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The Diplomatic Service Economics Fast Stream

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Mary standing at the top of mountain.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

A: I moved to London for this job and as my first time living in a city I am overwhelmed with the variety of things to do here.  I have been able to get involved in several new activities including the Civil Service Volleyball Club and am currently learning Spanish too. 

Q: What are you like outside of work?

A: I love musicals, so working so close to the West End has meant I have been able to see a few more shows. I am trying to get better at cooking, so love getting home from work in the evenings and trying out new recipes, although the results have been mixed so far!

Q: Describe the Fast Stream in one sentence

A: An unrivalled opportunity to see how the United Kingdom policy is made, whilst being supported along the way by amazing colleagues and mentors.

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

A: Contributing to real-life policy decisions, the variety of jobs available and the people I work with.

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

A: I didn't have a clear idea of what kind of work I want to do after university but knew I wanted to do something with a tangible impact. I have always been interested in politics and so the Fast Stream seemed like it would be a great way to go behind the scenes and better understand how policies get developed. I lived abroad when I was younger and was itching to do the same again, so being able to find a career with an international focus that would allow me to travel was a bonus.

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

A: I enjoyed studying Economics at university but wanted to try and find a job which allowed me to combine this academic view with people-orientated work. I have naturally always gravitated toward work that allowed me to talk and learn from other people. The scheme would also allow me opportunities to go beyond just economic policy and see how it is woven into other decisions made in government.

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

A: I decided to apply in October 2017, completing the online-based parts of the process and video interview from Australia, as I was away when the application window was open. Luckily, I returned in time for the Assessment Centres in London, which were well run.  I had all the information beforehand and the day ran exactly as planned. 

It was great to meet other applicants and see the different backgrounds everyone comes from. I attended both Economics and Diplomatic assessment centres, meaning the process was quite long but was definitely worth going through as the feedback received has helped me to pinpoint my strengths and development areas. 

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

A: After completing the programme, I would like to work abroad at one of the UK embassies across the world to put the skills I have learnt into practice in an international setting and have the privilege of representing the UK abroad.

Q: How does the Fast Stream make you feel?

A: Valued as an individual and excited to come into work everyday.

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

A: Take time working out which schemes fit in best with what you enjoy doing and what skills you want to develop. Also, take on the feedback you get during the process as it’s really detailed and helpful no matter what career you go into

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