Aston graduate secures a place on the Civil Service Fast Stream 

Aston University BSc (Hons) Politics with International Relations graduate, Anousha Jamshid, has secured herself a position on the highly competitive and prestigious Civil Service Fast Stream. She is part of the 2021 cohort, and will be working as a generalist.

Aston student Anousha

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The Scheme 

The Civil Service Fast Stream is number one in The Times top 100 graduate employers. It is a flagship leadership development programme that enables graduates to fulfil their potential to become the country’s future leaders. Anousha has been accepted onto the generalist scheme, where she will be working on issues of national importance, driving forward policies and delivering operations that will change society for the better.

In her first year on the scheme, Anousha will undertake a 12-month posting in an area of work within the Government that interests her. This inductive year will provide further insight into the scheme, test her learning, and identify any areas of development. Her second year will be another 12-month posting in a different area in the public sector, or she could be placed on secondment to a charity.

The final year will deepen Anousha’s knowledge and leadership experience and upon successful completion of the programme, she will be able to advance to a more senior role within the Civil Service.

Application process

When asked about the application process, Anousha describes it as “vigorous” as it “tests absolutely everything” she says. There were several stages to the application process. Firstly, she had to complete psychometric, competency and situational judgement testing. Success in the testing saw her advance to the video interview stage. Anousha describes this stage as particularly challenging, as she had a short amount of time to think about a scenario before her response automatically began recording.

One of the final stages was a virtual assessment centre, where she was able to meet other fast-streamer applicants in the same position. The assessment centre consisted of three tasks: a group task, a leadership task and written task.

Anousha found that advice from the Aston University Careers and Placements team on assessment centres was very helpful when it came to preparing. Anousha first began applying to the role in October and found out that she had been successful in April, she is incredibly excited about getting started on the fast stream later this year.

Careers and Placement award for best university careers/employability service

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Degree relevance 

Anousha studies Politics and International Relations, and she has always been interested and passionate about current affairs. She applied to the Civil Service because she could see herself within the role, and identified with all of the qualities they were looking for in a graduate. She says, “the Civil Service is bigger than just one person, it’s about working together for the UK Government and the UK itself. Just to be a cog in that massive machine is exciting".

Anousha’s degree, and the modules she has studied, such as Diplomacy and Soft Power and Politics of Development have equipped her with valuable knowledge that she will be able to draw upon. She says, “gaining this role in the Civil Service, and graduating from Aston University in the same year feels like I have come full circle as it is so relevant to my degree”.

University experience

Anousha secured her place at Aston University through Clearing, which matches applicants to university places that are yet to be filled. The process is available to anyone who has made a UCAS application and doesn’t hold any offers. Anousha says, “Although I didn’t plan to go to Aston, I believe that Aston chose me, and I am so much richer for it”.

During her second year, Anousha studied Arabic in the Languages for All scheme, specific to Aston University. This scheme allows students to develop their foreign language skills for free, and is a key part of the universities commitment to internationalism in education and industry. Anousha would recommend any prospective students to make the most out of these services Aston University offers.

Aston campus exterior

Advice for future students

Anousha says: “I would 100 per cent recommend Aston University”. She loves how small, and tight-knit the University is compared with other campuses, and describes it as “genuine”.

Anousha’s advice to future students is to make the most of the resources and people around you. For any future students she says:

keep going and working hard but remember to cut yourself some slack too. You are never doing as bad as you think you are.