Shadowing in the DWP Digital Academy (Blog 3)

17/12/14

Sarah invited me to the DWP Digital Academy in Leeds, so it was an early start to arrive at the station for 9am. I met Sarah and we took the short walk to the Academy where she introduced me to her staff and other Directors. I was shown around the Academy and was able to speak with the Director about their progress and plans for the future. I took the opportunity to speak to one of the Directors about the possibility of partaking in one of the programmes and she was more than happy to offer me a place. I spent the remainder of the morning shadowing Sarah who was responding to messages, dealing with various tasks and preparing for the afternoon meeting. This was an invaluable opportunity for me to see first-hand the type of work that Sarah is involved with and the skills required in order to be successful within this field. After lunch there was a meeting involving all of the heads of the Departments regarding changes to the delivery of the services. Again this was a hugely invaluable experience as I was given a ‘fly-on-the-wall’ perspective that I would not have been given without this programme. Sarah asked for my input at various stages throughout the meeting which, even though it was slightly daunting, was great experience plus I got a lot more out of the meeting seeing as I had to concentrate! By the time the meeting had concluded I left with Sarah to catch the train home where we debriefed about the day and spoke more about some of the challenges of this sector in the near future. Overall, this was a great experience and I feel that I have learnt a lot and much more confident within this working environment.

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