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Technology Graduate Development Programme - Business Roles

Most of the other people from my geography degree course wanted to join banks and consultancies. But I wanted to do work that would help people rather than being all about profits.

With all the news stories about different threats around the world, helping to keep the country safe definitely resonated with me. And when I discovered that I could gain industry-recognised qualifications on MI5's Technology Graduate Development Programme too, it seemed ideal.

I'm on the business side of the programme - so I use my planning, analytical and problem solving skills to streamline our processes.

It's vital work, because the sophisticated technology behind cyber terrorism, attacks on the national infrastructure and espionage are constantly evolving. And improving the way we work means we can react faster.

I was surprised at how quickly I gained real responsibility - managing projects that involved some very senior people. But I was just as surprised by the amount of time I get to enjoy life outside work.

Most of all, I was impressed by the fact that I could see how my work was having an impacts on MI5's ability to combat terrorist and espionage activities - how much I was contributing to keeping the country safe.


Technology Graduate Development Programme - Technology and Specialist Roles

After getting my degree, I start working for a games company.

It wasn't a long-term career choice - I wanted to do more serious, complex work that would stretch my skills. But more importantly, something that I could be genuinely proud of.

That's why MI5's Technology Graduate Development Programme appealed to me - I'm using technology in amazing, innovative ways. And everything we do is helping to keep the country safe from a range of threats.

It's exciting work too. The way terrorists are using technology is changing rapidly, so we have to stay one step ahead by being flexible and ready to act fast.

There's a really strong team atmosphere because we're all working towards the same goal - to keep the country safe. So there's no "cliqueyness", you can just be yourself.

Although you can't tell everyone where you work, the secrecy has its advantages - for instance, you can never take your work home. Which means I have lots of time to follow my other interests away from the office.

When you look at the kind of things that are going on around the world, I'm proud that I'm playing my part in preventing them happening in the UK.


What We Are

So, what is MI5? And what do we do?

We are the nation’s security service. Our mission is to keep the country safe. Everything we do is to protect the public from harm.

It takes every sort of person, with every sort of skill …
...to deal with the difficult work we have to do.

That’s why we need graduates from all kinds of backgrounds to join us.

Together, we keep the country safe. Now and in the future.

This is why we exist. This is who we are.


Samira – Occupational Psychologist

Not-for-profit

What I like about MI5 is its purpose, and that it’s not a profit-making business. I’d also been working from home for a number of years, and missed that sense of being part of a team. Having roots somewhere. And when I did a bit of research on MI5, I was really amazed that they were in the Top 50 ‘Employers for Women’. I loved that. Once I joined, I realised that I wasn’t going to lose the flexibility I’d previously enjoyed.

Applying

The application process did feel a little mysterious. It’s just there’s limited information about working here. But you understand there are reasons for that. While the process itself was long, I was always kept in the loop by the recruitment team.

In demand

There’s so much variety here as an occupational psychologist. It’s an exciting time to join the team as we’re growing, and our work is increasingly in demand across MI5. So far, I’ve done role analysis for operational roles, and supported recruitment teams in revising how we assess people externally. I’ve also helped train people to become assessors, and given psychometric profile feedback and interviews for selection boards. Not to mention all the really interesting learning and development projects. The team get to collaborate with the other intelligence agencies too.

Team focus

I’ve never worked anywhere that’s so team focused. Everyone is really welcoming, and recognises a job well done - it makes you feel valued. It’s essentially the opposite of a competitive work place. Along the way, I’ve made long-lasting friendships and brilliant working relationships. To the point that when I have meetings, it doesn’t feel like we’re in a business setting. I actually want to see the people I work with.

Values

MI5’s values are around innovation and teamwork, which absolutely ring true. It’s a place where you can be innovative. And everyone is really open to that idea. They encourage it. So I never feel constrained. What I’ve found is that you need to have the same values as the organisation you’re joining.


Alex – Business Enabler

People first

Personally, MI5 itself was the reason why I applied. I wanted to be part of an organisation that protects people, and looks after its own people incredibly well. So I knew that MI5 was for me. However, I wasn’t really interested in an investigative role so when I heard about this corporate role, I grabbed the opportunity with both hands. Now, I support the wider business and do something that really matters.

Perfect balance

I knew that MI5 had a great reputation – I’d read about their awards for diversity and inclusion and the brilliant work-life balance because you can’t take work home with you. It was this combination that really appealed to me. One thing I was concerned about during the application process was what I could and couldn’t say to people. I remember ringing up the recruitment team to ask a question and wouldn’t even tell them my name! But there’s a whole team here dedicated to helping you with your ‘cover’.

Tailor-made

It was a little daunting at first not knowing exactly what I’d be doing on a day-to-day basis, but what’s great is having the freedom to make the role what you want it to be. I’m able to tailor it to my interests, and there’s scope to get involved with lots of different projects. I work with teams across MI5, so it’s a very outward-facing role with exposure to a huge variety of departments and people. I support them all in different ways – from making sure information is properly protected, to boosting efficiencies.

Socialising

Yes, the work we do is very serious. But we do have fun, and I enjoy socialising with everyone. There’s always someone to talk to, and always someone who’ll listen. People are approachable and open. You rely on one another, and form close friendships. I actually look forward to coming in every day.  

Open doors

It’s why I’m doing this role that motivates me. I get to see the impact I’m having, not just on my team, but across the whole organisation. You’re the cog that keeps everything moving. What keeps me here? The fact that there are so many doors open to me. If I want to try something new, I can. It means I don’t have to leave MI5 if I want to explore a different career path.

 

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