Graduate Scheme 2019

Posted: 18th January 2019

Insight into the life of a Graduate

For the first three months of the graduate management scheme, all graduates are based together at County Hall (Hertford) for the 'Autumn Academy'. This is an intensive three months of getting to know the organisation, its leaders and senior managers, and learning through taking part in exciting mini projects and training and development sessions.

My Autumn Academy took place from September to December 2018, and I left feeling proud of my achievements and ready for the festive break! I was exposed to a variety of experiences, leaders of the organisation and events - being a graduate truly opens doors at Hertfordshire County Council! Here are ten things I learnt during my time in the Autumn Academy:

3 things I learnt about Hertfordshire County Council during the Autumn Academy

  1. Hertfordshire County Council is a surprisingly innovative and forward-thinking organisation.
    Forget all your preconceptions about clunky desks, stone-age computers and piles of dusty paperwork.
  2. Staff are friendly and always willing to help, involving you in exciting and worthwhile projects because they genuinely value your input. You will build a strong support network of previous graduates and wider staff who all want to see you succeed.
  3. Placement and long-term career opportunities are limitless. Hertfordshire County Council has six directorates and hundreds of teams, all of whom value graduate input into their work. You could end up anywhere!

 4 things I learnt about myself during the Autumn Academy

  1. Your line manager knows you better than you know yourself. If you are set a task, it's because they know that you can do it!
  2. You'll learn about your own working style and the preferences of others, helping you to understand how to work best with them. It might sound simple, but this will help you throughout your professional and personal life.
  3. You don't have to know it all on day one! It's okay to be unsure of what's going on, and to ask for clarification or help. In an organisation as large as Hertfordshire County Council, you can't be an expert on everything!
  4. The only thing holding you back is your confidence. Say 'yes' to every opportunity and embrace challenges, you’ll feel your confidence and learning grow quickly throughout the Autumn Academy.

3 Top Tips for Success

  1. Use your graduate scheme status to ask as many questions as possible and get out to see the range of services we deliver. Be nosy, and challenge practices you don't understand or think could be done better. You will likely never again be in a position where you have free reign to explore so much of the organisation.
  2. Don't be put off by work acronyms - they're simpler than they sound. You'll also pick up Hertfordshire phrases without even realising!
  3. Use your graduate network. Graduates from previous years are all keen to support you, to offer advice and to answer every question you could possibly think of. They know what it's like to be new to the organisation, and for those who relocate for the job, they'll probably also want to show you around Hertfordshire.