Rebecca Jenkins

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Other Industries
Job title: Intelligence Services Manager
Subject of study: Conflict, Security and Development
Year of graduation: 2022
Type/Level of study: Postgraduate Taught

Current Employer/Organisation Name

Peregrine Risk Management

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

I currently work within Intelligence in the Security Risk-Management sector, where my team supports clients visiting low-extreme risk countries. Some examples, we support NGOs in warzones and natural disaster impact zones, we support media and TV within high/extreme risk environments and protect high-value clients during their day to day, as well as many other interesting projects. I gained a role as an Intelligence Officer at Peregrine RM during the last month of my MA at Exeter (Conflict, Security, and Development). Within 10 months I was promoted to our Intelligence Services Manager, where I run our intelligence department. I direct our internal intelligence team as well as run an international intelligence intern program, where we partner with some of the UK’s most prestigious universities (including Exeter) and some international universities, too, supporting students of all years and varying degrees with flexible work experience. I am also a board member of Buckinghamshire New University’s Aviation and Security School where I work closely with the staff and other board members to ensure the curricula is up to date with the industry – I feel particularly valuable here as a recent graduate.

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

I always knew I wouldn’t enjoy a job where everyday was the same and the work repetitive. I loved my minor in International Relations during my BSc and knew then I wanted to do something in either the security or humanitarian sector working with international affairs, which is why I chose the CSD MA at Exeter. At Peregrine RM, I get to work on some of the most important current affairs ensuring our clients are presented with facts and intel which keeps them safe. Right now, our most important work is within maritime conflict zones such as the Black Sea and the Red Sea, where we report to clients on the Ukraine-Russia conflict and now the Israel-Palestine conflict. We are also supporting Russ Cook as he runs across Africa through some incredibly problematic countries, and we supported NGO and media clients to enter Turkey in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake which hit there as well as Syria. It’s these high-intensity and fast-paced projects which make my role so interesting, the responsibility can feel a lot sometimes but it makes the role meaningful. I also absolutely love providing students an intern program which is completely tailored to them and their interests. Peregrine gave me complete autonomy when designing the program and I feel I we now deliver an intern program which felt impossible to find when I was at university, we have part-time paid interns, casual voluntary interns who commit an hour or two a week, and full-time team members who came through our intern program. The recognition my company provides me is also unmatched, I was shortlisted for Newcomer of the Year at the CIR Risk Management Awards this year and we were all taken to the event at the Marriott in Mayfair to celebrate.

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

Unfortunately, as I worked part-time during my MA and it was only a year long, I didn’t get the chance to get involved in any extra-curricular activities – one of my biggest regrets when at Exeter!

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

The placement module! I went alone to Mumbai, India for 4 weeks. I worked with a Development NGO called ‘Going to School’ who focused on developing derelict school grounds, improving the lives of women and girls, as well as educating on climate change. Without the CSD course, I never would have had the opportunity or motivation to do something like this – it was an incredible trip and I made some great friends from Mumbai.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

The engagement from the staff to students, the beautiful campus and quality education. I also attended the House of Lords Alumni Event this October and that really was an experience, I got to take my dad who got quite emotional as I don’t come from a wealthy or very well-educated background – it was a once in a lifetime opportunity for him and I felt very proud to be able to take him.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

I actually only applied to Exeter for my MA and told myself if I didn’t get in I would start trying to find employment with my BSc, I was really interested in the CSD placement module as I didn’t have much relevant experience as a BSc grad. I am from Plymouth, and lived here during my masters, so I wanted to go to the best university within a reasonable distance and I had heard nothing but good things.

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

The various internships and placements I did during my MA couldn’t have been more important – I only had customer service experience as I didn’t do any internships or placements during my BSc. This gave me relevant skills and knowledge, working with teams in Nigeria, Mumbai, and projects in Syria.

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

Get as much and as varied experience as possible! International if you can. My current employer told me that my placement in Mumbai was one of the most important reasons for my employment. International work experience is so important in this sector, whether it be remote work on a particular region, or visiting a country and working there. Also, learn Excel!!! Me and my team use it everyday, and I had never used it before when I started. It became the bane of my existence until I understood it.

What are your plans for the future?

I hope to one day be a managing director within this sector – I would love to do this with Peregrine as the people, culture, and work is absolutely great and I love coming to work every day. We’re also a growing company, so I really see this as achievable.

 

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