"Don’t be put off if your degree subject is apparently unrelated to local government; you will have transferable skills that can be applied to public service."
Name: Coco Chan
Working at Cotswold & West Oxfordshire District Councils
Studied Pharmacology at the University of Bristol
Advice? Don’t be put off if your degree subject is apparently unrelated to local government; you will have transferable skills that can be applied to public service. One of the best things about this sector is the enormous variety of services we provide – schools, roads, housing, parks, community safety – all these and more come under the umbrella of local government, so there really is something for everyone.
How have you changed? Being part of this prestigious graduate scheme has given me more confidence in my abilities, and I leave the two years more knowledgeable and with a clearer sense of career direction. I’ve been encouraged through NGDP to regularly reflect on my work, to consider what is going well and what I could do better, and I have continued this discipline into my first post-NGDP role to ensure I am continuing to learn and improve.
Favourite projects? My second placement was in planning, supporting the development and legal examination of our Local Plan, which is the 15 year strategy for housing and development in our District. Here I developed a keen interest in data, as I was tasked with compiling supporting evidence for public hearings and annual reporting; this interest has continued in to my current role as a data analyst and researcher. This placement also stands out for its community impact, as the implementation of the Local Plan will shape the look and feel of our district for many years to come.
What about your development? NGDP brings many opportunities for development, through the regular residential courses, action learning sets, mentoring and more. In addition to this structured learning. I have benefitted hugely from being part of the NGDP community amongst hundreds of trainees and extended alumni, each bringing a slightly different set of experiences and perspectives. I keep regular contact with members of my cohort from around the country, who are a great source of support and knowledge, and have continued to be so beyond the life of the two year programme.