Khadija

Cohort: 19

Studied: BA English and History with a Year Abroad

My first placement was in Electoral Services during the period leading up to the May 2018 Local Elections. It was a very exciting time as I there was so much going on, from preparing a project plan for the elections, to training polling station staff, to counting the votes on the day of the election. I was given the opportunity to lead my own Outreach project to encourage more young people to register to vote and vote in the local elections. This placement brought me visibility from key senior stakeholders such as the Chief Executive, directors, heads of services and managers. Furthermore, it also enabled me to fully understand the electoral process.

Choosing Brent Council was an obvious and easy choice for me. This is because I grew up in Brent, went to school in Brent, and took part in council-led activities such as Brent Youth Parliament as a teenager. This meant that I had very fond memories of Brent as a place and as a Council. When I applied to the NGDP and saw that Brent was one of the Councils that were part of the scheme, I knew that I had to work here. As a Brent resident, I have benefited tremendously from the Council and wanted to return the favour by serving the Borough and making sure my work benefitted other Brent residents.

The best part of the scheme is the visibility and the movement around the Council. As a graduate I am able to get into meetings and given opportunities that the everyday officer may not be privy to. I am able to see how different departments work through my placements and through shadowing opportunities. I love the fact that as graduates we are given mentors of senior levels who open doors for us and advise us in terms of career prospects and future placements.