Interview with Pete Robinson, University of Exeter
Name: Pete Robinson
Title: Test and Release Manager, IT
Company: University of Exeter
Sector: Higher Education
What schemes are available at your company for 16 – 24 year olds? Do you offer internships? Are there apprenticeships? What about graduate schemes?
Roles are available to graduates and students under the Business Partnerships scheme. The university helps place students in local businesses but also offers internal roles. There are no specific graduate schemes, per se, but a number of roles on a more junior level.
What do your recruitment schemes look like?
Recruitment is as and when jobs become available – check out our jobs board for more info and make sure you sign up for alerts.
How long does the recruitment process take?
From application closure date, the recruitment process is usually between one and two months. Once you've submitted your application, if successful, you will be interviewed by a panel. You'll usually enter employment within a month (obviously depending on notice periods).
Can candidates work abroad?
No international opportunities are available at present, though there is occasional travel for conferences and workshops.
What skills do you look for in a candidate?
Within the IT department, an applicable technical degree (Computer Science, Engineering, Physics, Maths, etc.) is a must, as well as some experience of industry (IT or Higher Education). We're also looking for good communication skills and an understanding of business priorities within IT.
What do you think adds to a candidate’s profile?
Relevant experience in a technical working environment is very valuable. Internship experience is also a big plus on a graduate CV.
What advice would you give to candidates for their application and interview?
Clearly identify relevant skills and, where possible, give concise examples of how they've been demonstrated in the past. Prioritise information in the application, so HR's first glance at the application highlights the most relevant information. In an interview, clear and honest communication is best. Be frank about gaps in experience but try and demonstrate you've put some thought into hypothetical IT situations – it will show you can problem-solve.
Which common mistakes do applicants make?
Not researching or considering all aspects of the role in question. For example, only considering students and teaching at universities, rather than considering research and staff needs.
What have young recruits gone on to do at your company?
Many employees have been at the university for many years and have become leaders in many areas – the current head of IT design joined the university as a graduate.
Where can candidates apply?
The university advertises all positions on their website.