Theres Lessing

Theres Lessing

What did you study at the University of Exeter?

BA Economics with European Studies

What year did you graduate?

2015

Why did you choose to study here?

What I remember most from the open day was how green it was the campus felt very welcoming and lush.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

I loved the Exeter spirit. I felt that everyone valued not just doing well academically but being in a sports team and having a life outside of your course.

Did you use the Careers Service while you were at Exeter? If so, how did they help you?

I took a mock interview with the Careers Service which was incredibly helpful; getting frank feedback on how I come across in an interview helped me channel my strengths and get the internship I was applying for. It's helped me in every interview since.

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

I've been taking the two year MPhil Economics at Oxford, and next year I'm starting the ODI fellowship, where I'll be working for a developing country government as a civil servant for two years. I'll find out where I go in a month!

What do you enjoy most about your work?

Doing the Master's at Oxford has been incredibly challenging but, stereotypically, very rewarding being pushed that hard and coping has given me more self-confidence.

How have your University of Exeter studies helped in your career?

My years at Exeter made me really enjoy meeting new people and trying new things there were a lot of things to choose from and I dabbled a bit in most things!

Do you have any advice for current students wishing to pursue your career?

Doing a Master's degree seems necessary for most of the higher level jobs in development. The sector is a little bit overwhelming in scope one book I found helpful was Maia Gedde's "Working in International Development and Humanitarian Assistance". If you're not sure what internship to do, development consulting is a good first step (e.g. Dalberg, Palladium, Maxwell & Stamp etc.) or just plain management consulting (McKinsey, BCG, etc.).

What are your plans for the future?

I'm not sure yet, there are a lot of great places to work!

Do you have any tips or advice on being employable?

Do internships, ideally in almost every summer the summer's long and it adds up. Having one internship makes getting the next one a bit easier, and then the next one.