left to right: Nick Wood (IR & French 2013), Sebastian Clark (IR & European study 2011), Jen Stoneman (Politics & German 2009), Julia Paci, SSIS Employability Manager, Mike Wheeler (Politics & French 2012), Dr Sarah Cooper 

Speed Networking for Careers with Politics and IR Alumni

To kick off the 2017/18 academic year, the SSIS Employability Team held an interactive ‘Speed Networking’ event which was attended by four prestigious alumni and over thirty current Politics and IR students.

Each alum spoke to rotating groups of students in twenty minute slots. The alumni spoke about their careers since leaving the University of Exeter, and gave their tips on how students can follow a similar path. Among many topics, the discussions included what it’s like to work in government and the public sector, the challenges of managing a charity and volunteers, and how to live out of a suitcase while working in developing countries.

The speed networking was then followed by a drinks reception where the students had the opportunity to speak to all the alumni and ask further questions, as well as network with their peers across year groups and disciplines.

Exeter alumnus Nick Wood commented: “I was really impressed with how enthusiastic, motivated and thoughtful the students were. I would suggest that it's these attributes that are perhaps the most important when making the leap from student to young professional. You can teach skills and knowledge but you can't teach mindset and attitude. The students I met demonstrated that they already have these characteristics in spades. I've no doubt that this will make them well-placed to make that leap successfully.”

The new format of the event was in response to feedback from students who had requested more time and interaction with alumni guest speakers.

We would like to thank the alumni for joining us and volunteering their time to the event, which many students commented was very useful and a refreshing change from the traditional panel format.

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