All good things come to an end – including graduate schemes!
12 months ago, 140 enthusiastic, talented graduates were starting their placements across a diverse range of hosts in the charity and non-profit sectors. As current trainees leave, it’s a great time reflect on their experiences. This series of posts lets trainees talk about their high-points, learning and what they’d tell themselves 12 months ago. It will give you a flavour of what they’ve done and what you might do if you join. Before finding out about the best experiences, here’s a quick reminder of the outline of the Charityworks scheme.
Charityworks is a paid, annual graduate scheme run from September to August. Around 150 trainees are placed with partners from the non-profit and charity sectors. For partners the scheme gives access to exciting and diverse new talent. For trainees, it allows them access to sectors which are hard to enter. Collaborating in this way allows both parties to benefit the causes to the greatest extent.
Charityworks, top times
Apart from training and development from partners, trainees receive a full learning experience from the scheme. They gather in small groups of around 20, to get training on things like finance, leadership and fundraising. They also all come together for events and conferences.
For many trainees, these chances to gather proved a highlight. Izzy, at The Brandon Trust, really valued connections and networks she built at these events as well as being able to discuss social change collectively. Suzanne, at Origin Housing also found this connective element one of her scheme high points.
Another element was the mutual support these small group environments gave. Claire, at Futures Housing liked being among a group in the same circumstances. In her first role, like many others, the chance to talk about issues with others, alongside having a peer coach, was a real benefit.
The learning elements of these events were vital too. Jamie, at Acclaim Housing, found the new ideas the events and conferences introduced to be really stimulating.
Claire also really valued the role as a route into finance. Without a formal background in it, she has already taken exams towards becoming a qualified accountant. The general finance skills she learned over the year were also really useful.
Jamie similarly valued how versatile the role has been. It has allowed him to try out different aspects without being tied down. He also noted that Charityworks gave him a route into the sector, which would otherwise have been really hard to enter as a graduate. This was one of his real highlights of the scheme.
Claudia, a trainee at the LGBT Foundation gained a promotion, and felt that the support and development she had got from the scheme played a key role in this. From the support of an effective mentor, through to cohort learning all of this helped her to get the promotion. Indeed, having a well-matched mentor was for her, one of the best things about the scheme.
Finally, Claudia also made the point that getting onto the scheme itself was a real highlight. This is a very competitive scheme and those who get a place have already excelled. As the new cohort joins in September, the hard work starts now – but it’s already an achievement!
If you would like to find out more about being a trainee, click here
If you would like to find out more about hosting a trainee, click here