Student story: Dan’s QInsight experience

danDan Fadoju, Geography graduate 2018

I took part in the QInsight: Civil Service Fast Stream pilot scheme last autumn and it was certainly one of the best opportunities I had whilst studying at QMUL. The scheme involved three sessions run at the university by the Civil Service Fast Stream during university hours. These were led by key people within the Fast Stream such as the chief assessor Phillip Wilson, who is in charge of developing the various tests involved in the application process. And Patrick Brown, who is head of diversity and inclusion for the Fast Stream. Each of the sessions developed my understanding of the recruitment process and the Fast Stream’s emphasis on being diverse and inclusive made me feel much more optimistic about my chances of successfully applying.

The sessions focused around transferable skills for assessment centres and we were given guidance on how to approach the three parts of the assessment. This was primarily done by attempting mock questions and practicing discussion techniques, which we then received feedback on from Phillip and Patrick. Previous Fast Streamers also attended the sessions and they were particularly helpful in giving advice on what to expect at the assessment centre. Within the sessions, meeting assessors and current Fast Streamers allowed me to gain inside knowledge on the application process, and the chance to undertake a practice assessment centre made the real thing a lot less nerve-wracking.

I was also very lucky, as the QInsight team helped organise a trip to Whitehall and a tour of number 10 Downing Street, which was a fantastic opportunity to experience the working environment and culture of the Civil Service. On this visit we met the leader of the Civil Service, Sir Jeremy Heywood, and had a Q&A with civil servants at various stages in their careers, who were involved with the Fast Stream. The opportunities I was given by the QInsight joint pilot with the Civil Service Fast Stream were highly memorable, and more importantly, the skills I learnt and advice I received were invaluable and a key factor in my successful application. I am now looking forward to starting the Human Resources Fast Stream in September at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Westminster.

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