Having spent my postgrad working on economic and social rights, I really wanted to start my professional career somewhere I could make a tangible difference and put my academic knowledge and passion into practice. The NGDP was and is the perfect place for me to do that! Without knowing exactly the area of work I wanted to go into, having a generalist scheme felt like the perfect opportunity to try my hand at different things and gain skills that would set me up for any career! It also helped that as a national scheme I had an opportunity to join a respected, well recognised scheme but also stay in the north, because let’s be honest, the north is the best!
I have been able to develop my confidence in a professional setting and really see how the work I do can make a massive difference. I have learnt valuable leadership and management skills through the ILM and NGDP workshops and have been given the work environment to crack on, have a go, and build my own portfolio.
So far, I have had the opportunity to work across a range of different projects in Planning Policy and Public Health. During my Planning Policy placement, I developed the evidence base and policy for our emerging Local Plan, which enabled me to work alongside partners and get involved in a major transformation project for the borough.
Within Public Health, I have worked on numerous projects across a range of areas including sexual health, health and housing, anti-poverty, active travel and asset based community health improvement. However, my favorite project has to be developing the business case and partnership building to try use dogs within our social care setting to produce health improvements. Having a meeting surrounded by dogs was definitely a highlight! I am also just about to start a holistic cost-benefit analysis evaluation of our Complex Lives Whole System Alliance that will help shape an area of the Council working with our most vulnerable citizens.
Advice? Be yourself and never be afraid to ask, because the worst that can happen is someone says no! If you have a desire to make a different to people and places then this will shine through as you get stuck into your placements and different projects. As a grad, you’ll be in a privileged position within your local authority, so make the most of the opportunity as the more you put it, the more you’ll get out of the scheme.