Cohort: 21
Studied: BA French & German

My name is Hal and my first placement on the NGDP at Brent has been in Sustainability. It was an area I had no experience in, but in 6 months I’ve gone from knowing nothing to attending London-wide workshops and writing the borough’s Climate Emergency Strategy. This shows the high level of responsibility and opportunities for learning you get here at Brent, especially as I’ve been working in such a small team. I’ve also had the chance to run meetings with businesses and community groups, work with teams across the council to improve sustainability, and help to organise and run a climate summit with the Brent Youth Parliament.

I knew I wanted to work in the public sector after graduating, and the ability to try out different roles in local government is what drew me to the NGDP. At the interview day, Brent impressed me with its sustainable, community-facing office building (complete with library and coffee shop) and its motivated, forward-thinking attitude – and this sense has only increased since I started here. The scheme is really well-established at the council, and the network of senior mentors and graduates from previous cohorts makes you feel properly supported. Working in multiple departments across the council lets you understand how the whole organisation works and develop a wide variety of skills.

As a grad, you also get lots of exciting opportunities such as attending senior leadership conferences and meetings with councillors. The placements at Brent always reflect the council’s strategic priorities, so the work you do is challenging and important with lots of independence and responsibility. Alongside the variety of roles, you’ll often get the chance to meet with residents and partners from all sectors, meaning you’ll build up a large network of internal and external contacts. There are also loads of things to do outside the day-to-day work of your current placement, such as training sessions, getting involved with staff networks and helping out at elections.

I’m really enjoying my time at Brent so far, thanks to the interesting work, unique opportunities and great, supportive colleagues, especially my fellow grads. I believe that the scheme will effectively prepare me for a career in the public sector, and I’d encourage anyone who’s interested to apply.