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Alumnus Megan Rhodes

Catching up with alumnus Megan Rhodes

Here Megan tells us what she’s been doing since graduating and reflects on the highlights of her studies at Exeter and the skill and experiences it gave her.

"After graduating I took up a voluntary role with a youth charity. I worked in a school from the September as a Volunteer Mentor working as part of the behaviour and pastoral team. I continued searching for paid jobs during this time in the same sector, youth based charities, and have now successfully gained an exciting role. I work for a youth charity as a Project Coordinator mostly working on a specific project and helping the charity with other projects too.

"Throughout my degree I learned about the social inequalities that exist and the role of background, upbringing and environments. I became interested in how this plays a role in the future lives of people and how vital the early years of school and education are in shaping life chances. I knew I wanted to work in the youth charity sector, helping to better young peoples life chances through experiences and opportunities to grow outside of the normal school curriculum. I love making a difference to young people and showing them that they can grow out of the box that they are put in from an early age, and that no path is set, everyone should have the chance to achieve and succeed. In my current job I play a particularly large role in providing experiences for the young people to gain skills they would not usually gain from school, through social action and volunteering and giving back to their community. It is very rewarding to see them surprise themselves with their own strength and skills.

"I wanted to attend a campus university and also include a study abroad year in my degree. Exeter allowed me to do both. When I visited Exeter campus for the open day I instantly fell in love with it. The town centre offers every aspect of student life and it is situated in a great part of the country, Devon has a lot more to offer than people initially think! Exeter is also a very well known prestigious university.

"The campus was lovely and there was always things going on and things to be a part of. The list of societies and clubs was endless and the sense of community they offered really made it feel like a campus university. I made incredible friends for life and gained so many memories I will cherish forever. My study programme had amazing lecturers and staff and allowed me to really enjoy and invest in my studies.

"I absolutely loved my degree, every module was something new and yet still intertwined with each other. I found it both stimulating and interesting to learn about the various aspects of society and social structures. It really helped me to find my interests and shaped my chosen career. The lecturers passion about their subjects and research made it all the more enjoyable. The highlight for me was writing my dissertation, I thoroughly enjoyed starting from the beginning of my chosen research and following it through to the end and produce a piece of work I was proud of and that plays a vital role in my current career path.

"Writing my dissertation has provided invaluable tools and skills such as the ability to do independent research and apply the findings to a well rounded conclusion. The theories that I learned and studied in particular have provided a lot of insight and understanding within my chosen field and being able to apply this to my current job is very useful. The sense of responsibility, independence and self accountability required throughout all aspects of university have also been very useful. Time management and meeting deadlines is also a big transferable skill from university to the world of work. My study abroad year also provided incredible adaptability and organisation skills.

"While at Exeter I was committee secretary for the Exeter Erasmus Society, I joined this after completing my study abroad year. I really enjoyed getting to know people from different places with various backgrounds and experiences.

"I plan to continue working in the youth sector, focusing on improving the life chances of marginalised young people and allowing the younger generation to gain everything they need to follow their chosen path. As long as I am making sure to close the gap of social inequality and the influence of background on attainment then I will be doing what I love." 

Date: 13 July 2021

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