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Management Graduate Profiles

Management Graduate Profiles

Below are some of the graduates who have been recruited to the scheme.

Ellen Smith

Ellen Smith
 
Start Date: September 2011
 
University: Lancaster University BA Hons in French and German Studies (2004); Lancaster University MA European Languages and Cultures (2006)
 
What are your first impressions of LCC? My first impression of LCC is that it is a forward-thinking, customer- and community-focused organisation, committed to proactively tackling currently budgetary and resource pressures whilst maintaining high quality services to the citizens of Lancashire. LCC values news graduates coming into the organisation and the fresh perspective that they can bring.
 
How did you rate the induction process at LCC? The one week corporate induction programme is an excellent preparation to starting your career with LCC, not only as it provides a solid introduction to the Council's structure, vision and priorities, but also as it presents a great opportunity to build relationships with both new and current graduates, and to form a support network. Having completed the induction programme, I felt confident in starting my placement and ready for a challenge! For me, one of the main things that struck me during the induction was how friendly and helpful the Graduate Team is and what a warm welcome to LCC we all received.
 
Work Placements: My current placement is for 12 months within the Central Lancashire Commissioning Team in Adult and Community Services (ACS).
Key aspects of my current workload include a pan-Lancashire review of the Adult Sensory Impairment Service and working with the Central Lancashire Autism Partnership Board to ensure successful implementation of the National Autism Strategy. I feel that my placement will present numerous opportunities for me to gain valuable experience working across a variety of services that ACS provides and I will have the opportunity to be actively involved in decision-making to help shape service delivery and outcomes. I will also be given access to relevant training sessions, such as Adult Safeguarding and Business Planning.
 
The future: I am keen to build my career within a Local Authority setting, having previously spent two and a half years at Blackpool Council. I am particularly interested in both Adult and Children and Young People's Services and I hope to progress to a strategic, senior management position during my career. 
 
Why should people apply? The Corporate Graduate Programme was recommended to me by a friend who was already on the programme and that's how I came to apply! The programme has been recruiting for several years now and appears to be going from strength to strength, with a high retention rate of graduates in LCC employment, post-programme. I too would recommend the programme to any graduates keen to work within the Local Authority and who want the opportunity to access work experience and opportunities that they might not otherwise get elsewhere. The programme is mutually beneficial to both graduates and managers, in that managers are to stretch and challenge the graduates to work to their capacity and give them opportunities to work and train at a graduate level and in turn, for graduates to bring a fresh pair of eyes and new ideas to a service and to challenge the status quo. I feel that the programme gives graduates the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the work of LCC, whilst having the opportunity to undertake programmes of personal and professional development, leading to a successful first step on the career ladder.

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Abigail Wrench

Abigail Wrench

Start date: September 2011

University: Lancaster University and Manchester BPP Law School

What are your first impressions of LCC: My first impressions of LCC are all very positive. The people I have met are all very friendly, helpful and supportive. I feel I have fitted right in to my team from the first moment.

The week long induction process is very thorough and lays solid foundations for understanding the varied work of the council, and the graduates place within it.

There are a number of varied placements available offering a wealth of opportunities and experience in departments for graduates, from finance and environment to adult and community services. I am currently based in Burnley and Pendle District Adult Disability Services, which is a six month placement. In the future, I would like to gain further experience within different areas of adult and community services, and possibly services for children and young people. I am looking forward to developing my career within LCC.

Why should people apply? The Graduate Management Programme is a great opportunity to gain a variety of different skills in a supportive environment and put them into practice. With LCC being such a huge organisation, there are so many areas where graduates can apply themselves, this is especially so as graduates can move placements throughout the two years.

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Tom Brodie

tom brodie
Start date: September 2010
 
University: Manchester University
  
My placements: So far I have had two placements the first in Adult and Community Services reengineering administrative systems and currently I'm working in the Customer Focus Team managing Mystery Shopping activities.
 
The future: I am currently unsure where I see myself in the future,  I am however thoroughly enjoying the work involved in the developing and running Mystery Shopping activities and I am looking forward to the next few months of this placement.
 
Why should people apply? You should apply to be a Graduate Management Trainee simply because it's a great opportunity. As part of the scheme you get involved in just about everything and anything going on within Lancashire County Council. Running workshops, developing  training, commissioning services, you name it and there's probably a graduate doing it. Together with this you get training to develop all the skills you need to be an effective manager and are encouraged to look for development opportunities yourself. As I previously mentioned I am not sure what the future may hold for me but I am definitely sure that the skills that I have developed over the past few months are going to be invaluable to me in whatever I decided to do.

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Charlotte Watkinson

charlotte watkinson

Start date: September 2010

University: UCLAN
 
Work placements: I was placed with an external partner organisation – the West Lancs Council for Voluntary Services (WLCVS). My role surrounds disseminating information about health (news, training, consultations, sector developments etc) to local organisations and being involved in projects which are based on health or community development initiatives. I have developed marketing materials, organised events and training, completed research, written bids for funding, been involved in both the planning and delivery of projects, and been involved in strategic partnership working and different networks to name but a few activities!
 
