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Photography Credit: Appleton Event Photography

Social Sciences Alumni Return for Q&A and Networking with Exeter Scholars Students

On Wednesday 3rd April, a panel of alumni from the College of Social Sciences and International Studies attended an Exeter Scholars event, answering questions posed by Year 12 students on this prestigious programme, followed by a round table networking session.

Exeter Scholars is a free programme giving sixth-form college students from the South West the opportunity to find out more about university, develop a passion for their chosen subject and gain first-hand experience of student life at the University of Exeter. This two-year programme provides opportunities for those students who are academically able but statistically less likely to progress onto Higher Education based on their contextual background. The students at this specific event are studying on one of two separate subject activity strands: Politics and Philosophy and Sociology, Criminology and Anthropology.

The panel event was hosted by Law School Lecturer Dr Matthew Channon, and joined by University of Exeter alumni panel members, Will Brookes (BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics 2016), Laura Cornick (BA Middle Eastern History, with proficiency in Spanish 2011), Lauren Kay-Lambert (BA Politics and Sociology), Rachael Newton (BA Philosophy 2016) and Emily Rachel Tyers (BSc Sociology 2016). The panel was also joined by current University of Exeter staff member, Becca Drew, who is a graduate of the University of the West of England with a BA in Criminology (2016). The Q&A panel was followed by a networking session, in which the students could chat with the visiting alumni, accompanied by cake, muffins, fruit and a variety of cold and hot drinks. 

It was an excellent opportunity for the Exeter Scholars students to listen to former students’ experiences and ask for advice: “It gave us a chance to ask things personally about university and there was a wide range of people in different careers and situations”, “[It was] incredibly helpful to talk to the graduates after the panel; I had many questions that I hadn’t thought of before”, “I liked talking and networking with others – it helped me to improve my communication”, “It was funny and enjoyable – listening to different type stories helped to make decisions for my journey” and “ I discovered many new aspects of university that I didn’t know before – the graduates were lovely and helpful.”

For Rachael Newton, the event was very “rewarding and enjoyable”: “It was lovely to be back on campus in such familiar surroundings and to have the chance to reflect on my university experiences, hear what other alumni have been up to, and of course speak with prospective students about their plans for the future (I must admit feeling slightly envious of them for the fantastic opportunities they have coming up at University; I hope they enjoy every minute of it!).”

Laura Cornick, who was on the Flexible Combined Honours programme when she was a student, describes the Exeter Scholars programme and this event as a “great initiative”: “When I was younger I had no idea what I wanted to do. Being able to learn from people in industry, who had studied the subject I was hoping to pursue, would have been really helpful. I hope that the experiences and advice I shared will be of value to the students and help kick-start their thinking about where their degree could take them and what they need to start considering that may help with their future career.”

She continues: "It was great to see how switched on the students are. It really was a pleasure having the opportunity to learn about what they are doing, what interests them and offer them advice on what they can do next. I have no doubt that they will go on to achieve great things!"

Becca Drew stated that “It was great to be part of a panel of interesting speakers to discuss what it is like to study Criminology at University. I had some thorough discussions with students about the different opportunities open to them, and was able to draw on my own experiences to advise and support them.”

For Emily Tyers, "Being part of the panel was a wonderful opportunity to speak to promising and engaging prospective students about the benefits of further study and the benefits of studying at the University of Exeter; it was a pleasure to discuss the unique and exciting pathways and plans for the student's futures, and I wish them the very best in their endeavours."

The students have three more Exeter Scholars sessions to complete, including a residential at the Penryn Campus in July, field trips in September, and a final academic session in October. Following completion of the Exeter Scholars programme, the students will be entitled to a range of benefits, and those who wish to study at the University of Exeter have the opportunity to qualify as a Senior Scholar. Find out more about the Exeter Scholars programme here.

More photos from the event are available on Flickr.


Date: 11 April 2019

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