greater understanding of the climate crisis, and therefore greater action among the university.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

I was especially pleased with the content I produced for the ‘science of climate change’ section of the course. This was a one hour module covering topics such as the greenhouse effect and the carbon budget. As we will have a wide range of participants, I had to make this content accessible and engaging for those with differing levels of pre-existing knowledge. This was challenging, as many find this topic dull. I included interactive diagrams with definitions of scientific terms to avoid repetition of information those with scientific backgrounds would already be familiar with. I also embedded optional videos and interviews for the same purpose. A variety of small quizzes were also added to make content more varied. Although we have not yet received formal feedback from our outputs, I feel I have achieved the project briefs here.

What did not go so well on your internship? How did you overcome any challenges?

We needed to communicate with multiple academics who had expressed interest in being interviewed for or reviewing the project, many of whom did not respond to our emails at all or in a timely manner. This meant we had to be proactive in following up these academics and contacting alternative interviewees – this turned out to be positive, as we ended up receiving a more diverse range of participants. Similarly, at the end of the internship, we had not received feedback for all sections of the course. We had managed our time carefully to account for this delay and implemented several days to review the content of the other interns.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Leadership
  • Strategic Planning
  • Decision Making

Attributes Developed:

  • Logical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Independence
  • Work Ethic
  • Professionalism

Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector?

“I was involved in producing the content for a climate literacy training course for the staff and students of the University of Exeter. This involved interviewing academics and writing content for a variety of topics including the science and effects of climate change. As a result of this opportunity, I have developed my video editing, project management and science communication skills, as well as becoming more confident. If I were to repeat the project, I would be more proactive in communicating with academics.”

Student Case Study: University of Exeter

Name of Student:  Athena Atkinson

Degree Subject: MSC Mining Engineering

Job Title: STEM intern

Company Name:  University of Exeter

Type of Internship: CEMPS Internship

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

It was my responsibility to collect STEM-related questions for use in the STEM Day quizzes. After the group of interns had finished their respective parts of the presentation, we switched it up to keep it exciting. I also worked on the Growth Mindset part, which highlights the importance of resilience in the learning process. The Growth Mindset was very interesting as I hadn’t heard about it before this project, and it taught me to have more patience about new academic challenges.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

The internship gave me the opportunity to collaborate with a confident group of interns and create activities and quizzes designed to inspire younger students considering STEM. We did this through a series of ‘STEM Days’, days where we would present our content to schools and colleges.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

Each member of the team had a specific activity to design and make for the STEM Days, where we would present our content to schools and colleges around the UK. I had to create a series of STEM-related quiz questions, which would engage the younger students and encourage thoughts about STEM subjects. I created questions for a range of different topics, and used menti.com to quiz the younger students in a virtual environment. This was very effective, and we were able to discuss each answer afterwards.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Leadership
  • Strategic Planning
  • Decision Making

Attributes Developed:

  • Logical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Independence
  • Work Ethic
  • Professionalism

Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector?

“I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of STEM Beyond Boundaries this summer. It gave me the opportunity to collaborate with a confident group of interns and create activities and quizzes designed to inspire younger students considering STEM. We did this through a series of ‘STEM Days’, days where we would present our content to schools and colleges. Digital platforms such as Teams, Zoom, and Google Meet were brilliant in widening participation from schools all over the UK. Each STEM Day was varied with a range of different age groups and number of students. The Q&A session at the end of the presentations were the best part of the internship as you could see what the students had taken in, listen to their thoughts about STEM, and discuss the next steps in their STEM journeys.”

Student Case Study: University of Exeter

Name of Student:  Ayooluwatomi Adesina

Degree Subject: MA Creative Writing

Job Title: SCP 5342 Research Intern

Company Name:  University of Exeter

Type of Internship: Student Campus Partnerships (SCPs)  

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

I was part of a team that analysed and coded extracted data under several categories. I weekly analysed data from the viral #BringBackOurGirls campaign as we looked at the impact of the post-humanitarian advocacy. As a Nigerian, I also offered insight into the political landscape in the region of our research.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

Output = A series of interpreted and coded data (viral tweets) on the #BringBackOurGirls campaign from 2014 to 2017.

Outcomes = To be determined by later stage analysis, which was yet to be carried out when concluding this internship.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

I had initially joined the research team to translate and analyse data (tweets) in local Nigerian languages. However, a need for more coders on the unit arose, and I decided to pick up a new skill. I learnt how to code and took on this new role in assisting the team, which increased our work output rate.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Leadership
  • Strategic Planning
  • Decision Making

Attributes Developed:

  • Motivation
  • Creative thinking
  • Independence
  • Work Ethic
  • Professionalism

Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector?

“I was attracted to this internship because of the opportunity to be part of a team investigating society’s response to humanitarian issues. This project focused on international and domestic #BringBackOurGirls campaigns. I am pleased by the progress I have made on this project – from analysing and coding tweets to being a part of several brainstorming sessions that shaped different aspects of the project. Aside from improving my collaborative research skills, I had the privilege of working with inspiring lecturers like Dr Stacey Hynd and Dr Elena Gadjanova. They made the experience surreal. Finally, I am grateful for other research interns on the project.”

