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Business School student Greg Cornes

‘Resilient’ Business School students secure work placements in challenging times

More than 175 students from the University of Exeter Business School have succeeded in securing work placements for this year – an impressive number given the current climate surrounding jobs and Covid-19.

Business School students have managed to find With Industrial Experience (WIE) placements with some top global firms, including Lloyds, PwC, Walt Disney and IBM, as well as with innovative local companies.

While the global pandemic and economic downturn made the process far less smooth than previous years, the figures are a testament to Business School students’ determination not to give up in the face of adversity.

The Business School’s Careers Team, which liaises with students throughout the process, spoke of how impressed they were with students’ never-say-die attitude.

Nicky Thomas, the With Industrial Experience (WIE) Programme Director, said: “It takes students’ organisation, resilience and determination to secure a placement at any time, but even more so this year with the current employability market uncertainties.”   

The team have spoken to students whose initial placements were cancelled yet managed to either secure a second placement elsewhere, or change the minds of the original employer.

One international student had a summer internship in his home country and used his powers of persuasion to get them to offer him a placement year.

Another student, who fought hard to find a placement, was finally rewarded by Exeter-based marketing agency Big Wave Media, whose director was his career mentor and guided him throughout the process. 

The WIE programme aims to kick start students’ careers by developing their employability and encouraging professional development throughout their four-year degree.

Students develop career planning skills, learn how to embrace self-development opportunities and how to establish, grow and sustain professional networks.

The programme culminates in a third-year placement when students use workplace experiences to expand their network of connections and supercharge their professional skills development.

Date: 17 September 2020