The challenge, responsibility and opportunity offered by this scheme are far beyond what I could have imagined from a graduate role.
I started the scheme working in the newly amalgamated Public Health Team, which gave me a fantastic opportunity to learn about the varied responsibilities of Local Government, while also experiencing cultural and structural integration first hand. This was a brilliant placement, which offered autonomy over my project and gave me a chance to innovative in a controlled environment. I have just completed my second placement, managing the delivery of a new statutory duty in Children's Services.
This was a very different experience, which has pushed my skills, confidence and knowledge to new levels. During this placement I have had to do lots of things I didn't know how to do before, like run public consultations, facilitate multi-agency meetings, navigate national legislation, design product specifications, run contract tenders and build a website from scratch. All of these things were nerve-wracking at first, but now my skill set far surpasses what I could have confidently done a year ago.
The best part of this placement has been working directly with parents and young people with additional needs and seeing first-hand how relatively small changes in how we work can make a huge difference to a family facing infinitely complex lives.
This has made my role my challenging, because it makes everything more real, raises the stakes for success and failure. However, I'm not alone here. I get to work with incredibly dedicated, smart people and have the support of a personal development network that offers me training and professional qualifications that open new doors every month.