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Now a Public Policy Consultant, Will completed a BA Politics and an MA in Conflict, Security and Development at Exeter

Stories from our graduates...

Will is a Public Policy Consultant with Cordis Bright. Will completed a BA Politics (2015)  and followed this with an MA in Conflict Security and Development (2016). Here he tells us what he’s been doing since graduating; reflects on the highlights of his time at Exeter and the skills and experiences it gave him, which have helped in him in his career to date.

For my undergraduate degree in Politics, I enjoyed the breadth and freedom the course gave me to explore and specialise in the kind of topics I was interested in. For my Masters, I appreciated how much the course felt grounded in real-world issues and scenarios, which was supplemented by the opportunity to complete work experience through the course. Whilst at Exeter I was part of the editorial team at the student newspaper, as well as a presenter on student radio.

I've worked across the public sector in a variety of consulting and research roles. When I graduated, I was keen to find a job which would allow me to explore a variety of topics and ideas in order to better understand where my interests lay professionally. Consulting offered me that variety. My first consulting job out of university gave me a robust introduction to domestic public policy. I began looking at how technology is used by the Department of Work and Pensions to improve the experience of those on benefits.

Nevertheless, I was keen to find something which enabled me to explore some of the aspects of the Conflict Security and Development MA which I had enjoyed so much, namely conducting robust research, which was grounded in real-world situations, centred on improving people's quality of life.

I now work for a researcher consultancy (Cordis Bright), working across the public sector, in particular, criminal justice, adult social care, and community healthcare. I began as a researcher, working mostly with clients from local government, central government, and charities to understand more about the impact of the work they do. I have since been promoted, and now project manages a number of evaluations across our sectors. Examples of recent areas of work have included improving support for people who experience a combination of homelessness and substance misuse; encouraging behavioural change among perpetrators domestic abuse, and the benefits of providing more integrated healthcare.

Whilst my career is not as internationally focussed as my studies were, those core elements I enjoyed in the MA are still a huge part of why I enjoy what I do. I get to be heavily involved in understanding the latest trends and innovations in policy which are looking to resolve some of the biggest questions we face around the health and wellbeing of our population. In addition to this, the fact that I work on such a diverse range of projects keeps my work interesting and challenging. Through the projects I manage, I get to work with commissioners, policymakers, and key stakeholders in a variety of sectors, whilst also getting the chance to interview and consult with frontline staff, and the people accessing different services.

The research projects I did whilst at Exeter, especially during my master's course gave me a real edge in my interviews. I also think taking advantage of the opportunities university presents, in terms of the breadth of experiences on offer, can really help you make more informed decisions when it comes to post-university life. There are so many opportunities to find things you might be interested in - my only regret is that I didn't do more!


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