https://faststream.blog.gov.uk/2019/09/17/finding-solutions/

Finding solutions

Rikhil standing in front of a window with buildings in the background.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself

A: I graduated in 2015, and unsure where to begin my career. I worked in the private sector for 2 years in finance administration roles prior to accepting a place on the Fast Stream. The Fast Stream offered the development and drive that I had been looking for. It provided support for the finance qualification and give me that structure and grounding that I was looking for. I am currently studying towards an accountancy qualification which naturally takes up a lot of my time.

Q: What are you like outside of work?

A: I enjoy volunteering on large scale sporting events including – MLB London series and Euro 2020. The best thing is that your are offered volunteer days. Otherwise I like to enjoy new experiences and explore London. I take time out to focus on my fitness and always love to keep busy. 

Q: Describe the Fast Stream in one sentence?

A: It’s more than a scheme – it’s a leadership and development programme really bringing out the best of you.

Q: What are the three best things about the Fast Stream? 

A: Support and development provided, the available placements and meeting like-minded people.

Q: What interested you to apply for the Civil Service Fast Stream programme?

A: I was looking for a career rather than a job and I had been applying to new roles and schemes for a while. I came across the Fast Stream at a careers fair and after the ambassador spoke with such pride and passion, I decided to focus on a few applications rather than a larger range. I was particularly keen that you were able to select multiple schemes in 1 application making the Civil Service a far easier application than others. We are going through an unprecedented period in the Civil Service – so there was no better time than now to try. 

Q: What attracted you to the programme and the particular stream that you applied for?

A: After 2 years in the private sector I knew finance was the career path for me however I needed the support of a finance qualification. The Fast Stream not only offered this but a broad choice, allowing flexibility and management of our own careers. I liked the notion of being in the heart of Government decision making and contributing towards a real difference. 

Q: Please share your experience with the Fast Stream so far?

A: I applied after a graduate fair, very close to the deadline. I worked my way through the various assessments by simply being myself. I never over prepared and felt comfortable each way. At times they were tough (and surprisingly mimic real scenarios you see in your placements) however they offered a very valuable experience. For the assessment centre, I travelled from London to Newcastle. I had considered what to expect and it was certainly a tiring experience. However, it showed my drive and abilities. The situations faced are realistic and it got me thinking about how I would enjoy/react in these scenarios. 

I received the offer email very unexpectedly to shock and excitement. From then there were regular email updates, induction events and security vetting which all lead to Base Camp – our official first day at work. Finding out my placement was exciting however at that point in time I never appreciated how much I would enjoy my first posting at MoJ. 

Base Camp was an enriching experience and a chance to interact with such a diverse group. You meet those from all the schemes and it’s a very interactive experience. Very early on there was a lot of set up and took some time to balance the varying priorities however I quickly found my pace and realised that I had to keep organised very early on. The Fast Stream is very supportive. I have found being in a cohort with peers that really understand the experience is one of the best things. The Civil Service is a unique organisation full of changing environments. You are provided with endless support where the aim is to develop yourself. 

Q: What is your ultimate aim or career ambition after you complete the programme?

A: I think to keep doing the best that I can. My aim is to continue to develop and stay within the Civil Service progressing through and experiencing new areas. I think the biggest ambition would be to simply surprise myself and reach my full potential. 

Q: How does the Fast Stream make you feel?

A: That I am contributing to real issues and problems and finding solutions that will impact those daily. 

Q: What advice would you give to someone interested in applying for the Civil Service Fast Stream programme?

A: Be yourself. The Fast Stream is not just looking a fit for them, it's meant to be a suitable role for you too. You need commitment, passion, dedication and drive. The one thing I have noticed is that all the current Fast Streamers have the same positive attitude and approach to work. Simply, don’t find a reason not to; just do it. 

It’s achievable. Research well and learn from the experiences of others who have already applied. Don’t look too far ahead and focus on each stage and assessment as it comes through. 

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