Student Case Study: University of Exeter

Name of Student:  Miranda Sandy

Degree Subject: German and Spanish/now MSC Marketing (9 months)

Job Title: GBP 5436 Education and Student Support Assistant

Company Name:  University of Exeter

Type of Internship:  Graduate Business Partnership (GBP)

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

– Working in the Quality and Standards Team for the College of Social Sciences and International Studies and the Business School.

– Liaising with academic staff members to process changes to modules and the addition/withdrawal of modules.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

Ensuring that module information was correctly input into iPaMS and therefore correct on the university website – My line manager often asked me to undertake investigative work. This involved searching through emails, our tracking spreadsheet and various SharePoint sites to ascertain the progress of a module’s approval. – My line manager asked me to create spreadsheets for him, often related to the above and to undertake audits (i.e. Arabic modules). One day when he was not at work he left me with instructions to create a spreadsheet using documents with Accelerate survey responses. This involved inputting figures from a large number of survey results to calculate percentage satisfaction. I worked hard to finish the spreadsheet that day, and my boss was pleased to be able to use it in a presentation the next day.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

We quite often received requests from departments with missing or incomplete paperwork, which I would often return to them asking for the correct information. On one occasion, an Accreditation Officer had submitted several requests on old template versions of the coversheet, thus some of the information we required was missing. Rather than returning everything to him and asking him to redo it, I decided to copy all the details we did have onto the correct coversheets and highlight the information we still required. This approach meant that I was able to provide a good service to the staff member while obtaining the information we required to process his request.

What did not go so well on your internship? How did you overcome any challenges?

The main challenge I faced concerned my poor WiFi at home. On a couple of occasions this meant that spreadsheets I was working on jointly with another member of staff became corrupt and an earlier version had to be restored. I overcame this by contacting my internet service provider and purchasing new WiFi extenders which helped the problem, I improved my use of Windows; closing Excel when I wasn’t using it and shutting down my laptop every night. This meant that such issues occurred far less frequently.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Problem Solving
  • Teamwork and Collaboration
  • IT

Attributes Developed:

  • Confidence
  • Initiative

Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector?

“I am very grateful to the Quality and Standards Team for giving me my first graduate-level role. Although I never met my colleagues in person and my role was for only 3 months, I was very much made to feel part of the team. I would have liked to have stayed longer, but the experience has given me confidence going forward and applying to other graduate-level roles due to the recent and relevant examples I will be able to talk about in applications and interviews.”

Student Case Study: University of Exeter

Name of Student:  Jude Ratnayake

Degree Subject: BA Geography

Job Title: SCP 5698 Global Systems Institute

Company Name:  University of Exeter

Type of Internship: Student Campus Partnerships (SCPs)  

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship?

Developing an academic master database that characterised and processed a variety of key academic publications (written by members of the Global Systems Institute) according to their relevance with the Sustainable Development Goals. Reviewing academic publications and identifying key words that would be useful for readers. Reviewing academic publications and identifying specific geographical locations they related to.

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer?  

I produced an extensive master database comprised of 458 individual publications from 73 Global Systems Institute (GSI) academics covering a range of different disciplinary fields. The database can be used for the GSI Website to highlight the relevance of the University of Exeter’s research (GSI) to the global Sustainable Development Goals. The database can also be used for the GSI Website to highlight how the University of Exeter’s research (GSI) engages with a diverse range of geographical locations on an international/global scale. The database can also be used for the GSI Website to allow readers to better navigate and identify academic publications that are of interest to them using the keywords tool.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship?

My biggest achievement was the successful completion of the internship’s final end-product: GSI Master Database. Throughout the month-long internship period, I consistently worked full-time on developing this database (a total of three versions) ensuring I used my critical analysis and research skills to collate various academic publications via a digital database that provided useful information regarding the specific SDGs, specific geographical locations and specific keywords the publications related to. As a result, an extensive master database can be used for the development/advancement of the GSI website. Additionally, the internship gave me a stronger grasp and understanding of the globally significant SDGs.

What did not go so well on your internship? How did you overcome any challenges?

I did not find any specific challenges whilst working on this internship. This was because I remained in regular contact with my line manager who helped clarify any issues could have been encountered, for example, what to do when limited information was available for a particular publication/academic.

Skills Learnt: 

  • Ability to Work Under Pressure
  • Organisation
  • Focus on Goals and Outcomes
  • Leadership
  • Strategic Planning

Attributes Developed:

  • Logical thinking
  • Perseverance
  • Personal Awareness
  • Independence
  • Work Ethic

Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector?

“This internship experience was extremely rewarding for me. I was able to expand my knowledge and engagement with the global SDGs and I was able to develop my digital communication and research skills (critical analysis) whilst creating this master database for the GSI. I demonstrated my self-sufficiency in a remote working environment whilst also maintaining effective communication skills with my line manager that led to the successful delivery of the master database which can inform the GSI’s future website development.”