How Exeter Is Keeping Its Young Professionals

How Exeter Is Keeping Its Young Professionals

By Rebecca Broad (@RebeccaComms)

Photography by Rebecca Broad

Exeter is the place to be.  Not just for families eyeing up good schools and the short drive to coast and moor, but for young people beginning their professional lives.  There are a multitude of reasons why Exeter stands out, but I see them as being distilled into two main themes.

The careers

Of course, a job is often the strongest driver behind location choice. University friends have dispersed across the globe – but I’m not the only one to choose to remain in Exeter.  I studied Biology with Adam Falconer, who says:

“Exeter has been a great place for me to develop as an ecologist.  The availability of training and internship opportunities gave me the skills I needed to secure my current role.”

Like many young professionals in Exeter, Hazel Reading’s job is based in Southernhay.  Nestled behind the Cathedral, this hub of skilled labour has a long and fascinating history – but is also forward-thinking enough to invest in the future.

“Exeter has a great mix of local business and branches of bigger corporations, and they’re willing to develop the skills of young professionals. In the time at my current role, I’ve been able to move on from basic desk work to national projects and beyond, all within a year of starting.”

The community

What makes Exeter truly home for me is that, while it’s big enough to meet new friends from all walks of life, it’s small enough to always be bumping into people that you know.  Loise Teigão moved to Exeter from Brazil three years ago and now works as a Funding Consultant for Innovate UK.

“I find Exeter very welcoming and inclusive for young women. I was happy to find a dynamic community with amazing initiatives towards sustainability and responsible business.”

An important part of Exeter’s identity is what feels like a city-wide enthusiasm for sports and active lifestyles.  I asked Olivia Horncastle, a Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor – @olivia__pt on Instagram, whether she sees this focus, too.

“It’s great that Exeter considers open spaces when planning to allow bootcamps and outdoor exercise classes to take place. The variety of small and large gyms, as well as regular events like ParkRun and the Great West Run, create rewarding communities, allowing us to both socialise and catch the bug for exercise.”

A large part of my decision to stay in Exeter is the balanced lifestyle – a growing social scene, easy access to beautiful wild spaces, and a slower pace of life which helps us to sidestep the unhealthy focus on work.  Joe Clarke, Copywriter for Lightfoot, is one of many who originally left Exeter to study elsewhere.

“I lived by the bustle of London and ran a business in Cardiff. They were great in their ways, but moving back to Exeter made me realise what I was looking for was not as far away from home as I once thought.”

Exeter is one of the UK’s fastest growing cities – why do you think this is? Tag us on any social @RebeccaComms @GrowExeter to share your views on what makes Exeter so appealing to young professionals!

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