|Civil Service Fast Streamer|
|Government and civil service|
|Large business (250+ employees)|
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A day in the life of a Civil Service Fast Streamer in the United Kingdom
Civil Service Fast stream Communications scheme - following internships in heritage and charity sectors
What I do
I am on the Communications scheme of the Civil Service Fast Stream so get the opportunity to move through a number of placements using and developing a variety of skills.
I'm coming to the end of my second year and have had roles as a Department of Health Press Officer, Stakeholder Relations Officer for HMRC, Communications Officer for the Boundary Commission for England and Digital Producer for think tank Institute for Public Policy Research. I am now an Internal Communications Advisor at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, working on internal communications from department leaders.
Across these roles I've had the chance to work with Ministers and senior members of the civil service, provided briefings, written communication plans, produced press releases, briefed journalists, accompanied spokespeople to interviews, arranged interviews, launched websites, managed website content, edited videos, managed social media accounts and much more. It's all been very exciting and and a great opportunity to learn!
Skills I use and how I developed them
I've used and developed a variety of skills in this role including:
- Giving verbal briefings, used when briefing journalists and colleagues on policy.
- Writing skills, specifically writing in various styles to suit the audience e.g. Press notices for newspapers, submissions for Ministers, briefings for colleagues.
- Digital skills, specifically working with Adobe to edit video/audio/photos/graphics, building a website, launching a website and managing website content.
- Presentation skills
- Influencing skills
- Leadership, although I don't lead a team I have led communication plans on specific policies, this involves developing and delivering communication plans.
- Team building, responding to press queries and planning announcements requires input and insight from policy colleagues, communications colleagues and other organisations. It's also important to share your insight with others.
- Working under pressure / time management, the role requires managing multiple long term projects with multiple press queries that often have a very short deadline and can come in unexpectedly.
What I like most
The possibilities to learn - with so many training opportunities, exposure to various roles and policies and lots of very experienced people around I am constantly learning new skills, processes and information.
What surprised me most
The departments - your initial expectations of what it might be like to work in a department are often not quite right!
My career history
When I left university I undertook an internship as a Conservation Assistant with the National Trust for three months, after which I continued with the Trust volunteering as an Oral History Assistant.
In April 2013 I joined The Inland Waterways Association (a waterways charity) and worked as a volunteer manager and in communications.
I started on the Civil Service Fast Stream in September 2015. My first six month posting was as a Press Officer in the Department of Health.
My advice to students considering work
Be ready to apply for all sorts of jobs - not just those dream opportunities. I've found the random roles I wasn't quite sure about have been great development opportunities and enjoyable!
If you like the look of Stefanie’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Stefanie a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Stefanie to be your mentor.