Jamie's experience as Assistant Project Manager at Norwich for Jobs

Being a university graduate in 2014 is no easy task - with the graduate market bursting at the seams and the various graduate schemes extremely over-subscribed, it is indeed a tough time for those of us seeking to use their skills and knowledge gained from their degrees.


I am currently in the above situation and struggling to find a graduate job myself. However, instead of doing nothing about it, I took the initiative by seeking to gain some useful and relevant experience that could help swing the weight in favour of my own graduate job search. I decided to undertake six weeks voluntary work on the Norwich for Jobs project.


When I first went to University, I went in knowing what I wanted to be in a few years after my degree had finished: a Project Manager, or on the way to becoming a Project Manager. I left University with the skills, tools and knowledge in how to manage projects, but with no work-related experience evidencing how to apply them. This is where the voluntary work experience with the Norwich for Jobs project came in. The Norwich for Jobs voluntary work allowed me to work on an on-going project which directly affected the outcome of the initiative. For example, I had a lot of responsibility in monitoring project mile-stones and targets; if we did not meet or update these figures accordingly, then we would start to struggle to meet our end-goal of halving youth unemployment in Norwich by January 2015.


This voluntary work placement also enabled me to work directly alongside the Project Manager (Tom Adams) and allowed me to witness the various roles and responsibilities that he had to consider throughout the project lifecycle. I took this opportunity to find out as much as I could about his role as possible by asking as many questions as I could, so as to help with my own career into project management after the placement finished.


I thoroughly enjoyed my six weeks on the Norwich for Jobs Project. The voluntary work placement was filled with various responsibilities, roles and tasks which made each day different from the last. One day I would be on the Steering Panel with local business owners and Chloe Smith MP discussing project progress and direction, the next I was shaking Prince Edward’s hand at the Royal Norfolk Show and telling him about our project and how well it was doing!


I feel that this placement has helped me incredibly and has exposed me to various processes and experiences which I would have otherwise, not experienced. I spoke to live media, spoke with high-level individuals in both businesses and government and gave presentations to large groups of people about the benefits of Norwich for Jobs. Most importantly for me, it has put experience on my CV which can now evidence my skills and knowledge on working on projects and has increased my network of business contacts which I am now utilising in my job search.


I would highly recommend using the Norwich for Jobs to employers as I have witnessed first-hand how many young, talented and skilled individuals there are who are desperately seeking work, all of whom, would be a great asset to any business. I would also recommend this voluntary work placement to young people currently seeking work, as it has been of enormous help to me and I am sure, will help you as well!

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