- Michael Gladstone from the National Graduate Development Programme
- Lana Fisher from the National Graduate Development Programme
- Vivienne Buckland from Leeds City Council
- Dinah Clark from Leeds City Council
Michael Gladstone was the first guest to speak. He opened with a witty anecdote about a horrendous phone interview in which he was constantly interrupted and distracted. This turned out to be his interview for the NGDP and was ultimately successful. Michael is a Leeds University politics graduate. He took a year out to work at the union and apply for graduate schemes, feeling he did not have time to do so in his final year of study. Michael’s advice was to practise psychometric tests, and spend plenty of time over applications. He finished by advising students to not be put of by the amount of competition as Leeds University graduates are in an excellent position.
Next to speak was Lana Fisher. Lana has a degree Learning and Disability studies. She also went through the NGDP programme and is now working for Leeds city Council. Lana applied for lots of graduate schemes as she was unsure of which career path to take. She also advised to practice psychometric tests as she personally struggled with the maths sections. Lana is obviously passionate about improving the lives of disabled people and feels it was this which gave her the edge when applying for the NGDP. Another tip was to show you have the exact skills which employers are looking for in applicants; this requires detailed research into the role for which you are applying.
Vivienne Buckland works for Leeds City Council. She left university with no idea about what she wanted to do. Vivienne highlighted to the students that you may not enter your dream job straight away and you must be willing to seize every opportunity to improve yourself and your CV. She again advised that researching the role is vital and that graduates must show a real passion for the job to be hired.
Dinah Clark, again from Leeds City Council, also ended up working in local government after a string of previous employment. Dinah set up her own gallery, in essence creating her own work experience. She then went on to study a Masters in European Cultural Planning. This led her into a career in the council, developing the city culturally. Dinah advised students to pursue their core interests in order to have a satisfying and enjoyable career.
Once the guest speakers had finished, there was a Q & A session in which students raised any concerns they had. These included fears about job security, the recession and the pros and cons of using social media.
EXPO 11 was a great success and the panels well attended. The Public Sector panel was highly informative for all the students which attended. For me personally, it further convinced me that a career in the public sector is for me. Only the public sector has the ‘feel good factor’.