The future: I can certainly see myself working in this field in the future, the work is really varied and worthwhile and I really feel like I could make a difference to the community and its people. I’m really enjoying the work surrounding development of strategic partnerships and networks – this all links into Big Society and people working together to add value to projects and initiatives, sharing resources and expertise, which I believe is the way forward to a better, brighter future.
 
Why should people apply? Being on this scheme is giving me levels of experience, opportunities and training which would take me years to get if I was just in standard employment. I am being positively challenged and feel like I am developing on a daily basis. Also, because I am getting such a varied experience I get exposure to many role types which are helping me decide which areas I do or do not want to go into in my future career.

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Hussein Mulla

hussain mulla
 
Graduate Scheme start date: September 2009
 
University: University of Central Lancashire & Lancaster University
 
Current Role: Business Strategy Support Officer
 
Business Strategy and Commissioning Team, Environment Directorate
 
My Placements:  September 2009-March 2010: Key Skills Projects Team (KSP), Children & Young People's Directorate
 
March 2010-August 2010: Organisational Development (OD), Office of the Chief Executive
 
August 2010-September 2011: Business Strategy and Commissioning team (BSC), Environment
 
My experiences so far: Working for such a large organisation that directly impacts upon our society is a great opportunity to learn and develop new skills to help support the people of Lancashire. Despite the size of the Lancashire County Council, I feel I have had a valuable and important role throughout my placements.
 
My first placement was with the KSP team where I undertook numerous solo and group projects. One of the key projects I undertook was a “Parental Questionnaire” which involved a number of schools in Lancashire, Wigan and Merseyside. The aim of the questionnaire was to provide feedback on the schools from a parent’s perspective to help improve the services and facilities offered.
 
My next placement was with the OD team which was a bold challenge in an unfamiliar environment which allowed me to develop new skills such as networking and presenting to senior members. I was involved in a number of corporate wide projects such as the development of the new PDR system, the coordination of LCC's IiP interviews and also promoting learning and development initiatives throughout the organisation.
 
My final placement was with the BSC team which was the most challenging yet rewarding placement throughout the Graduate Scheme. The placement offered me the opportunity to work with Directors and managers at all levels and taking part in directorate wide initiatives. The nature of the team is to act proactively in seeking efficiencies as well as being reactive to solving problems and recommending solutions. Therefore in my opinion my role is to assist in planning, investigating, and recommending ways of carrying change forward within the directorate.
 
Now:  I have secured a permanent post within the Business Strategy and Commissioning team where I have been able to continue on working on Directorate wide initiatives.
 
What I gained from the scheme: As my time on the graduate scheme has come to a close I feel I have gained a variety of skills and have the motivation to develop further. I aspire to remain in a reactive and proactive project management setting as this provides me with countless opportunities to engage with individuals to influence change within the organisation.
 
Why should you apply? The scheme offers a variety of learning and development opportunities and offers a good insight into the type of career you may wish to pursuit. The graduate scheme provides a superb insight into the world of local government and the challenges and opportunities you may come across. 

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Kristy Wiggans

kirsty wiggans
 
Dates: September 2009 - June 2011
 
University:  Lancaster University / University of Central Lancashire –English and Communication Studies BA (Hons)
 
Work placements:  
 
Sep 2009 – Apr 2010 – Joint Health Unit, Office of the Chief Executive
 
Apr 2010 – June 2011 – External Relations/Heritage Trust North West, Office of the Chief Executive
 
June 2011 – Present – Business Development Manager, Newcastle College Group, Skelmersdale.
 
My experiences so far: As a result of the graduate scheme, I have been lucky enough to secure full time, permanent employment at NCG who, with a turnover of more than £150 million, are one of the largest educational, training and employability organisations in the UK. I am a Business Development Manager within Group Biddings and Projects, and we provide business development solutions to the whole of the organisation across all of the subsidiaries. Specifically, I research, write and submit tenders for a variety of funding opportunities including welfare-to-work programmes, SFA and JCP contracts. My role also includes a lot of relationship building and management across our subsidiaries, partners and stakeholders.
It’s a very challenging role; hours can be long and demanding particularly close to deadlines, it can be stressful managing several projects at one time and it’s quite a hectic day-to-day environment as we are such a small team. But the benefits far outweigh this. I am at a level I didn’t expect to be working at for at least the next 5 years; I have regular contact and the opportunity to build strong relationships with members of the executive and directors and I frequently travel to conferences and events across the country. I have a lot of responsibility and project manage my tenders from start to finish.
 
The future: The sky really is the limit.
 
What made me successful in my job search? The skills and knowledge I developed whilst on the graduate scheme, in particular under Anne Ainsworth in the External Relations team, provided me with the tools I needed to secure this position. The breadth and depth of my knowledge as a result of the projects I had exposure to during my final placement where what impressed the interviewers at NCG. Being able to develop my skills, knowledge and experience within a supportive team were invaluable to me. My advice would be to take advantage of every opportunity you are given within your placements, no matter how scary it might seem. If you don’t feel you are being challenged or stretched, speak up and really use the scheme to build and develop your knowledge and skills so that you are in the best possible position to take advantage of any future employment opportunities.

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