https://faststream.blog.gov.uk/2019/10/15/the-government-social-research-fast-stream/

The Government Social Research Fast Stream

Samiha standing in front of a brick wall, smiling at the camera.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

A: I graduated in 2016. I worked as a Researcher for a Think Tank organisation and also gained experience doing few part time roles. Although I am still a researcher, I would definitely class working in government as a career change. 

Q: What are you like outside of work

A: I like photography and film-making. I love going on holiday and filming my experience of that country. This year, I have started learning to drive. I have not knocked off anyone’s wing mirror yet, so think I am doing something right. I have also started to run and now practising for a 5 km marathon. 

Q: Describe the Fast Stream in one sentence

A: A place where you meet really great and talented people 

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

A: The people, mentorship and development you receive  and early opportunity to lead on projects.

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

A: I have always been interested in how to achieve positive social change and improve the well-being of citizens. I studied Social Policy at university because I considered policy development and implementation to be one of the most important areas of governance. 

My degree has equipped me with an understanding of research that underpins social policy as well as policy implementation in the UK and its international context. The Civil Service was a good natural next step and always my first choice of career. 

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

A: The Fast Stream offers leadership development, challenge and stretch. After graduating and working for a while, I considered myself as someone in a good place to apply for this programme. I applied to Government Social Research Service scheme because I really enjoyed my social research modules at university and more generally liked the role the analytical professions play in helping the government to make the right decisions. 

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

A: On the first day, my manager sat down with me and told me the projects I will be working on. It sounds scary but it wasn’t. My team did well to make sure I was settled and introduce more challenging work at the right time. 

I have built really good relationships with my manager and team. After expressing that I like visuals and graphic design, I had the opportunity to lead on an animation project, something that our team had not done before. 

I am now almost a year on and I’m still giving myself the tag of being ‘new’. I think it’s important because you do learn a lot in your first few years, especially as an analyst learning more technical skills. I give myself a growth mindset and take everything in my stride. 

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

A: I would like to stay in the Civil Service and gain more breadth of experience; more departments and different roles. There is a lot to do in the Civil Service. 

Q: How does the Fast Stream make you feel?

A: I have the potential to make a really good contribution to the Civil Service. 

Q: What advice would you give to someone else considering to apply to the Civil Service Fast Stream programme?

A: Ask people who are on the Fast Stream about their experience of it. Give each stage of the application a real go and put the effort in. Familiarise yourself with the success profiles. You might not be able to find practice tests of the e-tray on Google, but if you think about what it’s testing you on (Situational Judgement and navigating through lots of information at speed) you will see you can find ways to practice those. 

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