Josh Collier is studying History at the University of York. He took part in the Civil Service Early Diversity Internship Programme in his first year of university and the Summer Diversity Internship Programme in his second year, and recently received an offer to join the Civil Service Diplomatic Fast Stream as a graduate. He has held leadership roles since school, where he was Head Boy and Ambassador for the Holocaust Educational Trust.
Josh received the Government and Public Sector Award at the Student Social Mobility Awards 2018.
Tell us a bit about your experience of the Student Social Mobility Awards.
The SSMAs were a privilege to be a part of. I thoroughly enjoyed the process and felt it to be both meaningful and important, from the initial nomination, to the invite sent by Baroness Kennedy. I thoroughly recommend getting involved to anyone, as it was genuinely rewarding both for those who had nominated someone and were invited to attend, and also for those nominated. The ceremony was excellent and felt significant, hosted in the Houses of Parliament on the river, with drinks, canapes, and high-profile guests. It was truly a unique experience. Likewise, it was a great opportunity to get to know some incredibly talented people and hear truly motivating and moving stories from other students.
What does social mobility mean to you?
Social mobility is so important; for me personally, I did not realise just how big a factor it can play until I reached university. I think the work by various groups, and the motivation that an event like the SSMAs can offer is invaluable, as it offers the chance for students to be recognised, and to consider the stories of other students with widely different experiences. I think playing a part in the SSMAs has given me further incentive to carry on with my studies and work hard, as it was a great opportunity to be driven by other very hard-working attendees.
Josh previously wrote a blog for upReach on his Civil Service Summer Diversity Internship Programme Internship; you can read this here.