I joined the Leeds City Council Graduate Programme in September 2013 after completing my degree in Politics and Social Policy at the University of Leeds and successfully getting through the application process.
The graduate programme has given me a great start with the council by allowing me to work through a well-structured and tailored graduate induction, whilst at the same time gaining valuable on the job experience working as a project support officer within Children’s Services. The programme has also given me the valuable opportunity to network and build relationships with colleagues from across the council through cross-council project work. As a graduate employee I have also had further networking and learning opportunities through regular invitations to attend internal events and workshops alongside the council’s key strategic leaders.
A really enjoyable aspect of my job is having the opportunity to work on a regular basis with external partners from 3rd sector organisations, schools and colleges and members of the public, including children and young people, in order to make a real difference towards improving the life chances of children in Leeds.
I have also enjoyed having the opportunity to work with a great team of people within my service area who have gone out of their way to ensure I have had the opportunity to make a significant contribution on a variety of projects and to help me achieve my personal career goals.
My personal experience of the graduate programme is that it has given me an induction that provided a good understanding of the council’s vision, values and culture with a wide network of support from your graduate peers and work colleagues. It has also given me the flexibility to take on as much responsibility and variety of work as I can manage. This allowed me to further develop my organisational awareness and potential as quickly as possible.
Overall the programme has allowed me to apply the skills I have developed through my university study, and with the experience gained working within the contract and strategic investment team on the Leeds City Council’s Graduate Programme, to quickly develop the required level of competence to be able to apply, with success, for a permanent appointment within the council.
I am now working within the Children’s Services directorate as a contract monitoring officer allowing me to make a real positive difference to the life chances children and young people of Leeds. I have hopes that this is the beginning of an exciting and varied career with Leeds City Council. I believe that the graduate programme offers a great opportunity for anybody wanting to begin a career in local government.