The NGDP scheme was the perfect platform to launch my career in the public sector, knowing that the work I do on a daily basis makes a positive difference to the local community is something that I get great satisfaction from.
It is not only gratifying and interesting but also sets you up for your career, NGDP alumni have gone on to work in a number of senior positions very quickly in both the public and private sector, something very appealing for any soon-to-be graduate seeking employment.
I can certainly confirm that the NGDP scheme gives you a breadth in experience that is unrivalled by many other graduate schemes. 11 months in and I have already worked on our school expansion programme, the Transformation programme and in the Regeneration and Environment department working on Travel Plans. The school expansion programme was a high profile project within the borough set up to address the council's need to deal with the growing demand for school places, a problem for many London boroughs. I worked with a range of other professionals including contractors, surveyors, architects, head teachers and the Director, to name a few. I also spent 4 months working with the Transformation team, a very demanding and insightful experience as Local Government is going through a period of immense change and the Transformation programme was the perfect way to gain a comprehensive corporate overview of the changes. My third and current placement is Project Managing the implementation of a Staff Travel Plan, trying to encourage the use of more sustainable modes of transport, more exciting and challenging that you might think!
The NGDP scheme and the borough that you work for ensure there is a helpful support network in place for NMT's to tap into when you require it. This can be in the shape of 1:1s or the online ‘Knowledge Hub', a network that enables you to ask questions to fellow NMT's in your cohort, a valuable beacon of knowledge of which I have taken advantage of on a number of occasions. Not only do you have a support network but you are also made to feel welcome and valued by the different teams you work in, this has meant I have developed strong relationships with colleagues across the council. Another perk of the job is leaving gifts; given the nature of rotations on the NGDP I've had two loads already!
What I have found really enjoyable and rewarding is being able to shape my time on the scheme, searching for and moulding my own placements in consultation with colleagues and the NGDP co-ordinator. This enables NMT's to ensure they get the best out of the scheme, of course there is direction regarding the type of placements you undertake but if there is an area you are really interested in, it's usually possible to do a placement in that area. Needless to say the number of services currently provided by councils is comprehensive and therefore the range in experiences on offer is incredibly varied. This is something you realise at the Warwick Business School when working with other NMT's.
Not only does the scheme offer a varied range of experiences, the opportunities it provides sets you on firm footing for developing your career by equipping you with an invaluable skill set. Some of the examples to date from my own experience have included learning how to write business cases, bids to central government, pitch ideas to senior management and politicians and develop a strategic mind. You find that you are learning new things every day, which only stands you in good stead for the future.