‘Hi, my name is Matt and I’m a Graduate Associate at Cardiff Capital Region. Last year, I graduated with a degree in BA Politics at the University of Exeter and have a passion for photography; playing football, hanging out with friends, going to the beach, and volunteering at my local Church and coffee van which is so much fun.
I found out about the CCR Graduate scheme online via google jobs and saw it as an amazing opportunity to work in an ambitious organisation that is passionate about developing Cardiff (the town in which I was born and raised) and the wider region. I currently work in the governance department in which I assist in improving the overall quality of quarterly performance reporting and other governance activities like helping project leaders in the identification and reporting of risk. I am also hoping to use my passion for photography and videography by assisting in the activities of the Marketing and Communication team.
I believe that this Graduate scheme will give me an amazing opportunity to gain experience in working within the public sector; develop my skills in working successfully in a team environment and to play my role in increasing the overall prosperity of SE Wales. I realise that this will not happen overnight but see this as an amazing opportunity to play my role in the success of the region. I have an ambition to work for the UK government or Civil Service in the future and believe that the CCR Graduate Scheme provides me with the perfect first-step in this journey.’
Name: Matt Ball
University Attended: University of Exeter
CCR Graduate Job Title: Graduate Associate
Did you apply for many graduate roles or schemes? (if so, how many)
No, initially I had applied and accepted to do a Masters in London. However, during this time, I felt like I had to gain some experience in the workplace, bolster my CV and stay in Cardiff. I had started applying for other graduate courses, but nothing really stood out to me until I saw the role of being a Graduate Associate at CCR. One thing that really stood out to me was the ILM course and how this would bolster my employment prospects whilst also gaining invaluable experience in the workplace.
What were your thoughts/feelings around applying for roles/schemes during a pandemic?
My thoughts on applying were mostly positive. At first, I was initially put off by the idea of working from home. Working as a Teacher’s Assistant beforehand made me appreciate going into a workplace. However, I knew this wouldn’t last forever and that meeting in-person would continue when the rules allowed us to. Also working from home has allowed me to be more flexible and saved me from having to commute every day.
What attracted you to the CCR graduate scheme?
I was initially attracted by the job itself. With my ambition of working in Regional Government/Civil Service the role provided me with experience in this field. What also attracted me to the scheme was the ILM course and the fact that I can gain a valuable qualification whilst also working. The website was also easy to use which also helped.
How was your experience applying for the CCR graduate scheme during the pandemic?
Really good! The only real difference was that I had to do my first interview online, but this was straightforward, and the interviewers were helpful and understanding if I had any technical issues during the call. The best interview experience I’ve had for sure.
What are you hoping to achieve during your time on the scheme?
I believe that this Graduate scheme will give me an amazing opportunity to gain experience in working within the public sector; develop my skills in working successfully in a team environment and to play my role in increasing the overall prosperity of SE Wales. I have an ambition to work for the UK government or Civil Service in the future and believe that the CCR Graduate Scheme provides me with the perfect first-step in this journey.’
Is there anything you would say to others thinking of applying for the scheme?
Do it! The process I so straightforward and simple. The people running the Venture Scheme are so helpful and are always there if you have any issues. I would just go for it and apply. It’s an opportunity you can’t miss out on.
One sentence to sum up your CCR graduate scheme experience…
It’s an amazing opportunity to gain experience, learn new skills and gain an excellent qualification at the end of it.
One word that sums up your CCR graduate scheme experience…
How are you finding your new role? Has it exceeded expectations?
Really enjoyable. I am gaining so much knowledge and experience every day. The staff are all lovely and feel like I’m part of the team. I have also been given a number of responsibilities and feel like I am contributing to the success of the organisation.
How are you finding the modules?
The modules are very interesting and engaging.
What have you learnt and found most beneficial?
The importance of communication in the success of the workplace.