Meet Kathryn Harrop, one of our new Graduates who recently joined Graduniqe
Kathryn Harrop talks about her experience of applying to the scheme and offers some advice to others who may be considering a career in the charity sector
What was it about this graduate scheme that made you apply?
The opportunity to have real responsibility and gain experience in two fantastic charities was something not to be missed. Most graduate schemes I have seen are only for one year but with this scheme, you get double the exposure in two different charities. It’s also fantastic that graduates are able to work in a number of directorates to gain key skills and see which area they are best suited to. I’m personally motivated by both causes and am looking forward to developing my career within the charity sector.
What was your experience of the recruitment process?
It was really thorough but lots of information was provided for each step of the way, which allowed me to prepare fully and to really show who I am to the assessors. The first stage was my CV, which I specifically tailored to the scheme, and three competency questions, followed by a phone interview and lastly the assessment centre. Even though at the start of the application process I thought it would be impossible to be one of the four grads who would be chosen, I just gave it my all and fully committed to working on preparation for my application. My advice for the recruitment process would be to take each stage as it comes and really think about why you want to join the scheme and what you can offer.
What was your first week like?
Brilliant! I’m based in the Challenge Events team within the Fundraising, Marketing & Communications directorate and it’s a fantastic place to be. There’s been a lot of information to take in but everyone has been so helpful. It’s also highlighted to me once again the extent of training that is available to me and how my experience here will develop my career. I’ve met a lot of people, attended meetings and had opportunities to shadow people and attend various workshops. I’m now excited, albeit slightly nervous, to begin project managing some events myself. Happily this graduate scheme offers an incredible support network, with a placement manager, mentor, buddy and dedicated Gradunique team who are all committed to ensuring all of us graduates progress well.
What advice would you give to people looking to break in to the charity sector?
Just go for it! Get involved in whatever way you can, whether this is volunteering in a charity shop or at an event or completing an internship. Any experience will give you an insight into how charities are run, regardless of it being a large national charity or a small local one. This in turn allows you to develop key skills and network with people. Additionally, don’t be afraid to apply for this scheme even if you don’t have experience in the sector; you may be just the person they’re looking for.