Lucy L.

Head of Quality and Innovation
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Lucy L.
United Kingdom

My employment

Head of Quality and Innovation
MS Society
United Kingdom
Charity and voluntary sector
Large business (250+ employees)

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A day in the life of a Head of Quality and Innovation in the United Kingdom

How I looked for work

I found the job on the Third Sector website which advertises most voluntary sector vacancies.

How I found out about the job

Online jobs board

The recruitment process

I was required to complete an application form. Under 'personal statement' I added each element of the personal specification as a sub-heading and added an example describing how I met the criteria under each one. I was shortlisted for interview where I had a competency based interview and had to deliver a PowerPoint presentation.

My career goals when I graduated

I wanted to work for a charity in a managerial role within 5 years of graduating which I achieved through taking experience/skills gained elsewhere to the sector (this was what my Careers counsellor at York advised!!)

My career history

- Researcher to an MP
- Civil Servant at Charity Commission
- Conference Producer, Capita Learning and and Development
- Head of Central Government Conferences, Capita (promotion)
- Community Legal Services project manager, Resource Information Service (reg charity and now part of Homeless Link)
- Case Mix Programme Manager, ICNARC (reg charity - health research)
- National Audit Programme Manager, ICNARC (promotion)

What has helped my career to progress

- Learning as much as I can at each organisation
- Getting involved in activities outside my role
- Solving problems, showing enthusiasm, building rapport, thinking creatively, not being afraid to challenge the status quo

Courses taken since graduation

-Various management courses through organisations I have worked for.

How my studies have helped my career

A degree gets you to the start line, the rest is your 'added value'.

The discipline of my degree has been useful in all my roles and especially :
- research
- summarising information
- planning
- formal, structured writing
- forming and communicating compelling arguments
- working individually and with others

What surprised me about my career so far

The route I have taken - often not by design...but then I have never believed in a job for life!

Where I hope to be in 5 years

I would love to work for a really large charity like Macmillan or the Red Cross. I am not sure whether or not I would want to be an Exec Director or not though. The pressure and bureaucracy at that level are equally huge. I would also want to maintain a work/life balance

My advice to students considering work

Get involved in as much as you can at York. I joined the JCRC and it was very helpful for my CV. Just doing your degree isn't enough.

My advice about working in my industry

Do as much voluntary work as you can . It all counts and shows you are serious about the sector as well as giving you opportunities to make contacts. Think more widely than 'internships'! Use evenings, weekends or holidays to volunteer. Volunteering is far more flexible than it used to be and charities are always desperate for volunteers

Other advice

Don't worry about making mistakes in your career choices, this is part of the learning and development process. I can only think of a tiny number of people from my year who joined a grad scheme and stayed at the same place for any length more than 5 years.


Next steps...

If you like the look of Lucy’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Lucy a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Lucy to be your mentor.

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