Jo McCreedie

Career Zone

Nominated for Best Employability Support

Employability

Name Jo McCreedie
Email J.McCreedie@exeter.ac.uk
Position Employer Liaison Officer (Internships and Mentoring)
Division Academic Services

Employability support

As Employer Liaison Officer, Jo McCreedie is involved with many different employability projects, internships and mentor schemes. Employment services is an important resource at the University, as “the central careers team offers all opportunities to all students”.

Internships and employment experiences

Access to Internships provides some financial support and guidance to students and employers, helping them to access and provide internships. “We would give [students] information, advice and guidance about how to identify, approach, and secure a paid internship with an employer of their choice.”

The internships offered include Student Campus Partnerships; “I’m responsible for internships… within the University; we recruit students into all sorts of roles, so it could be [with] SID (Student Information Desk)… in any of the Colleges, any of the departments… It can potentially be anywhere”. Students can also be employed to “work with local companies in the South West” through a Student Business Partnership.

Graduate Business Partnerships is another internship scheme Jo is responsible for. “Within the University we also employ lots of graduates… it doesn’t have to be a particular project or programme… they can be anything, as long as we think it is going to be challenging enough for a graduate to undertake”. Graduates are also "recruited in external businesses in a range of sectors. Our most popular roles are in Marketing, IT and Business Management. Employers are seeking students who bring latest academic knowledge; individuals who can quickly grasp new skills and concepts; problem-solve with a fresh perspective; test out new roles; trial new employees; and help with short-term cover."

The Career Mentor Scheme provides over 400 mentoring partnerships between students and experiencing professionals for 6 month partnerships. The Exeperts Scheme creates one-off careers Question and Answer sessions between students and alumni. Students can find out “what it’s like to work in a certain country, or work for a certain company or in a certain sector or a certain role”.

Excellent employment opportunities within education

The importance of employability opportunities at university cannot be understated. “Research shows that if you’ve undertaken work experience in some capacity, whether it’s a summer internship or part-time internship, it will most certainly directly affect your likelihood of getting a graduate level employment opportunity.”

“Developing your networking skills, your organisational skills… Through your experience you develop your commercial awareness. Whether that is information about that particular role or sector, or area, or business, it’s all really vitally important.”

“We want people to come in here thinking they are going to succeed and learn, but they also need to be thinking about the future as well”.

Aim 2: Excellent employment experiences & capabilities
To measure and improve the employability attributes of all students through course, extra-curricular and out-of-term-time activities

Additional resources