Hello, my name is Bhumika, and I am an international student at the University of Exeter. In this blog, I will share my experience with the guidance and support services offered by the Career Zone, and how their various initiatives have significantly contributed to my career development.

Coming from a background in law and now pursuing an MSc Marketing, I was initially apprehensive about transitioning into a new field and felt quite lost. However, the support and guidance provided by the Career Zone has been instrumental in easing this transition and preparing me for the job market. 

The Career Zone’s services became accessible to me as soon as I activated my Handshake account, the University’s platform for job openings and career-related meetings. The Career Zone offers comprehensive support for career planning, catering to everyone — whether you are unsure about your sector of interest or seeking help with job applications. I began by discussing my transition from law with the Career Zone experts and eventually moved on to getting my job applications reviewed. Throughout this process, I gained much-needed clarity and support. 

One-on-One Support and Workshops 

One of the first steps I took upon arriving at the University was booking an appointment with the Employability & Careers Consultant for the Business School. Our initial conversation helped me ease in; she listened attentively to my background and helped me identify transferable skills from my law career that could be applied to marketing. She also recommended resources like Forage, a platform offering free virtual internships with top employers. Through our discussions, I identified several soft skills developed through my experiences in law that I can now highlight on my CV. 

The Career Zone offers more than just one-on-one support; they conduct a variety of workshops, both online and in-person, covering essential topics such as CV writing, crafting effective cover letters, developing presentation skills, and tackling psychometric tests. As an international student unfamiliar with the UK job market, I found these sessions particularly helpful in understanding the local job market. Additionally, they provided valuable insights into graduate schemes and application timelines, ensuring I understood the different job roles available in the UK. 

Attending these workshops boosted my confidence. I updated my CV and booked another one-on-one session for expert review. This process allowed me to efficiently refine my application materials to UK standards. My participation in many of these sessions also counted towards the Exeter Award, a scheme run by the Career Zone to help students develop job-ready skills. 

Career Mentor Scheme

The University of Exeter’s Career Zone offers comprehensive support that goes beyond academic learning, with various schemes to help develop your confidence even further. Two particularly beneficial programs are the Career Mentor Scheme and the Professional Pathways programme.

As a participant in the Career Mentor Scheme, I had the opportunity to select a mentor from a diverse pool of professionals based locally and worldwide. This provided me with an opportunity to learn directly from someone within my chosen industry. After reviewing the profiles, I chose a mentor with a decade of experience in marketing. The application process involved filling out a form, and once matched, I could have one-on-one calls with my mentor over a period of six months, during which my mentor shared sector-specific advice and guidance. The scheme runs twice a year, from June to November and December to May.

We were encouraged to structure our sessions with the mentor, setting agendas and goals for the mentorship term. This ensured I made the most out of my mentorship. Many of the mentors are Exeter alumni, making it easy to start conversations with them.

Student in St Nicholas Priory
Me at the networking event

My mentor, who works at a global consulting company, provided insights and guidance that improved my confidence and helped me make informed decisions about my future. Initially, since I was transitioning from law, I was confused about the various job roles and opportunities available to me. However, speaking with my mentor helped me identify job roles that were closely aligned with my goals. 

Additionally, my mentor reviewed my CV, offering constructive feedback for improvement. Having someone responsible for hiring in the industry review my CV was invaluable. During the scheme, I also attended a networking event at St. Nicholas Priory in Exeter, where I met other students and mentors, expanding my professional connections. It was a fantastic evening. 

Professional Pathways programme

The second programme I participated in was the Professional Pathways programme. This initiative offers four pathways: Arts, Culture & Heritage, Charity & Development, Marketing, and Professional Services in Higher Education. Given my interest in marketing, I chose the Marketing scheme.

Professional Pathways is open to students from any degree background and year of study, providing experience, knowledge and insights into their chosen sector. This was particularly beneficial for me, as I was transitioning from law to marketing and therefore had a lot to learn about the industry. The application process began in January, followed by an Assessment Centre in March. I took my time to work on the application and even had it reviewed by the Career Zone experts, which helped me improve it. The assessment included various tasks that challenged me to showcase my best abilities. I was thrilled to be one of the 30 students selected for the Marketing Professional Pathways programme.

A Pathways to Marketing event
The Pathways to Marketing programme

This scheme offered an internship, allowing me to work alongside industry professionals and employers and learn from experts within the industry. The internship is fully funded and paid for by the University, ensuring every intern is compensated fairly. The programme also included a four-day training course with sessions delivered by industry experts and a group business project. The training involved learning from experts with extensive industry experience, and the sessions were both fun and interactive. During the training, we worked on a group project and presented it on the last day. It was exciting to see how much everyone learned in the four days and to present our findings. We ended the training with a pizza party while networking with other students and professionals.

For my internship, I was matched with a company offering higher education consulting to institutions that need guidance. I definitely think working in a real-life environment will give me an upper hand when applying for future roles and has made me feel more confident entering the job market.


Both the Mentorship Scheme and Professional Pathways programme have significantly enhanced my career development journey at Exeter. They provided me with real-world experience, industry insights and networking opportunities that complemented my academic studies. For any student looking to maximise their career potential, I highly recommend taking advantage of these exceptional programmes offered by the Career Zone.

Engaging with the Career Zone early on provides a valuable opportunity to understand the UK job market and develop relevant skills over time. The Career Zone continues to be my go-to resource, and I regularly seek advice on job applications and have my supporting statements and CVs reviewed by their experts. Their support has been crucial in building my confidence and preparing me for the competitive job market.

Career Zone banner advertising work placements
The Career Zone advertising one of their services