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What is it like being an OPCC Graduate Support Officer?

Feedback from OPCC Graduate Support Officers in their own words

"Since graduating with a Criminology degree, I knew I was interested in working in a relevant field but recognised I would need more work experience to be considered in many roles as a new graduate. Whilst my interest has always been with the Criminal Justice System, this graduate scheme would be beneficial to anyone who is unsure of what they would like to do next.

I have been involved in creating reports as part of the Lincolnshire Strong Voices project and have attended engagement events at a number of schools across the county in support of this. I have also attended events alongside the PCC and the Deputy PCC and so had the opportunity to engage with a wide range of people. I have maintained a varied portfolio which has allowed me to better my abilities in time keeping, organisation, communication and also increased my general confidence. It has been a rewarding opportunity that requires you to be up for a challenge and to throw yourself in. I would recommend this for anyone who is unsure of their next steps as an excellent starting point for a career." - Catherine B

"Despite my undergraduate degree in International Business Management, the transition into a policing graduate scheme was seamless thanks to the support from colleagues, allowing me to develop my policing knowledge very quickly. I have received amazing opportunities during my time at the OPCC including project support work for the recommissioning of victim support services. Not only have I provided project support, but I have also been responsible for the OPCC council tax leaflet project, coordinating with Lincolnshire's seven council areas for the distribution of over 350,000 leaflets.

 I have developed a variety of skills such as time management, effective communication with internal staff and external parties as well as my use of initiative and analytical skills. I am extremely grateful for the opportunities I have received along with the trust, responsibilities, and respect from the office as a whole. I would highly recommend this graduate scheme to anyone looking for a challenge and improving your skills, regardless of your degree or future career aspirations." - Katie N

"Being a Graduate Support Officer in the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has provided me with a range of opportunities I never thought I would have, and the experience gained from this role has been invaluable. From organising a conference for both internal and external stakeholders to producing summary reports for the office, my confidence in not only my work but in myself has increased hugely, thanks to the support and guidance from colleagues." - Hannah K

"The OPCC Graduate Scheme provided a strong career platform, focusing on developing my administration, programme coordination and event organising skills which are hard to find elsewhere within such a recognised and well respected national organisation.

Whilst working for the OPCC I was involved in a variety of projects, covering important issues such as Mental Health, Road Safety, Cyber Crime and Modern Slavery. Looking back on my experience, I can really appreciate the networking opportunities the graduate scheme provided. I worked with members of the public, Police Officers, Company Directors, Chief Officers and MPs. As a result my confidence and communication skills massively improved.

After the graduate scheme, I moved to Edinburgh and worked for a national women’s charity as their Senior Programme and National Events Coordinator, a job which I would not have been considered for without my OPCC experiences. A couple of years on I am keen to return to police work and am due to start my Police Investigator (PI) training later this year. Feedback from my PI interview noted that my insight and knowledge of the organisation's responsibilities made me stand out from other applicants." - Emma S

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a graduate support officer in the OPCC. While the office is reasonably small everyone makes you feel welcome from day one. I have been able to build my confidence with public speaking, organising national events and project management. The year has flown by and the experience and skills set gained has been a great learning experience and eye opener to me. “ - Byroni S

 "The amount of independence and responsibility felt quite a lot when I began and was initially a bit nerve racking. However I do feel this helped me learn and develop quickly in the role, particularly how to take responsibility for my work / projects.

Being responsible for organising the Scamference is something I will always be grateful for, the amount of skills I learnt, and amount of people I met and worked with was fantastic, especially in terms of building skills in partnership working.

I loved how busy the role was, how as a graduate support officer there is almost no set structure for the year and whatever the office is involved in is what graduate support officers have a chance to be involved in. Personally I really liked that aspect and I thrive on being given new and varied projects to work on all the time." - Sarah K

 "Throughout the duration of the graduate scheme I was fortunate enough to be involved in many exciting and important projects as well as taking on a number of responsibilities within the office. Some of the most memorable projects which I took ownership of were a number of crime prevention events, including two cyber security breakfasts, a cyber security conference and a modern slavery awareness event for businesses. As I had sole responsibility for organising some of these events I was definitely out of my comfort zone at times but as a result I gained a host of new skills and competencies.

Such experiences certainly acted as a stepping stone for future career as at the end of the graduate scheme, I ended up securing a role as a Crime Scene Investigator, one of the departments which I had shadowed during my time in the OPCC" - Candice M

 "When I finished university, having studied Criminology, I knew I wanted to work ‘somewhere’ in the criminal justice system but without having any experience I knew I would be limited in the kind of jobs I could apply for. While searching I noticed and applied for the Graduate Support Officer role as I thought it would be the perfect way for me to start my career and gain some valuable experience.

The role in the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) is very varied. It has allowed me to improve my existing skills, as well as developing new ones. You get involved in multiple projects and I’ve attended events too such as ‘The Stalking and Harassment Conference’, ‘The Modern Slavery Awareness Event’ and ‘Responding to perpetrators of Domestic Abuse learning event’.

The office is a relatively small team and everyone is happy to provide support to each other. I am really grateful for the opportunity I was given to work in the OPCC and I would recommend it to anyone" - Amy G

"The Graduate Scheme at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has been invaluable to me. I did not know what I wanted to do as I was nearing the end of my university career when I stumbled across this graduate scheme. I knew this opportunity was what I wanted to do because I could apply the skills I had learned at University while gaining experience.                                                                               

The main thing that sticks out after my time spent in this graduate scheme is the variety of work that goes on within the office. I have been given the opportunity to work in so many different areas such as commissioning victims services and event organisation. This has also helped me to acquire transferable skills that I can take anywhere.

This graduate scheme is incredibly useful in helping you understand what areas of work are out there and forms a stepping stone which will help you stand out amongst other graduates. I would heartily recommend this graduate scheme to anyone who wants to work in and around policing but isn’t sure where they fit in yet." - Sam W

“The Graduate Support Officer Scheme at Lincolnshire OPCC is an extremely rewarding role that offers a wide range of opportunities to candidates. Throughout the duration of the graduate scheme I have developed my project management, event organisation and communication skills. Colleagues in the OPCC entrust Graduate Support Officers with important tasks, for example I managed the production and distribution of the OPCC’s Annual Council Tax leaflet to Lincolnshire’s residents. This project gave me an opportunity to manage a team and work with partners in District Council’s across Lincolnshire.

Furthermore, I was given the opportunity to complete extra training to enhance my time in the OPCC, in particular completing SCAMbassador, Modern Slavery and Hate Crime training. I would thoroughly recommend the graduate scheme to future applicants as a great first step on a career path in policing or the public sector.” - Adam M