Bethany Lock 

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Utilities and Renewable Energy
Job title: Early Years Acquisition Partner
Subject of study: Management with Marketing
Year of graduation: 2021
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

South West Water

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

Since graduating in June 2021, I joined South West Water’s Operational Management Graduate Programme the following September. I worked in Customer Services for 9 months as a Customer Communications and Engagement officer, I then worked in Drinking Water Services for 9 months working on People and Culture Transformation Programmes as part of a Drinking Water Inspectorate Notice. I now work in the Talent Team focusing on the recruitment of individuals at the ‘early’ stage of their careers. 

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

I chose this career pathway because South West Water’s rotational management programme allowed me to see three varying business departments and gave me the ability to network with a range of people. Working in the utilities industry, I’ve experienced hands on operations activity as well as the customer and employee perspective of a business. I most enjoy being involved in lots of projects and doing something different everyday. Having studied BSc Business Management and Marketing, I wasn’t too sure which business area I would end up working in. I like to meet new people and make a real, and hopefully positive, change to projects which is what I get to do each day! 

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

I joined the University of Exeter in September 2018 and studied BSc Business Management with Marketing with Proficiency in Leadership. I was apart of the Cheerleading and Gymnastic Society, the Dance Society and also the Business and Finance Society. I loved my time at Exeter – being so close to the beach but also being in the city was the perfect combination! Performing at the rugby varsity games at Sandy Park was also a big highlight! 

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

I enjoyed learning about the Psychology of Business, all things theoretical such as the dark triad, but equally political elements such as the glass ceiling. I really enjoyed partaking in physical personality tests and how they can shape a ‘successful’ and high performing team. Applying that learning to the business world has been extremely eye-opening.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

The University of Exeter has so many opportunities for career development, employability events and networking opportunities. I was strongly supported each year, especially in terms of career development and assessment centre / interview skills. The Business School Career Zone were amazing! They helped me transfer my theoretical and academic skills to real everyday business skills. 

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

I chose to study at Exeter because it was one of the best universities for business courses in the country! Equally, the Business School’s bright enthusiasm, kindness, and warm welcome on open day encouraged me to apply. The facilities and technology was amazing. I loved having lectures in forum lecture theatre and could really imagine myself studying there for 3 years. 

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

Human Resource Management modules have been most useful skills for my career! Understanding people managers and why things happen can help decision making and understanding the wider industry context. Experience of a ‘mock’ assessment centre was amazingly helpful before the start of graduate applications!

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

I would suggest that you get as much exposure to the corporate world as possible. Having a year in industry or summer internships can help guide you into the working world, but also help to provide evidence for competency interview questions and CV experience. 

What are your plans for the future?

My plans for the future are to become a strong business People Manager! I am currently completing a Level 5 Leadership and Management diploma and will be completing a Level 5 CPID qualification next year. 


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