Hayat won the 2016 Civil Service Leader of the Year award. Here's what she has to say about the process...

Application process:

I saw an email about the Awards and was particularly attracted by the opportunity to win a place on the summer diversity internship programme. I really didn't have the confidence to go for the application but my mum told me I had nothing to lose and to just apply! This was definitely the best decision I made as becoming a finalist and then winning the award really increased my confidence in my own abilities.

I completed some online tests (after practising for a good couple of days as I had never done them before) and I was told I could progress to the next stage. Answering the employer questions was the most enjoyable part as I was able to convey my passion for diversity and inclusivity in the workplace and particularly in the Civil Service! I then progressed onto a telephone interview, which was warm and relaxed so I was able to confidently express my interests and my previous experiences in different roles. The whole process was not as daunting as I imagined and I would definitely encourage anyone to go for it as it is worth the effort!

Awards ceremony:

Once the main application process was over and I was told I was shortlisted in the final ten, it was a huge relief! To get this far was an achievement in itself! The awards ceremony in Canary Wharf was amazing. The venue was unlike any I had been to before and the array of eager and equally excited students in attendance was welcoming. It was lovely to interact with students and professionals from different fields and also to meet and speak with civil servants from the Fast Stream.

My advice to any undergraduate would be to just go for it, never to doubt yourself and to fulfil your potential!

Where are they now?

Hayat is now working for the Civil Service Fast Stream as an incoming fast streamer.