In Digital at the University of Exeter we endeavour to be user-led in everything that we do – from product and service development, to communications and engagement. We believe in this approach as it helps to build trust with our users, while knowing that we are providing them real value. We currently have one Student Communications and Engagement Assistant embedded within the Digital team, focusing on helping to increase engagement with our student audience.

Read this blog post to learn about Deborah’s role in the team so far!

I am Deborah, a 3rd-year medical student and Communications Assistant in the Digital Team at the University of Exeter. After working with them for just over a year, I thought I would share with you what I have learned and enjoyed doing with them. So, let’s get started!

Joining the team

I first joined the team in March 2023, after hearing about this internship on Handshake. Even though I decided to apply for medicine at the sweet age of 17, I have always found an interest in digital communication, especially through social media. This is what pushed me to apply for this internship to gain some experience and learn from the team.

Working with the Team

This is when I heard about the new app, MyExeter, that has been in the works for some months now. My first jobs with them were therefore about this app. I got the chance to meet the people behind all of this work and quickly learned how important user feedback was for them. Alongside a group of other students, I got the chance to share what I believe would be useful to us at UoE, and what sort of issues we may have encountered with our current experience at university. And not only did they listen to our comments, but they have also been using our feedback to improve MyExeter over time!

Engagement data from Deborah's instagram takeover.

In September, I then met Scarlett with whom I have been working on many more projects. Still focusing on MyExeter, I felt like I was being trusted by the team, especially when I got the chance to takeover the @exeterunilife Instagram account. This had been one of my favourite jobs, as I got to put into use everything I knew about social media and create content for someone else.

Following this, Scarlett and I got to work on creating promotional content for the Times Higher Education’s Digital Universities UK 2024 event that UoE hosted this year. For both projects, I was able to rely on Scarlett and the Digital team. I was able to share all my ideas and Scarlett was there to help me organise myself as well as provide me with all the content I needed.

I then got the chance to do something else that I love: writing. I got the chance to write a couple of blog articles for the Digital Buzz blog. Blogging has always been an objective of mine which I had been unable to fully explore perviously. Doing this with the team has therefore been the perfect way to get myself started with it and discover how to do it. You can read my first blog here which is all about my Instagram takeover.

So, how have I found my role in the Digital team?

If you could not tell by what I have written above, I am loving my experience with the team. I do things that I love and get to express my creativity, which is not always possible considering my course. I’ve had fun working with them as the team has always been supportive and have let me do my job and explore my own ideas with no restrictions. I have had amazing opportunities thanks to the team and have learned so much over the last year. Lastly, a heartfelt thank you to the Digital team for their trust and continuous support.

– Written by Deborah Phan Huy, Student Communications and Engagement Assistant

If you’re a current UoE student, learn more about how you can get involved with the Digital team on our website.

Take a look at our 2030 Digital Strategy here, and get in touch if you have any questions.