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.