Meet our undergraduate students
Current undergraduate students and alumni share their experiences of studying at University of Exeter Business School.
Abhinav Jaggi plans to use everything he is learning about Economics at Exeter to help expand his family’s business.
“After studying at an international school in India, I wanted to come to the UK to learn more about business. After I graduate, my plan is to pursue a Masters in Economics before returning to India to join my family’s manufacturing business and take it forward. Putting into practise all the knowledge and experience I am gaining from my four years abroad, I hope to help expand my family’s business in the direction in which I can see my career heading.
For me, studying Economics is about understanding how the ever-changing world around us functions. One day you could be learning about how auctions operate, while the next you might get an insight into why governments decide to implement certain environmental policies. The most interesting aspect about studying Economics is that the world that we live in is not constant and hence there is always something new to analyse.
As an international student, a safe environment is probably one of the first things you look for when choosing between universities. Exeter has always had the reputation of being one of the safest student cities, which certainly influenced my decision to choose the University of Exeter Business School.
The teaching here is also of an exceptionally high quality. I very much enjoy my Intermediate Microeconomics lectures and tutorials particularly, because of the innovative teaching techniques used by Todd Kaplan and Lawrence Choo. They use experiments and demonstrations to bring financial concepts to life and their two-hour classes never seem too long.
I’ve also been impressed by the support available to students at the Business School. There hasn’t been a single time when I have walked away from the student support desk unsatisfied – whether that has been when I needed to change my modules, or when I was unwell in my second year and unable to attend lectures. There was always someone available to listen and respond to whatever was needed, there and then.
For students considering taking Economics at Exeter, I would say you have an amazing learning experience ahead of you. At the same time, be aware this is not an easy course, particularly considering the amount of Maths involved. But if you are prepared to work hard, you will gain a significant amount from your time here. What’s more, you will be spending three or four years at the heart of a beautiful campus in one of the safest cities I know.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed the BSc Business course, not only did we have fantastic lecturers who were so attentive to individual needs, but I genuinely feel I have developed skills that will really set me apart moving forward. The size, location and content of the degree really worked for me on a personal level, and I think it much better reflects a workplace team environment, particularly when it came to group work at the university. I also feel that the structure of the modules, and the variety of content was fantastic. I have friends who studied business elsewhere and they didn’t get close to the variety of modules we enjoyed.”
"What I enjoyed most about the BSc Business degree was the first year boot camp. It was really important for bonding, and it was lots of fun. The other two boot camps were also great fun activities to do all together as a cohort – but that first one was my favourite."
“Our taught sessions are a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials which is a really nice mix as it teaches key ideas in a varied way. The way we are assessed is also very diverse and includes presentations, essays, reports and work experience which is helping to develop my skillset in a variety of areas. My favourite module at the moment is ‘Business Practise and Analysis’, the content is relevant to the real world and it has a focus on employability and work experience which will be useful for our future careers. BSc Business students have a dedicated careers adviser specifically for our course and I’ve had 1:1 appointments with the career zone which has been invaluable.
My favourite thing about the Cornwall campus is the location, we are never far from beaches and beautiful scenery. I was also drawn here because whilst it is a good-sized campus it is more intimate than most universities and the support services are fantastic. I am currently living in Glasney Student Village, only a 2 minute walk from the Business School. Staying in halls has definitely helped me settle in, all your flatmates are in the same boat so this made the move far less daunting as you always see some friendly faces around campus. The range of societies on offer at the Cornwall campus is huge, I am part of the Expedition, Enactus and Business Societies. All Societies offer taster sessions during Freshers’ Week which are really useful as they’re free and give you an idea of the activities and a chance to meet new friends.”
Since coming to Exeter from China, Chang has immersed herself in University life and local culture, and has taken up many of the opportunities available through the Business School.
“I started off on the Foundation programme INTO Exeter, as I had not completed A Levels in the UK. It offered all the fundamental courses leading to my subject degree, and also gave me the opportunity to gain useful skills such as how to write academic essays and how to make use of the University’s facilities. I also had time to get to know what life is like here and I knew that I had made the right choice to complete my undergraduate degree at the Business School.
Exeter as a city is a brilliant environment for study – it’s small but it has everything you need, plus you have the beautiful South-west countryside on your doorstep. The University is also renowned internationally and has received many recognitions in recent years.
