Administration and Management
If you want a career with a huge amount of flexibility and variety, administration and management could be for you.
Administration and management professionals are found in every industry. You could work in sport, law, education or health or any other area. You will have the freedom to move from one area to another, as you can apply your experience and / or qualifications in administration or management to different sectors. Working environments are also flexible. You could work for a big corporation, public sector organisation or within the third sector. You might work in-house, within an agency on client accounts, or for yourself. Prospects' overview of the business sector in the UK is useful to understand this area better.
Day-to-day responsibilities in administration or management typically involve setting up or managing office-based projects. Examples of job titles include business development manager, hotel manager, management consultant or product manager. Roles might focus on leadership, presenting ideas or building client relationships. Others may be based on data analysis and business strategy. You will need skills in oral and written communication, team work and organisation. Being able to prioritise, manage pressure and meet deadlines is important.
Roles in administration and management are open to graduates from all disciplines. You could enter administration and management via a graduate scheme, graduate job or progress from a junior role such as an administrative assistant. You may require or be offered additional training and qualifications relating to the industry or company you work for. Post-graduate study isn’t essential (though may be part of your development).
Career Zone Employability Schemes
These employability schemes can help increase your work experience and networks in this area.
- Career Zone Internship Schemes: Internships are a great way to gain experience and insight into a career area.
- Ask an Alum: A fuss-free way to connect with University of Exeter alumni to ask careers questions.
- Career Mentor Scheme: A popular employability scheme which matches a student or graduate with an experienced professional, for sector insight and one-to-one careers advice and guidance, over a 6-month period.
- The Exeter Award and Leaders Award will help you develop skills in team work and management in order to better prepare yourself for your career.
- Part-time work: Career Zone provides support with finding casual work alongside your studies.
- There a number of Guild societies to get involved with during your time at University that could provide you with the necessary skills for your first role. Balancing your time between part-time roles, study and/committee contribution in a society can really show employers how flexible and organised you are. You may be able to gather relevant experience in team work, customer service or communication by contributing to clubs and societies during your studies.
Managing people requires a range of skills. In these videos from My Career Zone Digital, coaches describe some of the key skills you need in a management role and how to use them effectively. My Career Zone Digital also has a Fastclass on Leadership Styles that may be helpful.
This video describes how to use the LinkedIn Alumni tool. Why not see if there are any Exeter alumni working in this sector that you can talk to?
If you would like to do further research into this sector, the following webpages may be useful:
- Prospects Public Services and Administration - career tips, information on courses, apprenticeships and job opportunities.
- Association for Project Management - what projects managers do, the career benefits and how to get started in this profession.
- Management Careers in the NHS - read about NHS graduate schemes, real-life stories and a guide to taking your first steps in management in the NHS.
- Target Jobs Guide to Business, Consulting and Management - job vacancies and career tips.
- The Chartered Institute of People Development has a useful careers page with lots of information about working with people.
Help With...Finding a Graduate Job explains the range of help Career Zone can provide with your job search. Handshake advertises many graduate opportunities. Outside of Handshake, there are other sites you can use in your job search.
It is worth considering smaller companies, where you may have more autonomy and early responsibility than in larger companies. Managers and even directors are often more accessible in small companies, which means you will have more opportunities to work with and learn from them.
- Management or administration from NHS Jobs
- Management or administration jobs in the third sector / in charities from Charity Job
As jobs are not always advertised, it can be useful to develop your networking skills and also apply speculatively.
As many large organisations need administration and management there are graduate schemes available across most sectors. Graduate schemes provide on the job training, supported by professionals experienced in the area as well as more formal learning. Sometimes this will include industry qualifications specific to management. You may also have a variety of projects in other parts of the business during the scheme, in order to give you a broader understanding of the whole organisation.
The Bright Network provides a useful summary of graduate schemes in management.
You may also find graduate jobs at assistant level, rather than a scheme. Jobs roles such as "assistant manager" may appeal.
Any of Career Zone's internships with an element of office / administrative work will be useful experience if you want to work in administration or management. Look out for opportunities which are office based as these will be the most relevant. It doesn't matter if the internship is not called a management or administrative internship though- it could be in any sector and still be relevant. Similarly, many voluntary positions exist within an administrative environment.
There are a number of virtual internships on Forage in this field. Virtual internships are a good way to understand the sector better, and can also look impressive on a CV or application.
Take a look at Career Zone's employability schemes (listed above) as many of them will be relevant for this sector.
We run a range of skills sessions which are relevant to this career area, such as presentation skills, managing people and change management.
Equally valuable experience can come from activities which are also fun. For example, organising events for a student society, becoming a course representative or volunteering for a charity would all develop skills which are valuable for administration and management.
Team work is crucial for this sector. Listen to our CareerZone Podcast on collaborating with others.
You can also demonstrate your interest with short courses.
As an Exeter student, you can take courses from LinkedIn Learning for free, such as Become a Manager. The Digital Hub’s Guide to Linkedin Learning will help you explore the courses available.
My Career Zone Digital also has some courses that will help you develop some of the key skills for administration and management, such as
Being a member of a professional body is optional. However, it can be valuable for developing networks, continuing your professional development, and generally keeping up to date with what's happening in the sector. You don’t need to be a member to access lots of useful information.
The Institute of Leadership and Management has a range of podcasts as well as other resources, including worksheets and models which you can access for free.
If you would like to pursue postgraduate study before entering your chosen sector, please visit our Postgraduate Study information page for more information about choosing further study.
It can often be useful to gain postgraduate qualifications in the relevant subject area if your undergraduate degree is in a different topic. There are many courses on the market, and they are not all equally successful in getting you that "dream job". You can always complement your degree with professional qualifications to show your commitment towards the industry (see Professional Bodies section).