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Ramesh Kugendran

June 15th, 2021

The Civil Service Early Diversity Internship Programme – My Advice to Prospective Applicants

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Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Ramesh Kugendran

June 15th, 2021

The Civil Service Early Diversity Internship Programme – My Advice to Prospective Applicants

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

As the new application season closes in on us, I thought I’d offer some advice on how to get on the Civil Service Early Diversity Internship Programme (EDIP). EDIP is a one-week internship programme that provides a insight into a career at the Civil Service for first-years from diverse backgrounds. Continue reading to learn why I applied for the EDIP and why I think you should too!

Why should you apply, in my opinion?

Fortunately, I was able to shadow a Fast Streamer at the ONS (Office for National Statistics), which falls under the Public Policy Analysis directorate, for an entire week. If you’re like me and would like an insight into the Civil Service Fast Stream, then this internship programme will be perfect for you! I study International Social and Public Policy (ISPP) at LSE, so this internship allowed me to further my understanding of how social and public policies are implemented in real life. Notably, my fellow interns were from various academic backgrounds, so it wasn’t simply confined to those who studied Politics or Social Policy. I believe you should apply because it gives you a holistic view of what it’ll be like to land yourself a graduate role with the Civil Service. Even if you are unsure if you want to work in the public sector, this internship may open your eyes and help guide your future career aspirations. Ultimately, it provides individuals from diverse backgrounds with a chance to learn more about the Civil Service through shadowing, seminars, guest speaker lectures, and networking events, to mention a few! To find out if you’re eligible for the programme, please click here. Psst, it’s under the heading ‘Eligibility’.

My advice for the EDIP application process…
  • Apply early

EDIP applications typically open in late September or early October, so apply early to give yourself the best chance of being accepted. I would strongly recommend sending an email to the Fast Stream HR Team around September to find out the precise date so you can mark it on your calendar!

  • Take your time with the application

So, now that the applications are open make sure you fill out the application form completely and honestly. The Civil Service really do their due diligence, so don’t think you can get away with lying about anything! If you pass the initial screening and tests, you will typically be asked to write a few responses to a few questions; take your time with these and make sure you genuinely answer the questions because there is a word limit.

  • Do your research

This is crucial. Recruiters will just give your application a cursory glance, so make it stand out. Do some research and demonstrate why you believe you are the best applicant for the programme. However, rather than shoving a statistic at the end of your response, attempt to include it. Within the Civil Service, there are several departments and, most notably, multiple Fast Stream schemes to choose from. Accordingly, conduct further study on the schemes and departments that you’re most interested in!

  • BE PATIENT

I cannot stress this enough! The application process can feel incredibly long, but please be patient. Don’t pester the recruitment team – I know it’s easier said than done. If you make it through all of the stages in the application process, you should receive your decision in February or March. This was the situation for my cohort, but your year may be different, so don’t hold me to it!

What can you do to make the most of your EDIP?

Ask as many questions as you can to get the most out of your week! Don’t be hesitant to participate in the Q&A sessions and conversations. NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK! The value of networking in these types of first-year insight programmes cannot be overstated. Don’t restrict yourself to networking with your fellow interns; network with people in the department you’re shadowing. Schedule a virtual conversation with them to get to know them better or learn more about the organisation’s culture. From my experience, the people I shadowed in the ONS department were outstanding, in my opinion! They wanted us to learn, so they let us ask questions and gave us a realistic view of what life would be like if we were a Fast Streamer!

These suggestions are, of course, all subjective! Just remember to be positive and confident during the application process! I understand that dealing with internship applications while juggling academic deadlines and part-time jobs may be frustrating at times, but trust me when I say that it will all be worth it in the end!

P.S. For further information, please have a look at the Civil Service Fast Stream website. If you click here, you will find more information about the many schemes offered by the Civil Service.

About the author

Ramesh Kugendran

Hi! My name is Ramesh Kugendran and I am currently reading International Social and Public Policy at the LSE. Feel free to comment on what you'd like me to write about next!

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