University: University of Essex - BA Philosophy and Politics
I am currently placed within Sensory and Autism Services, which is a specialist county-wide team primarily focussed at meeting the needs of sensory-impaired residents of Kent.
Within this placement I have several interesting projects which I am personally leading on. My primary area of focus is developing and implementing a new role which will operate in our team – that of the ‘Deaf Community Agent’. The intention of this role is to help build community capacity and foster independence amongst profoundly d/Deaf people, by improving access to services (e.g. health, employability) and providing better information, advice and guidance so they are able to live healthier, happier lives.
I am also working on video-communication projects such as implementing Skype use within our team, so that we are able to communicate more efficiently with deaf clients whose primary language is sign language. Video-relay interpreting is another initiative I am working on, which will allow deaf, sign-language users and hearing individuals to communicate without needing an interpreter present.
My other area of work is developing an improved communication strategy, including deaf-friendly leaflets, our website and the potential use of social media to more effectively reach the d/Deaf residents of Kent.
Why I applied for the Kent Graduate Programme management stream
Throughout university I knew that I wanted to work within the public sector; job satisfaction was my priority, and working to improve the lives of others would both fulfil and challenge me. However I did not realise the opportunities available in local government until my final year. Kent represented an exciting opportunity, as one of the largest councils in the country, which was continuing to deliver good services despite national financial challenges.
The Kent Graduate Programme appealed to me because of the chance to complete 4 different rotations. This allows a graduate to gain an understanding of the organisation as a whole and introduce them to the huge number of career paths, many of which would not be immediately apparent. The management stream also offers great opportunities for personal development. The council is fully behind this programme (which is in its 17th year) and developing future leaders. This means you are able to tailor your 2 years to your interests and strengths.