Elizabeth Carter

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Higher Education
Job title: Admissions and Outreach Senior Administrator
Subject of study: English
Year of graduation: 2012
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

Medway School of Pharmacy, Universities of Greenwich and Kent at Medway

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

After graduating with my BA in English from Exeter in 2012, I started my PGCE in Upper Primary at Canterbury Christ Church University in September of the same year. I was then a primary school teacher for three years before opting for a career change. Wishing to gain experience in the legal sector, I became a clerk to a High Court Judge in the Royal Courts of Justice. For 18 months, I acted as a personal assistant to judges in the family and high court. This was an amazing experience as I was even able to travel to crown courts across the country and take notes in criminal trials. Wishing to go back to working in education, I returned to working in a school within a sixth form support capacity for two years in which I guided students on university applications and was responsible for pastoral support. I now manage undergraduate recruitment for an independent pharmacy school that is connected to two universities and have been doing so for two years.

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

I chose to enter a career Higher Education as it was logically the next step for me as I enjoyed supporting students make applications to university, but did not necessarily wish to teach. Most of all, I enjoy reviewing applications, organising interview days and processing offers. The attention to detail required appeals to me greatly and during busy periods (such as results day), you are definitely kept on your toes!

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

The English programme at Exeter offered such choice to undergraduates and I was really able to tailor the modules I took to my taste. The biggest highlight for me was finding my passion through taking film modules, that ultimately led to my dissertation: focusing on adaptation and use of film in education.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

I simply enjoyed being in a beautiful part of the country and studying at a university that had a perfect balance of prestige and friendliness.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

Exeter had a fantastic reputation, the course offered a lot of choice and it was the university that I had that “gut feeling” for on the offer-holder day. It was simply so friendly and the atmosphere was lovely.

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

Taking ‘The Exeter Award’ was particularly useful, including the interview experience, as it prepared me for entering the world of work. Analysing complex material during my course has also been useful for postgraduate study and creating reports in my job. On a more general level, university allowed me to gain independence and develop my passion for learning; this has helped me enormously whilst working in education.

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

I would say the most important thing is not to close doors to any avenues, even if you believe you know what you want to do. I very much had ‘tunnel vision’ in the sense that I thought I wanted to teach forever more. Three years in to my career, I found this was not the case, and in hindsight I wish I had explored more career options during careers fairs at university.

What are your plans for the future?

Ultimately, I hope to become an Admissions Manager within a university as at the moment I work for an independent school within two universities and wish to broaden my knowledge in undergraduate recruitment. However, recently, I have thought about re-training in order to start a completely different career in order to gain more job satisfaction and gain a much better work-life balance.


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