My internship at the Civil Service – OurWarwick
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My internship at the Civil Service

Samantha Holden
Samantha Holden | Politics, Philosophy and Law (PPL) Contact Samantha

This time last year I was busy looking for an internship and the Civil Service offered an amazing summer diversity internship programme (SDIP experience). I was uncertain about applying as the statistics of receiving a place were incredibly low. However, I decided it was worth a shot to apply and told myself to have more confidence in my ability.

I am so glad that I did as I was one of the 200 successful applicants from the 10,000 people that had applied which taught me to believe in myself. Today I am going to share with you my SDIP experience and I can not emphasise enough that you should apply:

Apply for the Fast Stream, SDIP or EDIP... - Civil Service Fast Stream (UK)  | Facebook

The programme was very well organised and I learned more about working in the ‘real world’ as well as about the Civil Service more broadly. I learnt a lot about myself and the need to have more self-belief – I was informed that I was successful in gaining the internship though 10,000 people had applied. I also gained a perspective for what I am looking for in a future job and how important it is to feel valued and supported (which the Civil Service did throughout my internship), as everyone I met made me feel at ease and part of the team. I would like to thank everyone for this whether we had a 5-minute chat or worked together on proposed policy. I found it was talking to the current Fast Streamers that gave me a true insight of the transition from university to a full-time job  and how to find an employer that supports your development. 

The internship allowed me to see what the different departments cover, including my home department (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). I was surprised by how many areas they deal with and enjoyed learning about how DEFRA are planning to bring back areas of policy from the EU as a result of Brexit. In addition, I was given meaningful work looking at indoor air quality; which is incredibly important with more people spending time indoors. I was congratulated on my presentation of my work at the end which made the whole process incredibly rewarding. The Civil Service worked incredibly hard to make sure all interns felt included despite the internship having to be virtual due to the pandemic. They provided a laptop, phone and IT support.

Other highlights included the Ministry of Defence Workshop and shadowing Susanna May (Director of Air Quality for DEFRA). My advice would be to be yourself and take up as many of the opportunities that are passed your way.

I would just like to say a massive thank you to everyone I met during the programme and specifically to Phil Wilson and his team for organising such a wonderful programme.

I would encourage anyone eligible to apply as it was such an amazing opportunity.

Civil Service Fast Stream

Samantha Holden
Samantha Holden | Politics, Philosophy and Law (PPL) Contact Samantha

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