One of the things I like most is the dynamic composition of students. You meet people from all over the world, and because a lot of the courses involve group work, you get to find out how people do things in different countries, as well as seeing different learning styles, which is very useful. Plus you never know the potential of your classmates today – they could be global business leaders in the future.
The Accounting and Finance degree structure gives you a solid grounding in accounting, but it is also flexible if you want to have a taste of other subject areas. Personally, I have chosen to study several management modules in my final year because my long-term career goal is to go into a management role.
Another great benefit of my course has been the chance to undertake an industrial placement. I worked with a small accounting firm and was mainly responsible for preparing financial accounts and tax returns, as well as handling administrative tasks. The most beneficial aspects of working with a smaller firm was the wide variety of tasks involved, and the substantial amount of insights gained into entrepreneurship and the management of small enterprises.
As for other activities, if you arrange your free time well, there’s a lot to participate in, such as societies, sports and volunteering opportunities. I myself have got involved in a community garden on campus, where I have enjoyed mixing with professors and lecturers from other subjects.
I was also lucky to attend the Institute of Directors Annual Convention in London in 2014, thanks to a generous donation of tickets from an Exeter alumna. I had the opportunity to listen to inspirational speakers from all over the world and learned more about corporate social responsibilities for businesses, something I am very interested in, having studied it in several of my modules.”
Coming from France, Christopher likes the international vibe on campus, along with the modern facilities. Christopher has joined a number of societies – from badminton and snow sports to the Spanish society.
“Before coming to the University of Exeter, I visited several UK universities, but as soon as I arrived in Exeter, I fell in love with the university. The green campus, the Forum, sports facilities and student accommodation were all incredible compared to other universities I visited. On top of that, it was well ranked in the UK. Everything in Exeter is in easy walking distance: the city, train station, and campus are all in close proximity, making being a student here incredibly convenient.
So far, I have been very happy with my course and modules. Whenever I haven’t understood something, I have visited my lecturer in their office hours where they have helped me understand the topic. This extra support has helped me greatly when completing essays and exams. My favourite module was marketing communications because the contents of the course were really interesting and the lecturer was really engaging.
Another positive is the electronic resources available. If you are ill and cannot make your lecture, you do not need to worry because they are recorded and posted online. There’s also an app available, where you can check your timetable, access your emails, and check computer availability on your phone.
The campus itself is a beautiful environment to study in. It has multiple lakes, and greenery, which is great when walking around campus to your next lecture. The Forum is also state of the art, with plenty of high technology study rooms, such as the Forum Exploration Lab, which boasts group study interactive touch screen tables. There are also lots of independent study spaces, such as silent study rooms. Campus definitely has an international feel. Walking around campus, you will hear many different languages being spoken, and I have made friends from all over the world.
As a non-UK student, I found Exeter very friendly and easy to settle in. The fact I am French helped me make friends, because it interested people and I got asked lots of questions.
My first year accommodation was Holland Hall. Location wise, it was perfect, being just a one-minute walk to the Sports Park and since I play a lot of sports, it was very convenient. It was also nice to have my own shower and bathroom, and I gained a lot of time by not having to worry about making food since Holland Hall is catered.
Since I play a lot of sports, I joined a lot of sport based societies such as tennis, table tennis, badminton, and snow-sports society. Each society had socials every two weeks which was a great way to meet new people. I also joined the Spanish society which helped me improve my Spanish skills.
The city isn’t a large city, but it does have everything. Recently, a new restaurant development opened in the city centre, featuring all kinds of exotic foods, from well-known chain to independent restaurants. The Quay is a great place to take or stroll, jog or bike ride along the river-side. Along the river are lots of independent gems, such as the Waterfront which does some of the best pizzas in Exeter. The atmosphere is perfect for any kind of night out.
If I could give some advice to a prospective student, it would be to work hard and make sure to join lots of societies. Societies are where I met most my friends, and the socials are incredibly fun.”
“My advice for others who are considering studying in Penryn would be to make the most of the opportunities that are presented to you, including enjoying the beautiful landscape that Cornwall has to offer. The campus is shared with Falmouth University which provides such a great environment to socialise with students from a range of courses.”
“Penryn Campus offered me everything I wanted from my time at university. It’s a great location, a great course and I made the most amazing friends. The size of the course made sure that the learning was really tailored to our needs and with less students, we were able to spend more time one-on-one with our careers advisor. I have managed to graduate with a First Class Honours degree and have secured a position as an HR analyst at a top American Bank, all thanks to the support at the Penryn Campus.”
