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Sophie Watson

Meet Sophie: our Graduate Project Officer

Sophie has been the NYES Graduate Project Officer for a year and a half - she’s our first ever Graduate on the scheme!

She has worked for North Yorkshire County Council for four years, joining NYES nearly two years ago in the Business Support Team, before moving across into the Graduate Project Officer role. She has a degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and a passion for open water swimming.

The role:

The role provides Sophie with a two-year development plan with increasing responsibilities to support and lead projects all with the aim of improving customer experience, whether that be outward facing or streamlining internal processes.

“Working in this role has been a fantastic experience and a major learning curve for me in both public and commercial sector business. It’s inspired me so much that I’ve picked up the books again and started my MBA.”

A day in the life:

Getting into work just after 8.00am (getting in early is key for a parking space!) I settle in with a cup of coffee and continue the projects I’m assigned. 

One of the most exciting things about my role is the variety of the projects. Currently, I’m leading on several key pieces of work that will really improve the efficiency of our behind the scenes functions and dramatically improve the customer experience.

My day is split between meetings with our Traded Services and central NYES hub to make sure their needs are met for delivering support to customers, researching current practises to see what we can learn from, and creating processes and policies to help us meet our outcomes.

Our online purchasing platform is our main opportunity to interact with customers, so it needs to be as easy as possible to use and as informative as possible.  A key piece of work has been configuring the setup of the website, implementing some of the suggestions that customers have given us and developing our new range of guidance videos for the new features.

As a little bit of a break from work, and to keep other members of the team on their toes, I’ve commandeered the huge whiteboard in front of my desk as the ‘Fact Board’.  Updated weekly with fun facts, I’ve also started making it competitive with brain teasers, the whole team has been involved with the action and comparing prizes!

Finally, it’s time to pack away making sure all my project plans are up-to-date with my work from the day and then it’s time to battle the traffic for home and a stroll across the fields with my dog, Bracken.