Hello, my name’s Danielle and I’m a Recruitment Team Leader at MI6.
I always knew I wanted a career helping individuals in bad situations reform and better themselves. So, after securing the grades I needed for university, I majored in criminology and minored in sociology. I loved learning about the social aspects of life and the effect this has on people; why people from certain backgrounds, or those exposed to certain influences, behave the way they do. Essentially, anything to do with people and the ways we can help them. Now I think about it, becoming the Recruitment Team Leader makes perfect sense!
I’d never thought of joining MI6. Initially, I wanted to be a probation officer, but I happened to visit the website and saw a job I liked the look of. I took each stage of the application process as they came – and when the letters kept coming saying I’d successfully progressed, the excitement started to creep in as I realised, I could actually get the role!
My experience as a Black woman has been brilliant. I came into the Agencies assuming everyone would be Oxbridge-educated and would be very different to me. Of course, there are Oxbridge colleagues but they’re certainly not the majority. I’ve had some amazing experiences in my time here already and been to some incredible places. Those opportunities were never held back from me because I’m a Black woman. I’ve received training and support and have been encouraged to upskill myself whenever I can.
From development sessions to 3-day training courses in specialised subjects, the opportunities are endless, regardless of my ethnicity. I can honestly say I have always had positive experiences as a Black woman here, and I know that if I ever didn’t, I trust my seniors to take it seriously and ensure it’s dealt with swiftly and effectively.
One of the best things about the culture is that you’re encouraged to take your career into your own hands. If you want to move up the ladder, there’s scope for that – or if you’re content to stay in your role for your whole career, then you can do that, too. I’ve been promoted twice in 9 years and now I work in a part of the office I really enjoy. And when I’m ready to progress again, I’ll apply for another role.
As a Black woman, diversity is so important to me. Different thoughts, experiences and ideas make for a much more effective and productive workforce. Why wouldn’t every office want that? I’m proud to work for organisations that are focused on attracting and retaining as much diversity as possible.
If you’re interested in a role at the UK’s Intelligence Agencies, we’ll soon be recruiting for our graduate programmes. These include roles across Intelligence and STEM, such as the Intelligence Officer Development Programme and the Technology Graduate Development Programme. Visit our website and sign up for our Early Careers Network to be notified first.