A day in the life…

Understanding what a typical day on the programme looks like offers a useful reflection that can help you choose whether the programme is the right fit for you. Well right now its a bit different and here is a reflection from Rahul, one of our current graduates back. 


A day in the life of… Rahul (Late November/ Early December 2020)

Current Posting: Constitutional Policy and UK Relations

08:00  –           After a quick Joe Wicks workout and armed with a Cafetiere of coffee, I convert my living room from Casa d’Leith to St Andrew’s House @ Home. It’s important for me to draw clear boundaries between my work life and personal life and during the Covid pandemic, SG has supported me in creating a home working environment with all the right equipment to allow me to thrive while at work.

08:05 –            I check my emails and respond to those that require an urgent response first. After this I will have a scan of the latest developments in the constitutional sphere that is being reported in the media as well as check Twitter for commentary academics, politicians and stakeholder groups. In such a fast paced and highly political environment, Twitter and news agencies like Politico quickly become that tequila shot you need to get going… just remember to take it with some salt.I then log into my Asana work tool, which helps me to manage my tasks and projects, for an overview of my planned work day and the week ahead. As it’s Monday, I’ll take the opportunity to update this tool with any new developments requiring my attention and any revisions needed to my day/week following a busy weekend in the constitutional landscape.

08:30 –            My team has a 10am deadline to prepare and send up a revised First Minister’s Questions (FMQs) briefing for the FMQ team so I update our briefing products taking into account commentary from opposition parties and various key stakeholders on the implications of the UK Internal Market Bill on the competencies of the devolved governments of the UK. I then send this on to my Unit Head and Special Advisor for comments and final sign off before submitting to the FMQ team.

09:00  –           I have been invited to attend the Health and Social Care Management Board (HSCMB) as a member of the shadow HSCMB that I am helping to set up. HSCMB is attended by SCS colleagues usually at Director level from within the DG family and today, are discussing updates on the Test & Protect system, vaccination programme and the restart of all NHS Scotland services. It’s great to listen to the strategic conversations being had and seeing the unwavering commitment of the Board to ensuring a fairer and more equitable post-covid society.

11:30  –           I’m working on some analysis and drafting for the Government’s response to the UK Internal Market Bill. This works involves examining the future trade implications on Scotland as a result of the proposed legislation to create a single market amongst the nations of the UK, as well as looking at the evolution of the (unwritten) constitution of the UK. This is very much a headphones ins, deep concentration mode working akin to those many late nights at Uni rushing to get my assignments done before the 9am Turnitin deadline.

13:00  –           I’ve scheduled a walking (socially distant) lunch with a colleague so I sign off, grab my lunch and head off. Whilst we are not able to enjoy the ‘softer’ benefits of office working which contributes to positive mental health and organisational belonging,  it’s really important to find other ways (within the boundaries of the health advice) to maintain good working relationships with our colleagues and take a break from the screen- a lunch walk with a colleague definitely does this!

13:30  –           This afternoon I am working on the British-Irish Council(BIC) Conference. This year the Scottish Government is hosting the conference and my division is responsible for the coordination and delivery of the first virtual BIC Conference. As such I have been asked to lead on the Economic Recovery paper which will be presented to and discussed by, the 8 Heads of Member Administrations. The aim of this paper is to identify where Member Administrations can jointly work on areas of economic recovery which promotes the objectives of BIC. I have received commissions back from all Administrations and I am liaising with colleagues across the Scottish Government to analyse and pull this together.

14:50  –           I turn my attention to the Citizens’ Assembly (CA) of Scotland. I am part of the sponsorship team and the Assembly have just provided the first draft of their recommendations. I’ll need to thematically group these recommendations before sending them on to colleagues across the organisation for information and to begin thinking on the Government’s response. The CA is a hugely important and interesting model of governance and area of work- It is a form of participatory democracy that has the potential to empower so many in society while completely transforming the way the Government engages and delivers public services. I’m very excited about this work, but I first have to get through the 100+ page document that I’ve just received!

15:30  –           It’s almost the end of my working day so in the last half hour I check in with my team on how the day has been so far while responding to emails. Before I log off, I’ll update Asana on my progress with the various pieces of work and flag tasks for priority action for the next day.

16:00  –           I sign off and convert the living room back to a living space before heading off for a cycle.