Helen has taken advantage of all the careers support offered by the Business School and has secured a marketing internship with IBM for her Industrial Placement year.
“I chose to study at the University of Exeter Business School because the opportunities to enhance employability and career prospects set Exeter apart from other universities. When I attended an Offer-Holder Visit Day, I was particularly impressed by the superb facilities, the warm atmosphere and the passion of the lecturers and current students.
The welcoming atmosphere of the University of Exeter campus makes studying here so enjoyable and the diversity of the Business School creates a buzzing environment. It doesn’t matter what background you come from; everyone brings something unique to the Business School and the University of Exeter as a whole.
Getting involved with societies such as the Exeter University Big Band, Women’s Rugby and the Business and Finance Society has given me the opportunity to meet a variety of other students with common interests.
Since beginning my studies here, I have developed a passion for Marketing. This is mainly due to my first year Fundamentals of Marketing Module Lecturer Dr Alex Thompson who engages all his students by incorporating his own experiences into the lecture material. This built our understanding of the purpose of promotion and the influence of branding in our everyday lives.
The best thing about studying at the University of Exeter Business School is the guidance available, both academically and within the Business School Career Zone. Meetings with my personal tutor Nav Mustafee increased my confidence and understanding to start exploring potential career paths and to apply early for industrial placements. The Careers Zone also organises events to help with this, including CV workshops, psychometric testing, mock assessments and employer presentations. A highlight was the Industrial Placement Fair, which gave us the opportunity to network with top employers.
The University runs schemes such as the Student Campus Partnerships, which has allowed me to carry out an internship as a Marketing and Recruitment Assistant in the Business School. This has developed my confidence and given me vital experience in Marketing.
For my industrial placement year, I’ve been offered a marketing placement with IBM’s Interactive Experience Department which will be based in Southbank, London at the UK Head Office. This will be a brilliant experience and I can’t wait to get started.”
Ina has particularly appreciated the support of the staff at the Business School and the flexibility of her course, both of which have helped her to get the most out of her degree.
“What’s great about the Business School is that it offers a wide variety of courses, which are mostly very flexible, whereas at the other top 10 universities I looked at, the course structures were generally quite rigid. At Exeter, I have been able to tailor my course to fit my needs and this is something which has motivated me to work at my best throughout my course.
A lot of the modules I take focus on practical issues, putting learning into the context of the real world, which is extremely useful in preparing for a future career. I would like to go into the world of Investment Banking, which is heavily focused on real life current affairs, and I believe my course has been preparing me well for this from the outset.
Since I began university, I have been thoroughly impressed with the facilities at the Business School, particularly the countless work spaces for students, from conference rooms and cafés to lecture theatres and lounge spaces. The rooms are also very useful when preparing for presentations as almost all are equipped with projectors, meaning students can rehearse before their official presentation. I find the Business School in general is a very pleasant and calm place to be, which makes it a very nice study environment.
The Business School staff are very friendly and helpful, always offering assistance and showing real care towards students, which is always appreciated. My personal tutor, Dr Rish Singhania, has helped me greatly by advising me on my module choices and helping me to decide to change from Management with Marketing to Business Economics. His advice to me was “take the hardest subjects you can stomach” and I am very grateful to him for that. He reminded me that I am here to learn new things and that I should take every opportunity to do so. I would certainly say his advice was some of the best that I have ever received and as a result, I am now happier with myself as a student and I feel I have learnt much more on my course, which will help me progress with my career.
One of my favourite experiences by far at the Business School has been taking the ‘Business Project’ module. This module has taught me to think and work independently and for those with an entrepreneurial spirit, looking to start their own business, I would very much recommend taking this module. The focus of my project is my own graphic design company. By simply giving your business idea a trial run during this project, you can get a large amount of experience with the facts and figures involved and with pitching and selling your idea.
After graduating, I’m hoping to study for a Master’s degree, before eventually working in the finance sector, hopefully as an investment banker. I am currently taking a number of Economics and Banking modules, which will prepare me well for my career.”
"I really enjoyed how intimate the course was, in the sense we got so much time to engage with our lecturers and peers – and there was freedom to really explore your areas of interest.
The best highlights for me though, were the location, the people and the programme’s focus on sustainability. I couldn’t choose just one! You’re in an amazing space and part of an internationally diverse community. Contribute to it, learn from it and grow with it."
The friendly staff and modern facilities drew Jonty to the Business School after he visited for an Open Day.
