Simeon Whittingham, MSc Public Management

MSc Public Management

whittingham-simeon

Birmingham City Council: graduate management trainee

With a degree in Computer Science, Simeon decided soon after graduating that he wanted to develop his career in a setting where he could benefit local communities, rather than work in a purely commercial environment. He worked for Service Birmingham, an IT solutions company that provides IT solutions for Birmingham City Council and as a result became more interested in local government.

He found out about opportunities in the Council via their jobs website and applied for a job in Planning Management as a Service Development Officer. When the chance to apply for the graduate management programme came up, Simeon decided this would be a very good way to broaden his general experience of local government as the scheme allows you to do three placements over 12 – 18 months and funds a Masters course in Public Sector Management. The postgraduate study he is doing is paid for by the Council and he is undertaking this on a part time basis at the University of Birmingham.

Simeon’s first placement was as an Implementation Officer on the Business Transformation programme for Human Resources. As the Council employs about 60,000 people, this is a complex undertaking and aims to help introduce changes to the way the Council works. Part of this was the rollout of a Performance and Development Review, which was implemented across the whole Council for the first time in the summer of 2009. Simeon was also the Lead Service Designer for part of a new careers advice website accessible for all Council employees (the first of its kind). Simeon’s next placement will be in the climate change arena, where he will be leading on a project to enable the widespread use of electric vehicles in the City, including the development of recharging stations throughout Birmingham. Simeon’s route into local government shows how he used his degree discipline to gain knowledge and understanding of the sector before deciding it was where he wanted to further his career