Skills for life

I chose a degree with a focus on marketing as I view it as a megaphone: letting the public know who the company is, what it does and more importantly what it can do for them. I knew I wanted to understand how companies work from within, and the Industrial Experience programme offered at the University of Exeter Business School provides a perfect opportunity to do just that.

Marie, studying Management with Marketing with Industrial Experience with Proficiency in German

The Career Zone provides excellent training to help you develop other skills which you will find invaluable in life – from problem solving to running events, assertiveness to chairing a meeting, you will gain everything you need for a great start.

You can also develop your business and personal skills by taking an IT, leadership, or entrepreneurship module as an option outside your main subject (see page Student choice).

Stand out from the crowd

The Exeter Award

The Exeter Award is designed to enhance your employability by providing official recognition and evidence of extra-curricular activities and achievements that you undertake while at Exeter. These include attendance at Employability events and other skills sessions; participation in sporting and musical activities; engagement in work experience and voluntary work opportunities run by the Students’ Guild and others. In 2015/16 more than 1,500 students signed up for the Award in Exeter and Cornwall.

When you graduate, you will be in the company of over 300,000 others in the UK who will also be looking for their ideal graduate role. Employers are looking for candidates who stand out from the crowd and who have developed their skills, abilities and ambitions – a degree alone is no longer enough to get you the job you want. The Exeter Award will give you the confidence to stand out and shout about the other experiences you have had at university. Find out why employers respect and endorse this valuable initiative on the Exeter Award website.

Exeter Leaders Award

You can also go on to complete the Exeter Leaders Award which focuses on leadership and outstanding achievement. Participants must demonstrate their leadership skills over a prolonged period of time or as part of an outstanding achievement, and complete six additional elements. Completing The Exeter Award is a pre-requisite for registering for the Exeter Leaders Award.

Broaden your horizons

As well as careers advice and training, meeting potential employers and improving your personal skills, there are also many other ways in which you can add value to your CV while at Exeter.

A period of study abroad as part of your degree is an ideal way to improve your CV, develop skills sought by employers, make new friends and travel. Exeter has over 180 partner universities worldwide offering study abroad opportunities. Or how about completing a work placement in Europe? Students have worked in the media, tourism, charity and legal sectors. For further information see our Study abroad page.

You can gain excellent transferable skills and personal development opportunities by taking part in student activities run by the Students’ Guild in Exeter and FXU in Cornwall and by volunteering. These activities can make your time at Exeter the experience of a lifetime.

Exeter students have been involved in voluntary work for 40 years and currently devote volunteering hours to the value of £141,400 per year to activities that directly benefit the local community.

We have the highest proportion of student volunteers of any UK university and we are proud of our wide range of volunteering activities. For many careers, volunteering or extra curricular activities are a prerequisite. Experience in areas such as journalism, peer management, childcare, teaching and event management can easily be obtained through student activities. Volunteering gives students an alternative learning experience based on challenging beliefs, developing skills and reflecting and learning from experiences.

See our Societies page for details of the activities and volunteering opportunities available.

Employers are increasingly looking for graduates who have additional language skills. Whatever your degree, you can benefit from learning or improving your competence in a foreign language.

The Foreign Language Centre (FLC), based on Streatham and Penryn campuses, offers a wide range of language courses including daytime undergraduate modules as part of your degree and certified evening language courses on the Streatham Campus.

You can choose to learn a completely new language or improve one you have studied previously. All of our undergraduate modules are assessed and count towards your degree. Where your degree allows, you can choose to study 60 credits in one language and have this language added to your degree title, eg, ‘with proficiency in Spanish’ – which will be an extra employability asset. You can also take our modules to help you prepare for study in a foreign
country; for example, as part of a ‘with European Studies’ degree or for an Erasmus exchange.

Most modules are available at a range of levels from beginners to advanced in:

  • British Sign Language*
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean*
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Spanish

On the Penryn Campus, modules are available at a range of levels from beginner to advanced in French and Spanish and, subject to demand, beginner in Chinese and German. The FLC is also an accredited centre for Italian PLIDA, French DELF/DALF and Spanish DELE international examinations which anyone can sit for a set fee in the third term in Exeter.

Furthermore, a range of conversational, non-credit bearing foreign language evening courses are also available at Streatham and Penryn Campus to suit various levels and abilities.

* British Sign Language is offered at beginner and intermediate levels only. Korean is offered at beginner level only.

As a volunteer you’re usually setting up your own projects, fundraising, recruiting, budgeting, organising logistics and managing people. You get given such an amazing amount of responsibility, which is incredibly empowering. Exeter’s amazing students donate thousands of hours each year through one of the largest and most successful Student Volunteering groups anywhere in the country. You can be proud of the work you do which makes a huge impact on the City and the region.

Graham Allcott, Director of Student Volunteering England

Lindsay Leyden, MSc by Research in Tropical Agroforestry Techniques, Penryn Campus

I was amazed at the opportunities available. I completed my Exeter Award and Exeter Leader’s Award during my undergraduate degree; I’m employed by the University as a student ambassador, an intern within the Career Zone and a postgraduate demonstrator; I’ve created a successful student Bee Society and set up a pollinator research charity; and I’m now embarking on a postgraduate research degree.

Lindsay Leyden, MSc by Research in Tropical Agroforestry Techniques, Penryn Campus