Charles Collins

Charles Collins, MSc International Management

Charles works as a director of an executive search firm.

I chose to study at Exeter for both academic and social reasons. At the time, the Humanities faculty was known for quality, and whilst I didn't know quite how good the social and non-academic opportunities were, a day tour of the campus sold it.

Exeter is for a certain type of person, that's for sure. There is so much more on offer outside of the lecture theatre, more than any prospectus will ever give away. If you want more than just a middle of the road learning experience, then Exeter is for you.

The campus atmosphere is second to none. The academic staff recognise this and play an important role in creating an exceptionally fun environment to live and work in. The contact time is meaningful and you are given autonomy to manage your schedule from the first day, literally.

Seven years after leaving, I wish it was starting all over again. My closest friends are from Exeter and I have a feeling it will be that way for a while to come.

I didn't use the careers service as much as I should and could have. The primary function here is to help people gain information and make well considered choices and something I would encourage everyone to spend time on.

I have spent over six years working in financial services recruitment and two years ago I joined a start up executive search firm. At the time, the business was two people and I have now hired four people and work as a director as part of an 18 person business.

Using my MSc in International Management is genuinely rewarding. I never thought I'd use the material more than the methods I learned, in a day job. From accounting, strategy and marketing through to human resources, I'm using almost all of it.

On top of that, I'm working in a startup environment I never wanted to go into a large corporate firm. I make decisions and learn from mistakes and getting back on track after a big failure is hugely rewarding.

Pick a profession based on the type of work you want to be doing in 10 years, not today.

My immediate plans are to grow my business into a million pound turnover business. Beyond that, setting up an international office with the company is a longer term goal.

Internship, Internship, Internship.