University: Conservation Biology, Lancaster University (BSc)
My current placement is based in the Growth, Environment and Transport Directorate, working in a team called Sustainable Businesses and Communities. The team’s focus is on how residents and businesses in Kent can become more sustainable. Projects within the team include Low Carbon Across the South East (LoCASE), which provides businesses with support to become more competitive and profitable while protecting the environment and encouraging low carbon solutions. Other projects include working with residents to become more resilient to the effects of flooding, ensuring all residents of Kent have warm homes and many more.
I am working on a system called SWIMS (Severe Weather Impact Monitoring System), a database where public sector organisations record the impacts, responses and financial costs of a severe weather event. By collecting this information, it assists the organisations in reclaiming funding back from the government and to help them build resilience to future weather events. My project was originally for 6 months but has been extended for a year, after I identified changes to SWIMS that required more work than the original 6 months required.
My original project aims were to increase usership and data input of SWIMS and encourage organisations to input financial data, also to look at revamping the current system to make it more user-friendly. Whilst these aims were mostly met, the project has been extended to ensure that the upgrade to the system is carried out to the required specification. Once the system has been upgraded, I will be pursuing organisations to continue using the system and getting new users to utilise the system. I have a real responsibility on the project, as I am leading, with the direction of my project manager, most aspects of the project.
Why I applied for the Kent Graduate Programme management stream
I have lived in Kent my whole life, and wanted to be part of an organisation where change directly affects the services provided to me and my local area. The programme really caught my eye because of the opportunity to undertake four different placements across the whole of KCC. They provide such a huge range of services, which enables me to really think about where I would like to further my career in. The KGP programme provides great opportunities to explore various departments, meet with directors and sit in on meetings with the big wigs.
When I left university I didn’t really know what career path I wanted to pursue so I did two summer seasons working in Greece. During my time there I realised that I wanted to work with people, work in a team environment and help people; these are the exact opportunities that this programme provides.