Our graduates

Tom Hall, Development Officer

Tom Hall, is a Development Officer currently working for Includem. He studied for an MSc Public Policy here at Strathclyde and graduated in 2016.

My alarm goes off…

At 6.00 am on a usual morning. I like to be able to have the time in the morning to take it easy and to not have to rush about. On a usual day I’m in the office just before nine.

I’m responsible for…

Representation of Includem at meetings, events and conferences whilst providing feedback summarising such events and highlighting any particular points of interest for the organisation. I'm also involved in the analysis of policy and legislation which is relevant to Includem, as well as the writing up of case studies with regards to the work the organisation does with children and young people. Additionally, I support the Policy Manager with the compilation of both internal and external reports.

The other main component of my role is supporting the Partnership Development Manager. This involves assisting in grant and funding applications with regards to both research and narrative.

I got my job…

Six months after graduating, and two months after taking an internship position as a Policy Researcher. From this I was offered the position I’m in now. I was fortune to be in the right place at the right time, but working hard and being professional certainly helped with that.

My course prepared me for the working world…

Studying for my MSc at Strathclyde provided an excellent platform with which to move into a career revolving around both policy research and policymaking.

Studying core modules concerning policy analysis & comparative public policy greatly enhanced my understanding of what working with policy would actually involve as well as giving me knowledge of the different concepts and systems by which policy could be designed and implemented.

Meanwhile taking modules based on principles of research design and qualitative research, in addition to using quantitative research methods for my dissertation, ensured I left university with a wide ranging knowledge of research skills, and more crucially of how to apply those skills in practice in a working environment. 

My typical day….

My typical day begins with arriving at work where I’ll check my emails and respond to any messages from colleagues or other parties. I’ll then check my schedule for the day and work out a plan so as to ensure I’m on track to meet any deadlines at that time.

A normal day will involve meetings with colleagues with regards to any objectives and/or tasks that need to be completed and referring to local government papers for any developments in policy and practice that Includem as an organisation need to be aware of.

Overall though my day mostly involves conducting research and supporting my colleagues, in particular the organisation’s Policy and Partnership Development Managers. 

The best part of my job…

Feeling that I’m part of an organisation making a real difference to the lives of the children and young people that we work with. More personally being able to work in a role that is related to my studies is really pleasing.

My advice for other graduates…

Make yourself known. Attend events linked to your interests and/or studies and get in touch with people in the working environments in which you want to get into. There’s only so much that a good CV can do for your chances. Word of mouth combined with a good reputation goes a long way.

Internships are a great way to sharpen your interests and give clarity as to where you want to work and in what position you want to be in.

If I didn’t become a Development Officer I’d be a…

Continuing to volunteer as a researcher for Includem whilst also continuing to work for the National Autistic Society as a Policy & Communications Advisor.

Discover more about government & public policy at Strathclyde