“I have always been entrepreneurial and I’ve always had a business career in mind so I knew that I wanted to study Business. A degree in Business and Management offers a great scope for application in a wide range of careers, including accounting, finance, economics, management, marketing and more.
Compared to other universities, I found the Business School to have far superior facilities for students. At the open day, the staff were extremely welcoming, helpful and engaging and they have been very supportive during my time here.
The flexible programme structure suits me very well, with the central concepts included as compulsory modules and a wide variety of optional modules available from other disciplines. I like that I’m not confined to one particular area of study so if I decide that I like a particular subject, I’m able to mould my degree around that. For example, in my first year I was able to opt for a finance module, and now in my second year I have chosen some economics modules.
I’ve chosen to do an industrial placement in my third year. During my time at the Business School I’ve been able to get insights into many business-related industries. After applying to a range of employers I’m pleased to have secured a placement with Johnson and Johnson in a Sales and Customer Development capacity.
The Business School and Career Zone have been very supportive during my application for industrial placements, holding extra lectures and classes on application processes, CV writing and interview skills. I’ve attended many of the employer presentations and evening networking events at the university, which have greatly increased my confidence and provided invaluable tips for applying to specific companies. The Careers and Placements Fairs were a great help in deciding where to apply, with many top employers available to talk to. All of this gave me the best chance of securing a placement that I was most interested in.
My advice to others interested in applying for placements would be to do your research early and set time aside each week dedicated to this. Make sure to attend the employer events that the University holds and be prepared at these. In particular, take note of the names of people that you speak to as these key points of information can be extremely valuable when it comes to applying. Make the most of all the help that the University offers as it really is invaluable.”
Assistant product marketing manager, Sony
“One of my favourite parts about being on placement is the travel opportunities. Within the first two months I had visited Warsaw and Amsterdam to attend trade shows, allowing me to meet key customers and members of the team based around Europe. The team at Sony have been very supportive and always get me involved in any opportunities that arise, whether it be putting me on training courses or allowing me to take on extra responsibilities. I have really enjoyed my year in industry, not only have I developed my workplace skills, but I have made some great friends. I would highly recommend taking a year in industry.”
As an international student, Nazik has found Exeter the ideal combination of great facilities and support, the right balance of modules, a beautiful green city and campus and the ability to engage in lots of extra-curricular activities.
“I chose Exeter because it offered the exact course I wanted to do and I was passionate about all of the compulsory modules. Accounting and Finance has just the right mix of modules from both areas. Apart from academic-related reasons, I chose Exeter because of its campus – it’s a beautiful green campus in a smaller city. Everything you need can be found on campus in close proximity – academic buildings, coffee shops, a Health Centre, Gym, and plenty of restaurants – there’s even a Farmers’ Market on a Friday.
My favourite module is Business/Corporate Finance – involving calculations as well as essays. The lecturer always illustrates problems by using real life examples which also makes us familiar with current issues in the finance industry. Another module I enjoy is Financial Modelling – it involves constant work on Excel which is a vital skill to have if you want to work in the accounting and finance sector. We use Excel to analyse huge companies like Intel and Coca-Cola using real- life data from different financial databases. Overall, all the modules are focused on developing skills that are required by the accounting and finance industry, and involve real-life examples.
As an international student, I found it very easy to adapt to the new environment. All students and staff at the university were very welcoming, and there were lots of support systems in place. All students in halls get Residence Life Mentors – mine helped me a lot with settling in Exeter. During the first week of university there were students from the Welcome Team all around campus helping new students settle in and I also participated in the Global Chums scheme where I got matched with a second year student who I could ask anything about. Exeter is definitely a place where you can meet people from all over the world.
There are so many international societies on campus that you can join if you want to learn more about their countries, cultures, languages and traditions. One of the things I look forward to every year is the Diversity Ball where different international societies get to perform something that represents their country. I am also a member of DanceSport, which organises weekly Latino and Spanish dance classes. This was a great way of meeting people outside my course or halls, making friends and having some fun dancing together.
I have used the Career Zone for application support and the staff offer help with CVs, cover letters, interview techniques and assessment centre preparations. They also organise different schemes that connect you with Exeter graduates such as the Career Mentor Scheme. My career mentor is working in Lloyds Banking Group; we have been meeting regularly for over 2 years and he has helped me get an insight into the banking sector as well as develop skills necessary for the industry. As I wanted to gain some experience in the finance industry, I opted to do an internship after my first year in United Bulgarian Bank where I got to network with professionals from the industry.
