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Developing the next generation of superb public service leaders

We were delighted to welcome our first wave of new graduate colleagues into Serco’s UK & Europe and Asia Pacific Divisions in September 2019 and January 2020. They are the first cohorts of the new Serco Global Graduate Programme, which has since launched in our Middle East Division and will soon launch in our Americas Division as well. 

Around the world, we are building new generations of public service leaders by seeking out diverse new talent with strong business instincts, who share our Values and passion for public service, to bring fresh thinking and entrepreneurial energy into Serco. 

The two-year programme provides a unique opportunity for ambitious, newly qualified graduates to gain hands-on experience in business management. They are working in a wide range of roles across our different sectors, building a strong platform of knowledge, skills and experience on which to launch their future leadership careers in Serco. 

Here, our new graduate colleagues share their views and experience of Serco and the Graduate Programme:
 

  • Eva Holland (UK - above, second from right). First placement: London Cycle Hire Scheme. Second placement: Environmental Services, London region. 
  • Kuda Kunaka (UK - above, third from right). First placement: Public Health England. Second placement: Asylum Accommodation and Support Services. 
  • Adam Churchman (UK - above, far right). First placement: Caledonian Sleeper. Second placement: Maritime Services. 
  • Conor Fowler (Australia). First placement: Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA). Second placement: National Disability Insurance Agency Contact Centre. 
  • Jasmin Fleming (Australia). First placement: Traffic Camera Services. Second placement: MITA. 

Why did you choose Serco and our graduate programme?

Eva: The focus on improving public services, the diversity of opportunities and being able to make a difference right from the start. 

Kuda: Yes – when I found Serco, I thought: “This is perfect!” There’s a whole world in which to learn and make a difference. And Serco was the only one offering placement rotations – a unique opportunity. I like being able to explore and discover my strengths and interests across a range of experiences. 

Conor: I felt the same about the rotations. The whole programme felt like a fantastic platform for building a career in helping people. I was also impressed by the enthusiasm I encountered throughout the application process. 

Adam: I had other options, but I chose Serco because of the assessment centre – it was amazing. Lots of senior people from the business were there to talk to us and they all looked at me as a person, not someone with a disability. I felt genuinely valued, which I hadn’t experienced anywhere else. 

Jasmin: It was great to meet our future colleagues during assessment, see their passion for the work they do and hear first-hand about all the opportunities Serco has to offer. Serco’s Values resonated with me immediately. 

Kuda: I must admit I wasn’t sure about us all being in separate parts of the business, but it works really well. We gain different experience and build different skillsets. It’s a great way to cultivate stronger diversity in management. 

Adam: We spend a good amount of time together, though, and talk to each other all the time. 

In what other ways have you been pleased by your experience of Serco?

Kuda: I’ve had a great time. Right from the start I’ve seen a tremendous focus on people, which I really connect with. 

Eva: People here are genuinely passionate about helping others. Everyone I’ve met lives the Values, takes diversity seriously and is always looking to collaborate, not compete. It’s even more rewarding than I’d imagined. We’ve been made to feel part of the team – doing real work with real responsibilities and real experience. And they listen to us – they want to know what we think. 

Adam: Exactly. They treat you like you’ve worked here for years – respecting your ideas and taking them seriously. I suggested accessibility improvements for Caledonian Sleeper which are now becoming a reality. 

Conor: My projects are developing my skills and helping me build my network. From the beginning, I’ve been involved in important stakeholder meetings and exposed to lots of different people from a range of backgrounds – giving me insights into areas of work I would not have considered otherwise. 

Kuda: I got a project transforming a key service line straight away, making decisions that impact the lives of the people using that service. 

Eva: You’re not left to fend for yourself, though. We’ve had a huge amount of support. This is a company where it’s ok to ask questions, ask for help and learn from mistakes. 

Adam: I was really impressed to get a line manager with so much experience. In many graduate schemes you’ll get someone almost as new as you are. Here I have a mentor with a long career and a wealth of insight. 

Jasmin: That’s one of the highlights for me too: the opportunity to learn from senior business leaders. It’s been invaluable. There are so many outstanding role models here that I’ve been fortunate enough to work and build relationships with. There’s a really strong focus on our development. 

Kuda: I’ve been delighted by the transparency and the exposure to information and leadership as well. Nothing is hidden and everything is shared – helping you learn and make better decisions. 

Jasmin: The culture is very friendly. Everyone has been incredibly welcoming and helped me feel that I can make a real, positive contribution. 

Conor: Yes – we’ve all been well taken care of. 

What advice would you offer to others looking for graduate employment?

Eva: Look at the kind of people the company attracts, and whether you can see yourself being happy there. Don’t fixate on the biggest names or the most money. 

Kuda: Focus on what you’re passionate about and have an open mind – be willing to learn and explore. You don’t need to be in the public sector to make a positive difference to society – I’ve seen it happening here. 

Jasmin: I agree about staying open-minded. As a graduate in certain fields, your career options can feel limited, but Serco offered a different path, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. 

Adam: Build a strong foundation for the future – make lots of connections, try different things and get lots of experience. One of the most important things I’m learning is how to embrace diversity and complexity with confidence. 

Conor: And be enthusiastic and excited. A positive mindset will enable you to learn things that might never have crossed your mind and become more passionate about things that resonate with you. 

Eva: Be brave as well – take every opportunity and don’t be afraid to rock the boat. I’ve grown a lot because I’ve challenged myself to go outside my comfort zone. 

Kuda: Most of all: believe in yourself. You’re the right person for the job. You’re not ‘just a graduate’. 

Eva: That’s right. You’ve been chosen for a reason. Don’t question it – use it. Get out there and make a difference.