Inspiring insights at the Public Sector Panel

A picture of Phoebe smiling

Hi, I’m Phoebe! And last month I went along to the Career Service’s ‘Public Sector Panel’ which featured four inspiring representatives from the public sector who came to share their experience of working in the industry with students. This is what I learnt …

The session was opened by Transform Society’s CEO, James Darwell who spoke about the 4,700 job opportunities currently available within the sector, as well as the ‘Virtual Experience Programmes’ students can access to help them gain experience that will help them stand out when they apply for jobs.

The session’s panel was made up of:

  • Claire Below, National Graduate Development Programme
  • Eleanor White, NHS Leadership Academy
  • Bonny Chung, Civil Service
  • Nathan Freeman, Teach First

All four panellists spoke inspiringly about their job roles, as well as the challenges they face working in the public sector. Their experiences included becoming an “accidental civil servant”, changing job roles inside the sector, and starting their careers in an industry they “can’t ever imagine leaving“. All four were unanimous in their praise for working in the sector; referencing their love for making a difference, their experience of seeing real change occur, and the huge wealth of opportunities available to those interested in joining the industry.

Logo: The words "local government association" with purple and white outlines of faces.

The National Graduate Development Programme’s Claire Below’s two-year placement was a testament to the variety of opportunities available in the public sector. Having started in the industry knowing very little about it, Claire described working in Adult Social Care for her first year and Environmental Resilience in her second, and the knowledge and experience she gained from these opportunities.

Bonny Chung’s impressive career in the Civil Service began in 2017 and initially involved transferring between different departments until she found her feet in a permanent position. Since then, she has implemented a pilot programme to increase representation for women in the workplace and helped signpost extracurricular programmes including funded Master’s Degrees and wellbeing support for those in her department.

Eleanor Wallace also started in 2017 after coming across the NHS Graduate Scheme in the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers guide. Having studied Neuroscience and coming from a medical background, she found a perfect position in the NHS Leadership Academy after an initial placement in Truro. Although not a job you’d perhaps ‘typically’ associate with the NHS, it plays a key part in supporting and managing those in leadership positions (oh … and applications are open now!)

The TeachFirst logo a white conjoined  "T" and "F" on a blue background

Finally, Teach First’s Nathan Freeman described starting his teaching career as an Ambassador in 2016 in Central Bristol with no prior experience. Through taking on the role, however, he developed his confidence on the job, supported by his Teach First mentors, and received full funding for an MA in Educational Leadership. Nathan went on to emphasise the difference his job has made to his own life and his students, with him now working in Pastoral Care and supporting those who often have no one else to turn to.

Overall, the session provided some fascinating insights into working in the public sector and highlighted that there are many varied jobs available, no matter what you’re into!

If you’re interested in discovering similar events, log into mycareer and browse what events we have coming up. If you have any specific career-related questions you can also pop in to speak to us at 5 Tyndall Avenue or talk to us on LiveChat.