Chad gets on his bike and finds a job in Bristol City Council.
This story was made during a collaborative workshop between Bristol Stories and Bristol City Council's Building Futures scheme, which helps young people start and develop their careers in the council.
My name is Chad Mensa. I’m a corporate graduate management trainee at Bristol City Council.
As part of this scheme, ver the next two years, I’ll be working in placements in the different departments in the council, gaining experience in frontline services, support services and polivy formulation.
My first placement in Negibourhood and Housing Services in Knowle Area Housing Office has been a steep learning curve. I worked on a project to introduce a scheme to improve the vehicle management of tenants’ car parks. This was predominantly the car parks for multi-stories where the demand for car park spaces exceeded supply.
As part of this I had the opportunity to work in a project team producing new policy, and get used to making teas.
To consult on the project we went to the area housing committees to present the car parking scheme and update them on what we trying to bring in.
Sometime the area housing committees were like an episode of Jerry Springer, with people arguing.
My placements and meeting take me all across Bristol. Hopping on my bike to go back and forth, it can feel like I’ve done the Tour de France. Some days I’ve gone from home, to Knowle Area Housing Office, to the Council House, back to Knowle Area Housing Office, then to St Anne’s in Brislington, and finally back home.
My mentor is Ashy Mackay, the Head of Regeneration. She provides me with advice and guidance. She helps to give me an insight into life in the council and is someone I can bounce ideas off about my learning.
Thankfully, we have quite a personal relationship – we don’t just talk all about work.
One day a week, I pack my backpack and go back to school to be a student at UWE and work on my Diploma in Management. My assignments are based on research from my placements. I’ve been to university before to do my degree, but now it’s really interesting combining theory with actual practice.
The assignments make you think about your working environment, and how to apply the different modules to my work makes it feel a lot more real.
I’ve just finished my first placement and am now starting on my second, working in Adult and Community Care on the Independent Living Schemes change process.
Working at the council I get to see the many different job roles and that there’s a whole host of opportunities.