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Our Days in BEIS: Summer Diversity Internship Programme 2018

Category: early careers

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Over the summer, BEIS have hosted Summer Diversity Interns. This is part of our diversity and inclusion program to give more people the opportunity to learn more about working in the Civil Service. Interns have been producing briefings in private office, diary managing for ministers, policy making on fireworks and fridge freezers, involved with EU exit and bills.

Two interns wanted to share their experience:

“The Summer Diversity Internship Programme (SDIP) was a daunting experience before we began. We were going to be in government! Somewhere we had never seen ourselves. Day one we were all apprehensive, worried that we’d be treated differently because we’re “just interns”, but we were all treated like one of the team. People are friendly and approachable. Now we are embracing the feeling of possibility, inspired to reach out and pursue opportunities.”

Our experiences

“By end of day one I already felt comfortable. By week two I’d picked up a few projects. I feel my scientific background is appreciated and utilised – which is different from previous jobs I’ve had.”

“Being aware that my responsibilities will have an enduring and meaningful positive impact makes me feel fulfilled and useful. I am continually learning how to manage short-term and long-term projects and prioritise my tasks. Within a few weeks I had meetings every hour and I was networking all the time – I realise everything is interconnected and communication is key to making things happen.”

“I am blown away by how helpful and proactive people have been. They have taken the time to facilitate our personal development, listen to our questions, set up specific events and let us shadow them. My designated mentor have been extremely valuable, she offers me support in a way that matters to me. It’s insightful to hear about different parts of BEIS and colleagues’ experience of this and other departments, as well as sharing and solving issues together.”

“My reasonable adjustments are always something I’m worried about when starting a new job, but the Civil Service are so understanding and helpful, I’ve never had to worry when I needed to work from home or if an emergency arose. Initiatives like the Employee Assistance Programme are available 24/7 to provide you with confidential counselling – just knowing this and that Mental Health First Aiders exist makes me feel more comfortable.”

Advice for those thinking to apply

“Advice we’d give to the next SDIP cohort is if someone is doing something you’re interested in, set up a meeting and ask them about it! People throughout BEIS are very open and willing to take time to speak to you. Students from all disciplines can gain something from SDIP – there are so many pathways to pursue your interests. Being exposed to the scope of interesting and useful things people are doing and to improve both BEIS and the country is inspiring.”

Written by Priyanca D'Souza & Cassandra Graves

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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