Pathways mentors

Jenny South

Law with European Study (4 years) – 2015-2019

I was attracted to study at the University of Exeter because as a Pathways to Law student myself,  I had visited the campus quite regularly during sixth-form for academic sessions. I felt really welcome here and loved how modern the campus was. I had been really impressed by the enthusiasm of the University’s lecturers who volunteered their time to work with us. The course that I chose is also quite unique: the opportunity to study and live in France during my third year was perfect, given that I had studied French at A level and wanted to keep it up.

In my first year of study here, I decided to become a Pathways to Law e-mentor asI personally had found the e-mentoring to be one of the scheme’s most valuable aspects. Being able to talk one-on-one with a current law student at the Exeter allayed many of my worries about coming to university life, particularly regarding the structure of learning and accommodation. As an empathetic person I was keen to take on the role myself, hoping to inform potential students about all aspects of student life, and encourage them to be confident in making the break from sixth form to university.

My role as e-mentor primarily involves talking with and answering the questions of 2 or 3 sixth-form students on a secure online platform. Now studying law, and having very recently been through the process of applying to higher education, the mentors have great experience of the challenges that the Pathways students may be facing. The mentors also have the chance to volunteer at academic events that are run on campus, supporting the staff and encouraging the students to participate. This has involved trips to other pathways universities as well as the Magistrates’ and the Crown Court in Exeter.

I love being a law student here at Exeter and particularly enjoy the balance of group work and independent study. Studying in syndicate groups of 12, the work is challenging but not daunting, and we are able to divide up research tasks between us to do in our own time. It is useful to reflect on what I have learned this year when talking to my e-mentees. It is rewarding to know that as mentors we are hopefully helping our mentees to make well-informed decisions about their futures, and making the process of applying to university less daunting.

In the future I would ultimately hope to become an in-house solicitor, working for a large company or organisation. Before this, however, I would like to work and travel in Europe for a few years, and I know that the year abroad integrated into my degree will help me with this.