Allowing students to experience a day in the life of a career they may be interested in pursuing.

Allowing students to experience a day in the life of a career they may be interested in pursuing.

Get Involved

Any student can apply to take part in the Mirror scheme by completing this form. Students are invited to answer some short questions to establish which member would be most appropriate for them to shadow.

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What is Mirror?

Mirror aims to pair students with staff from across the University and Guild to allow them to gain an insight into each other’s daily working lives. This is an opportunity which provides students with the chance to shadow staff members from a wide range of professional areas, and experience a day in the life of a career they may be interested in pursuing. These areas include:

  • Academic
  • Communications
  • Finance
  • Governance and Policy
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Research

Mirror also helps to foster understanding and deeper collaboration between Senior university and Guild staff, academics and students by encouraging mutual exchange of experience, opinion, and information. Awareness raised through the Mirror scheme can bring about positive change, as well as allowing students to experience a day in the life of a career they may be interested in pursuing. Read more about a student’s experience with the mirror scheme here and here.

How does it work?

Students are asked to complete a short form and are matched based on their interests and the content of their application. Participants are then given guidance and support on the best ways to set up shadowing and how to get the most out of their Mirror experience.

The member of staff shadows their partner student for the equivalent of a full day (including lectures, library visits, use of other services such as food outlets, society activities, etc.). The student shadows their staff member partner for a similar amount of time, attending meetings and experiencing life as a staff member.


At first I was daunted going into rooms I didn't know existed for meetings I'd never even heard of, full of acronyms I definitely didn't understand. Yet once I was there, I felt my presence was valued and, more importantly, so were my views. Janice explained all the terminology, the facts and the figures, and I was then able to watch with confidence as they debated and made decisions about improving student lives; issues regarding graduate employability, for example. The vast amount of data that was collected to inform such decisions impressed me, and the varying sources from which they came made me realise how far the university extends its research. I soon began to see the university as a much wider establishment, and myself as part of a much bigger community.

— Imogen Sanders, English Student and Former VP Education paired with Provost Janice Kay

Shadowing Imogen was a great experience and a privilege – I learned so much. There is a lot we can achieve through working together and there is nothing to beat actually going and talking with students. We're here fundamentally for students so this shadowing scheme is invaluable.

— Janice Kay, paired with Imogen Sanders

James was a keen participant and volunteered his own valuable views in a few of the meetings I invited him to attend with me. He is very hard working and was a real pleasure to engage with.

— Professor Carlos Cortinhas, Economics

It was a really good opportunity to get a view of what being a professor is like, I feel like I learnt a lot from the experience, I'd definitely recommend it to anyone considering a career in academia.

— Jamie Barker, Economics student paired with Professor Cortinhas

I am a very strong supporter of the Mirror Scheme. You may think only spending a day gives you a limited experience, but the truth is that even that short period of time takes you out of your comfort zone, and very much into the life of the student you are mirroring. I have learnt a lot about how each of the students I have mirrored in the last three years saw the university and their education. But, more importantly, I also got an idea of the pressures they are under, as well as the extraordinary things they do to support fellow students and the community in which they live. I have always come away feeling a bit humbled by how much they give back to the university – far more than I did when I was a student. I hope in return they got some idea of the issues facing the VC of the institution and what it is like to walk in my shoes.

— Sir Steve Smith, Vice Chancellor

Spending time with Milly gave me insight into the range of activities she manages to balance with her studies. Even alongside producing her final year dissertation, Milly gives her time to Guild Council and multiple committees of RAG. It was great to see students’ commitment to giving something back to the university community, even at the most pressured times.

— Becky Morris, Communications and Marketing Executive for the Students’ Guild

Mirroring Becky was a really useful experience, as it gave me a broad overview of how the Students' Guild markets itself both online and in person. I am currently doing an event management internship, so this marketing experience has been useful in helping me generate ideas for event promotion. I have learnt that marketing can take many different forms, from large scale campaigns to twitter updates, which has been useful knowledge to gain as I consider what type of career to pursue.

— Milly Hindle, English student who shadowed Becky Morris

University of Exeter Students' Guild is a Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered Charity Number: 1136468 Company Number: 07217324; registered in England and Wales Registered office: Devonshire House, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4PZ