Graduate case study - integrity and accountability
Chris is currently a project manager for a mentoring charity in London, working with young people to help them think about their future options and how they might get there. He graduated from the University of Kent in 2014 with a degree in English and American Literature with a Year Abroad. While at Kent, he was involved with several volunteering opportunities, being President of the LGBT Society, part of the Trampoline club and an Ambassador for the School of English.
In what ways did Kent equip you with the skills necessary to excel when you graduate?
As well as the skills developed through my course, the volunteering that I was able to do at Kent enabled me to grow my confidence in putting myself out there and trying new things. By running in society elections, my confidence became greater and allowed me to lead my society effectively. This confidence is really valuable to be in my current role where I frequently deliver training sessions for young people and work with several external partners to develop mentoring projects.
What do integrity and accountability mean within your sector?
Working with disadvantaged young people, integrity and accountability are two essential attributes. Integrity means being able to put the needs of young people first and keeping that passion for improving the lives of young people central to all of our work, no matter what changes or obstacles may come up along the way. Being accountable means accepting the responsibility for young people you are working with and understanding that your actions are directly effecting someone else, someone who requires the service we provide and the projects we create to be successful and high functioning. Both of these attributes for me came through my work with the LGBT Society in my various roles, including my time as President. Being passionate about making others comfortable to be themselves required strong integrity and accountability, whether through organising campaigns, events or simply providing spaces where everyone could feel respected, safe and themselves.
How have developing these skills helped you in your career?
Without integrity, I would not be able to pursue my passion for empowering young people. I need that integrity, as well as the accountability, to represent young people and work with others to always make sure that the work we do puts young people first. Building confidence through my role leading the LGBT society has helped me not only to succeed in interviews and applying for graduate level roles, but also to succeed in these roles and progress to higher levels.