A huge congratulations to Ashwin who on securing his role with Civil Service Fast Stream. Here he shares his experience and gives some great advice to future members.
Why did you choose to apply for an internship at the Civil Service?
Through studying PPE I have realised how much I enjoy learning about the government but I wanted to know more about the modern day inner workings of our own government. I want to see whats behind the scenes of our own government rather than what was behind it 400 years ago- which I've learned a lot about studying PPE.
I actually applied for a Fast Stream at first but I was instead moved to the Summer Diversity Internship Programme. I really liked that they moved me because I actually think that I will get to stay in one place for a longer duration of time and really get to grips with my working environment. The permenant role moves you around every 4 months but I will get to stay in one department for a long duration. I'm really looking forward to aquiring a realistic view of government.
What was the hardest part of the application process? And your favourite part?
The E-tray, which was a part of the Fast Stream was really difficult but just because there really isnt a right answer. I found my telephone interview very challenging too, but I was happy with how I handeld the conversation. So in some ways the telephone call was actually my favourite part. They really wanted you to get your points and views across when answering their questions which relaxed me and made me feel I could really ask them questions too. It is actually a current Fast Streamer interviewing you and its really good to have someone who was in your position at the end of the phone.
Were you surprised by anything in the process?
I was definetely surprised by the fact they didn't let me go but instead moved me onto an internship instead. I was eligable for it and its really nice they wanted me to be a part of it.
What are three pieces of advice you would give to our Bright Network members?
1. Be flexible. At first I didn't get what I initially applied for but I feel really suited to this placement and it could easily happen to anyone else in the future. It is such a great placement.
2. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what you want to know about the government. They want to see your interest and understand where you would be suited.
3. Try and speak to someone in the Civil Service. It sounds difficult but I went to the last Bright Network Festival and after speaking with the Civil Service at their stall, they gave me a contact in HR. From there I contacted them and ended up getting two civil servants to speak at my own university event. Networking is so important and you can show people your potential. Speaking with real civil servants definetely served me well and I wouldn't have got my internship without their information.