"I have definitely improved my confidence and communication skills with managers, service directors, and corporate directors. "
Name: Cara Corbett
Working at: Luton Borough Council
Studied: Politics and History at the University of Hull
Advice? Don’t be afraid to step up for a challenge. These two years are crucial for your personal development, and some projects may sound out of your comfort-zone. It can be easier to do something you already have experience in, but getting a fantastic insight into frontline, operational and strategic projects that you would not usually choose will benefit you enormously after the scheme.
How have you changed? I have definitely improved my confidence and communication skills with managers, service directors, and corporate directors. Most of my projects have exposed me to different people, particularly outside of the local authority which has been very challenging but extremely rewarding. I have had to learn to change the style of communication depending on my audience, and think of how best to engage certain groups. My current line manager is the Place and Infrastructure corporate director and she has certainly supported me and helped me to boost my confidence.
Favourite projects? My current placement is with the Corporate Leaders Management Team working on the Environment Plan. The opportunity came about because I mentioned in my interview that I was passionate about environmental issues, and so my line manager put me forward to write it. It has been by far the most challenging piece of work I have done at Luton, as I am liaising with numerous service directors, managers and officers, internally and externally, as well as doing a lot of research to develop the strategy and delivery plan. However, I have broadened my own knowledge of what the council can do on environmental issues and I have been able to put my own ideas and thoughouts into the delivery plan.
What about your development? Our cohort took an MBTI test which determines differing psychological preferences in how we can perceive the world and make decisions based on that. I learnt a lot about myself in this workshop, but I learnt more about other types and how to become more self-aware. I have used MTBI and emotional intelligence when approaching projects and it has definitely helped me to understand how and why we make the choices we do.