Hello Hello! Zara here, I am a second (nearly third!) year psychology student here in Exeter. I’ve been in Exeter since my foundation year, so I will technically be going into my fourth year next year. I’ve learned a lot from my time here in Exeter that has prepared me for my future career. The University of Exeter Career Zone has been exceptionally helpful to me, as well as bits and bobs worked into my degree and even jobs and internships that the University offers. 

University Career Zone support

The first thing I’ll tap into is the support the Career Zone offers. Firstly, you get 1 to 1 advice sessions which you can book at any time. I personally got in contact to have a meeting about summer jobs and internship opportunities that would look good on a CV and give me work experience relevant to the area I wanted to go into. They offer those types of meetings for short-term advice and signposting to any student. They were super helpful and knew lots about what employers are looking for, and also knew lots about career paths in general. That’s the second type of meeting they offer; which is more about figuring out what sort of direction you want to go into in general. I’m pretty lucky that I know what I want to get into, but most degrees can land you in many many many roles. The meetings can help guide you to figure out exactly what you are looking for and make sure you land somewhere that suits you best. I honestly love that the University offers this kind of support; advice online is so hard to pick apart on my own and it’s nice to get advice from people who know how all of it works and have done it countless times before. 

The Career Zone also has timetabled (they appear on your timetable) employability sessions that dig into what sorts of roles you should explore based on what you value (if you value working alone or in teams, if you value directing yourself or being directed, if you value a good work-life balance etc). This is worked into your uni schedule so you can’t miss it and you don’t have to book anything in. It also helps inform you on what employers are looking for and what kinds of traits you should focus on on a CV. They can look over your CV as well to make adjustments to make sure you get the best shot of employment. 

The Career Zone is really hard to miss, as soon as you walk into the Forum (centrally located building on the Streatham Campus) it’s on the right so they’re also really accessible. The University has a super high graduate employability rate which makes me feel really positive about what is to come. I will probably do my Masters in Exeter after getting advice from the Careers Team and I know what the steps of progression are for me which is great for peace of mind and it’s one more thing off my plate. 

Degree-related careers support

The second thing I’ll briefly touch on is support from your degree and how it helps with careers. My degree also has lots of networking events and speakers coming in to talk about careers in psychology. Psychology is one of those degrees that can be sort of vague progression-wise so it’s super helpful to have people from companies that hire psychology graduates to come in and speak with us. I personally have found it super helpful, I chatted to a few employers at the last networking fair which helped me feel more comfortable with all my options. 

Part-time jobs and internships

The final thing I’ll mention is internships and jobs offered by the University. I am currently employed as a student content ambassador and I’ve found it to be a great experience to learn more about what it is like to be employed in a more remote role and how to manage tasks and interpret briefs when you’re not able to all be in one office. I like the creative aspect and the freedoms it gives me in terms of what I can write so it’s made me realise I’d prefer to do solo self-directed work and work with people from time to time. It is quite self-directed and would be fantastic for someone studying journalism, English or even history, International relations, politics, or philosophy. The University of Exeter also offers many internship schemes called SCPs which are paid internships by the University to either conduct research, help out at University events or work as an ambassador. The pay is usually really good too. The University also often contact students about internship schemes offered by companies and businesses outside of the University, and there is a regular internship bulletin sent out to alert you of what opportunities you can apply for. At the very least, there are lots of jobs working on campus at the Marketplace (grocery store in the forum and around campus) and other vendors on campus that pay quite well where you can pick your own hours and work as much or as little as you like for some extra cash. 

To wrap all this up, and I know it was a lot, the Career Zone has been fabulous at helping me out with advice to do with my short and long-term career goals and fixing up my CV. My degree has helped massively with showing specific routes related to my degree and interests that are broad and cover lots of areas. My degree also helps with networking and bringing in folks from all over to chat with us undergraduates about their paths and what they did to scaffold what we should do to get to the same spot. Finally; the internship and job opportunities can at the very least put some extra cash in your wallet; and at the most help inform you on what kinds of work you want to do and help build knowledge and experience in areas you are interested in focusing on or working in. All of these bits and bobs have helped me feel more ready to enter the job market and find something I like doing so work doesn’t feel like work.