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Pathways to International Trade

Pathways to International Trade offers employers the opportunity to work with bright and focused University of Exeter students keen to start their careers in this sector. This Pathway is delivered in partnership with Business West and the Department for International Trade (DIT).

In June 2022, a total of 20 successful students, selected from a range of disciplines and year groups, will undertake four days of experiential learning delivered by Business West, followed by completing a 35 hour fully-funded internship with a UK organisation in the International Trade sector.

Feedback from previous Pathways to International Trade employers: 

"What the students achieved in a short space of time was both valuable and impressive." (Rob Stevens, Optix Solutions Ltd) 

"The calibre of students we worked with was high. Don't think of them as students with limited experience, rather extremely capable and out-the-box thinkers who can and will add tremendous value to your organisation." (Alastair Douglas, Kingsbridge Academy) 

If you are a current student please see the Pathways to International Trade student webpage.

The training for our Pathways to International Trade programme is delivered in conjunction with Business West and will take place Monday 20 - Thursday 23 June 2022. Our plan is to run the training in person on our Streatham campus in Exeter.

If you have a distinct project that relates to the international trade sector and focuses on for example, exporting, international marketing or market research, please get in touch with the team at Please note, all projects will need to be approved by Business West prior to being included on the programme. This is an opportunity to have an area of your business researched or analysed by a group of students and could be of interest for any organisations / businesses with currently under resourced projects. Students will spend 2 - 3 hours per day during the training week to work on the project together before presenting their findings on the final day of the training week. You would be welcome to attend and be on the panel to hear the students present on your set project.

Please note, employer applications for this year's Professional Pathways programmes are now closed. In early 2023, we will be seeking established employers based in Devon, Cornwall or London who can offer an interesting internship or discrete project for a student to undertake. The role should involve 35 hours of work to take place between late June/early July (dates to be confirmed) with hours completed part-time or full-time. If you are interested in offering an internship opportunity via our Professional Pathways programme, please complete our expression of interest form here to register your interest for one (or more) of the Pathways. We will then be in touch via email with further details when employer applications open early next year. 

As the University will fully-fund the student's internship wages, we will employ and pay them through our payroll, but the student will be seconded to your organisation. Therefore all parties will need to sign the completed Student Secondment Agreement, and you will need to have suitable liability insurance. See the Internship Terms and Conditions section for more information.

The role or project must:

  • Be within the international trade sector and could for example relate to one of the following areas: Exporting, Researching International Markets, International Business Development, Researching International Partners, International Marketing
  • Use undergraduate level skills, knowledge and/or experience
  • Aid career development
  • Include tasks and responsibilities normally associated with a graduate level position
  • Provide training and support
  • Be a total of 35 hours and be undertaken either part-time or full-time between 27 June - 8 July 2022

All students will go through a rigorous recruitment and selection process conducted by the University, to ensure we select the best candidates.

Students successful in gaining a place on the programme, will be presented with all the internships opportunities on offer and asked to identify their preferences. We will make the final decision of who will be matched to your opportunity and as such, your organisation will not need to undertake any recruitment or selection process of our students.

Once we have identified the most suitable intern for you, we will send you their details in May 2022. We very much hope that you will be satisfied with our selection, however if for any reason this is not the case, you will have the opportunity to withdraw from the scheme. Unfortunately at this stage of the recruitment process, we will not be able to find a replacement intern. 

We ask that all employer hosts work through a basic induction with their new intern(s). You are welcome to complete your own induction or you may wish to use the Professional Pathways Internship induction checklist we have put together. You can download this checklist here: Professional Pathways Internship Induction checklist.

We have also put together some notes of guidance for employers hosting an intern via the Professional Pathway programme. You can view these here: Employer Host Notes of Guidance.

We ask employers to set clear objectives for their intern(s) and be available to provide information and guidance throughout the 35 hour internship. 

The Professional Pathways Team will be available during the internship to support you and your intern(s) should this be required. 

At the end of the internship, we ask that you please complete the online Internship Feedback Form and encourage your intern to complete their Internship Feedback too. These will be emailed to you towards the end of the internship and your comments will be taken into account during our evaluation exercise.

All parties (the employer, the University and the intern), must adhere to the Student Secondment Agreement‌. This agreement ensures the student is committed to the internship and both the employer and the University understand the remit of their duty of care for the student. This document must be signed by all three parties before the internship can begin.