I met so many different people, I made friendships that will last for a life-time, I created unforgettable memories, and I have gained so much knowledge. My journey of discovering myself, people and the world is still beginning.”
"It’s been three of the best years of my life studying at the University of Exeter in Cornwall and I am more than happy to announce that I will be graduating with a high 1:1 in BSc Business.
I can’t thank my friends and lecturers enough and am looking forward to exploring the next chapter in my life!"
Sam has taken full advantage of the opportunities on offer at the Business School – and created plenty of his own as well.
“I’ve always been someone who has lots of ideas and isn’t worried about putting them forward. What’s been fantastic is that the Business School has been very receptive to that – which means that alongside my studies, I’ve been able to get involved in a variety of different projects.
As well as representing the School as a student ambassador, I’ve negotiated sponsorship to complete the Investment Management Certificate, a professional finance qualification which will add extra value to my CV. I am helping to set up the Exeter Student Equity Fund, a new society aimed at investing funds from sponsors in the stock market, and I have also negotiated a budget to send two Exeter undergraduates to the world’s largest student investment conference. As I see it, if you have an idea, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask someone for help. I would never have achieved anything if I hadn’t had the courage to ask.
I’m studying a combination of Economics and Politics in my degree, and what I like most about my course is that it explores the interplay between the two. In modules such as Public Finance, and State and Economy, we examine the economics of the situation but then see how that plays out in government policy formation. I think the relationship between Economics and Politics is particularly relevant given the present state of the world, which makes it a very exciting area to be studying right now.
With regards to the quality of the teaching at Exeter, the passion the professors have for their subjects is very evident. In particular John Maloney, Simon James and Afshin Shahi have made an impact on me for a number of reasons. Firstly, the knowledge of their respective subject areas. Secondly, their unique styles of lecturing, which are always very entertaining to go to, even if the subject matter can be a tad dry. Lastly, their commitment to you doing well and supporting you through their course – they always respond to emails quickly and are more than happy to schedule time to see you.
John Maloney was also happy to give me a reference for my internship with Santander Corporate Banking, Risk. I did that in the summer after my first year and that lead to a second internship a year later with Santander Global Banking and Markets, Operations. I’m currently looking for a third placement for after I graduate, and have been successful in securing numerous assessment centres. After that, I’ve decided to stay on here to study the MSc in Finance and Investment.
I feel particularly excited about the School’s rising reputation, that in several years this will be one of the UK’s elite business schools. It’s already very good but will only appreciate in value in the years to come.”
When Xinshuang arrived in Exeter from China, she spent seven months on the INTO programme before starting her undergraduate course.
“I had always wanted to go abroad and change my environment, so after I graduated from high school in China, I began looking around at universities overseas. As Exeter is ranked as one of the top ten universities in the UK, and has high student satisfaction rates, it seemed like a good place for me to improve my English and to learn more about economics and finance, which is the area I would like to pursue as a career.
Before beginning my undergraduate programme, I enrolled on the INTO Business Foundation programme, which is a programme that Exeter offers for international students. It covered the basic maths and economics I would need when I started my degree course, as well as offering English classes, where we could focus on our speaking, reading, writing and listening skills.
I found INTO really helpful in helping me adapt to a different learning environment. There is much more of a focus on independent study here, compared to in China, so it was very useful to learn more about that and to develop some learning skills I would need when it came to sitting my exams as part of my degree.
I am now in the third and final year of my BSc in Economics and Finance and I am enjoying learning more about economic models and gaining knowledge of real-world financial markets. My lecturers are very good at bringing the theory to life with case studies, and they are always available to answer any questions and talk anything through with us.
I like many things about the Business School – the facilities, the beautiful environment, the excellent career support. But I think the best thing is the international nature of the School. Here I can meet students from all over the world. It is an exciting experience for me to make international friends and learn from my peers.
I would also like to emphasise the support that’s available to us as international students. You can feel somewhat daunted when you first arrive, but all the staff have been so helpful with any issues I have had, whether it was helping me arrange a visa for my mum when she came to visit, or assisting me with practical issues like booking taxis and train tickets.
Now that I’m more settled here, I wanted to do something to help other international students with their transition into the University. So I applied to become an International Student Ambassador, to help support students when they first arrive. I’m also part of a society called Global Chum, which is set up to help international students make friends. There’s a lot on offer here for international students, and plenty of support to help you settle in quickly and feel at home.”