Jessica

JessicaDegree: BA Sociology
Year of Graduation 2008 

I knew that I didn't want to work in the private sector as I would rather work in a role of benefit to society than in a commercial setting. Yet, I hoped to earn more than the average officer in the third sector. So, after doing an MA, I applied for the National Graduate Development Programme, which was the graduate scheme for local government. After an 8 month recruitment process I successfully got onto the scheme and was placed at a County Council. The scheme consisted of 2 parts; a placement based 2 year contract and working for a Post-Graduate Diploma in Local Government Management. You are advised to have between 4–6 placements over the 2 year period and mine were in the Commissioning Team in Children's Services, the Programme Centre, Development Services and the Tourism Team. The end of my contract coincided with the public sector budget cuts, and so as there were no jobs available internally my contract was extended for a further year.

I have now been working in tourism for 18 months and I love it. The team is part of the Economic Regeneration department of the council and my main role is working on the redevelopment of an historic tourist attraction. Although not yet definite there is a strong possibility that I will achieve a permanent position here.

The general background that Sociology has given me has been of great benefit, and I use the skills gleaned in writing, processing information, negotiating, presentations and problem solving on a daily basis.