Emily Arrowsmith – Kickstart Policy and Research Assistant, Wirral Chamber of Commerce

My Kickstart placement began on the 22nd of March 2021, and I have been overwhelmed by the number of opportunities I have already been given. From day one I have been surrounded by a supportive network of staff, who have welcomed me into the team, making me feel like a part of the organisation, not just an add on. For my placement, I work as a Policy and Research Assistant, alongside a team of other Kickstarters and existing members of staff. Going from long-term unemployment to an exciting role that has been both challenging and mentally stimulating has provided me with more confidence in my existing skills and challenged me into developing new skills.

Since starting this role, I have had so many opportunities to develop my skills. I have been able to develop my data analysis, time management skills, and personal confidence when talking to senior members of staff. Coming in each day presents new tasks and projects, so I am continuously adapting and learning, a process that undoubtedly will continue throughout my placement. I am certain that if the rest of this placement is anything like this first month, that I will have grown to be suited to a wide range of challenging roles in the future.

I have enjoyed every aspect of this role; this is the only role I’ve held that have been excited to come into work each day. It has been so helpful to start this journey alongside other Kickstarters in the same boat as me to learn and support each other collaboratively. What I have found so unique about this role, is that it not only sparks my interest, but it is a role that I have been able to adapt to benefit my future career goals.

I have also found the Kickstart training, alongside the placement, to be helpful for personal development. We will cover a wide range of topics, from professional aid in the form of CV building and interview tips, to personal development topics such as wellbeing and resilience.

This has been the best opportunity I have had, particularly post-uni it can feel like you are always going to be underexperienced, as many organisations are hesitant to take on new graduates. The beauty of the Kickstart scheme is that you are supported into work and given the opportunity to prove yourself. Since starting, I have been awarded more responsibility, and had the opportunity to lead on my own projects, something that I would have never expected from being such a new employee.

Without wanting to sound cliché, I believe this placement truly will kickstart my career. I can see already how much more employable I will be at the end of this 6 months, taking on all my skills and experience to move towards realising my career goals.

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