Cohort: 20
Studied: BA History

I’m Callum, a first year graduate currently placed with Brent’s Transformation team. This sits in the Chief Executive’s Department and is involved in leading and supporting a variety of projects concerned with ‘change’. In essence, we look to make positive changes both throughout the Borough for citizens and in how the organisation internally operates. Working alongside a range of different teams and people has given me a broad insight into how the council functions, while deepening my understanding of the skills required to bring together different teams in order to effect meaningful change. Within my first month I have worked on the development of a new community hub in South Kilburn and contributed towards a review of mental health; looking at how Brent can help those with mental health conditions gain and retain employment. 

Choosing Brent was an easy decision for me to make. Walking through the front doors of the Civic Centre immediately fills you with the sense that this is a modern, forward-thinking, and innovative organisation and it is telling that this view does not change when you talk with the various people who work here and when you begin to understand the vast amount the council has done to transform the ways in which it works. This positive energy remains a strength of the council, and it takes just a glance at the exciting work being done on digital strategy, collaborative partnerships, and on the radical rethinking of delivery models to realise that this is an environment not willing to rest on its laurels.

As a graduate on the NDGP, Brent provides an excellent network of support. The ability to bounce different ideas and thoughts off my mentor – an operational director – is one that is not afforded to many. This network extends through to a consistent line manager who helps to guide development over the two year process and to the buddy system, which enables us to pick the minds of a second year graduate as we navigate our way through the workings of local government. 

For me, the real draw of the NDGP was that it promises two years of learning within a supportive environment, allowing me to explore the areas of local government that I might want to pursue a career in while developing all of the necessary skills. If my first month is anything to go, the NDGP at Brent certainly lives up to this promise!