After finishing my degree, I wasn’t sure what role would best suit the skills I’d acquired. I’d trained in science, so I wanted something that would allow me to be methodical, but also creative in my work. I was browsing graduate opportunities online and discovered this role. The size of the organisation and the variety of the experience it offered were attractive, and I felt it would use my existing skills while challenging me to learn new ones.
I started on the same day as a lot of the other graduate trainees I’d be working with. As part of our induction, the group who’d joined the month before us took us out for a meal and drinks – it was a good opportunity to get to know the area and the people I started with a bit better. It was nice to have the chance to make friends early on and I still socialise with a lot of the same people now. In fact, moving to Cheltenham and starting at GCHQ actually felt quite a lot like being at university again.
I’ve been able to get a great overview of the different roles performed by the Information Specialists here, including research, information management, and web publishing. The team includes people from all sorts of backgrounds and experiences, and I’ve learned a lot from them. There’s probably someone here from each university that offers information science, so I’ve been able to learn a lot about each course, which is helping me to decide which one will be right for me when I finish my traineeship. Some of the previous graduate trainees have returned to work here full time, so it’s nice to know there’s the opportunity to come back after qualifying.
I’ve been encouraged to try new things and push myself – it really feels like I can control my own professional development. I've attended training days and visited otherorganisations, which has helped me to get a better understanding of the profession as awhole, and it’s helping me to make choices about my future career.