Kick starting a career with Employability Points

Image of Grace Couch with the title 'EP: Kick starting a career'.

A Kent Graduate reflects on how she used the opportunities while studying to land her chosen job

What did you study while at Kent? 

I studied Politics and International Relations. I loved the staff; learning the content alongside their real-world experiences and knowledge that the staff brought to their teaching. It was a broad course which led to being able to study a range of topics with such a big cohort (closer to 200), the seminars were the place for debates. 

What is your job now? 

Climate and Ecological Emergency Project Officer at Swale Borough Council. 

How did you get involved in sustainability? 

I’ve always been passionate in my personal life about sustainability; it helped that Kent Union championed sustainability, as I wasn’t necessarily looking for it in the University space.

How did you get on when you started looking for graduate roles? 

I applied for all kinds of things within local authority positions, charities, or anything public sector, and I ended with a 6-month contract with Hackney Mayor’s office working on case work on the back log from covid. It was great as I saw a little bit of everything that local authorities do because I got to liaise with all those different departments. I then gained a position with the Swale Climate Change team; I did a placement with them during the summer after 3rd year. It was two weeks remote policy research work through the EP scheme. 

How long have you been at your job now? 

Just over a year at Swale – though I have a fixed term 2-year contract so gives I have a cut-off point to go ahead and develop but assured in the fact that Local Authorities are flexible and that’s why people stay.

How was your experience with EP (Employability Points Scheme)? 

It is competitive, but it does massively narrow down, especially if you have worked hard with gaining points to have those experiences. A talk, a couple of days shadowing, then a two week internship. I now interview EP students having gone through the process myself. There’s always a good chance of getting something in EP if you put the work in. 

How do you feel about Kent now looking back on your time? 

It blows my mind at how much is on offer at Kent, through Kent Union and EP. I said yes to everything: people do not always value the employability skills that you gain through societies, I learnt more about negotiation on choir committee rather than my politics degree. I gained a lot of events experience too; it was a safe way to experiment with what would work.

Why don’t students use experiences like EP? 

Some people just do not know about it! But it is such a great service, and you can use the careers service for three years after you graduate; for example, the careers service gives you the opportunity to practice interviews. 

What is your top tip for current Kent students? 

Get those opportunities to develop communications skills! It’s one of the most transferable skills, speaking, presentation, and collaborating in real life as well as digital, especially in the current state of the world. 


If you would like to find out more about EP, please visit the Employability Points page online or contact the team via

Written by Natalia Crisanti and Georgia Mann, Student Services, on 04.02.22.


If you’d like to comment on or contribute to a podcast or article for Student Services, email us at

Check out further articles on Careers and Employability.