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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 the Department for Business and Trade.

In June 2024, a total of approximately 20 successful students, selected from a range of disciplines and year groups, will undertake five days of experiential learning delivered by the Department for Business and Trade, followed by completing a 35 hour fully-funded internship with a UK organisation in the International Trade sector.

"A very significant benefit to our company. It has twice enabled us to accelerate strategy projects that we did not otherwise have the capacity to start when we did." (Brian Hume, Martec International Ltd)

Employers can get involved in our Pathways to International Trade programme by:

  • providing a business project for students to work on during the training
  • offering a 35 hour internship 

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 colleagues from the Department for Business and Trade and will take place 17 - 21 June 2024 on our Streatham Campus in Exeter.

As part of the training days (17 - 21 June 2024), students will work on a group project, developing a 'go-to-market' strategy for a product, focusing on one (or two) particular international markets. This enables students to apply the knowledge and skills gained in their training to the set task and could be of interest for any organisations/businesses that are currently looking to expand into a new market but do not have the resource to research into this. Students will spend 2 - 3 hours per day from Monday - Thursday to work on the project together before presenting their findings on the Friday, the final day of the training. If possible, we'd be keen for employers who have submitted a project to attend the presentation day and be on the panel as this is a valuable learning experience for students to present back to the employer, plus a great opportunity for you to hear the students' findings and suggestions first hand and ask any follow-up questions. Presentations will take place on our Streatham Campus, Exeter on Friday 21 June 2024 between roughly 10am - 1pm.

Ideally you would be offering a project alongside hosting an intern as we would then put your matched student intern(s) into the group allocated your submitted project. Your intern would therefore start their internship with you having already gained some initial knowledge of your organisation and product/service and can hopefully hit the ground running when they start their internship with you. Please note, the project task will need to be different to the submitted internship project, however it could tie in and be a good opportunity for your matched student(s) to work on some of the ground work before their internship. 

If you think you can provide a group project, please do get in touch with the team at or you can express your interest in providing a project within the employer vacancy form when submitting an internship opportunity.

In early 2024, we will be seeking established employers who can offer an interesting internship or discrete project for a student to undertake. Please note, for our International Trade programme, the role will need to be focused on one or more of the following areas: exporting, researching international markets/audiences, international business development, researching international partners or international marketing.

The role should involve 35 hours of work to take place between 24 June - 5 July 2024 with hours completed part-time or full-time. When submitting an internship, you can select for your student to work fully in the workplace, remotely or hybrid, however we ask you be as flexible as possible with working location to aid us with the matching process, particularly if you are not local to our Exeter or Cornwall campuses.

Please note, internship vacancies submitted for our Pathways to International Trade programme, may also be reviewed by the Department for Business and Trade. 

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. All parties will therefore 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.

Register your interest:

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.

The role or project must:

  • Be within the international trade sector and relate to one or more 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 24 June - 5 July 2024.

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 2024. 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 Employer Feedback Form. This will be emailed to you shortly after 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.

Hear from employers who have previously hosted an intern via our Pathways to International Trade programme: 

"This is an excellent scheme where we have had excellent, high calibre students who work very hard and work well on their own, thinking for themselves and getting the job done to a high standard." (Tracey Smith, Ashmira Botanica Ltd)

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience with the Professional Pathways programme - we have not only ended up with a quality piece of work that will help shape our next steps to market entry but met some outstanding students who could well become part of the 'Doddl' team in the future." (Tim Dowds, Doddl)

"Great to have participated in the Pathways to International Trade programme with Exeter University as an employer. We were impressed with the quality of the interns we were matched with - they were prepared, engaged and diligent - and contributed well to the projects they were tasked with completing. This was our third year hosting interns from this programme and I'm sure we will be doing the same next year." (OCO Global)

"What a great programme, benefits guaranteed to the student and the business." (Gemma Wakeham, Two Drifters Distillery)

"The project resulted in the student gaining useful experience with us. In return, we received a valuable bit of research to help guide our future activities. A definite 'win win' for us and the student, and with the student fully funded by the University for the duration of the internship, it was a 'no brainer' for us too." (Miles Pluckwell, Vapormatt)

"A very significant benefit to our company.  It has twice enabled us to accelerate strategy projects that we did not otherwise have the capacity to start when we did." (Brian Hume, Martec International Ltd)

"Professional Pathways allowed Mallory International to experience a fresh perspective on what we do and where we want to develop." (Victor Gazis, Mallory International Ltd)