The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Rachel Brown

Rachel Brown

Rachel graduated with a BA Hons Government and European Union Studies in 2009.

Career profile

I am currently HR Business Partner in the Civil Service Fast Stream at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in Westminster.

In this role I am solely responsible for the IT Director community within DWP. I sit on the Directors monthly board to steer the group on strategic HR and business priorities. As a business partner, I am directly accountable for ensuring that my department has the right skills, capability and resource to deliver against its ministerial objectives.

The biggest part of my role is stakeholder management and I frequently travel to visit my customers in their environment and see first hand the work they are delivering.

I am also the lead business partner for Cross Government IT Talent. As part of this work I liaise with Director Generals in other departments to build succession plans for the future. This involves a great deal of planning with the current information available but equally a lot of political horizon scanning.

Studying at Newcastle

Studying on the Government and European Union Studies programme allowed me to combine academic study with a sandwich year studying politics at the Complutense University in Madrid. This really developed my thinking of politics from a more global perspective and involved a lot of personal development that has stood me in good stead in my working life.

I also liked the balance between theoretical modules and case study type modules such as Italian Politics or EU simulations.

My degree offered me the chance to build a wide range of skills and knowledge through different methods of study and I have found this to be really valuable in giving me a good rounded experience. My year in Madrid had a massive impact on my study; I found that when I returned to complete my final year things just seemed to click into place and I received the best marks I had ever had across the course of the four years. 

I received unfaltering support from my course tutor Dr Jocelyn Mawdsley who helped me adapt to the new level of work and study that Newcastle presented on arrival. She also went above and beyond her role in making sure that all GEUS students had what they needed to have a smooth and successful year abroad.

In my final year Thom Brooks gave me great support and taught me how to approach politics and theory from a different perspective. His spontaneous but rigorous teaching style helped me gain my highest marks at Newcastle. I would not have gained the degree I did without his supervision.

The Politics department at Newcastle has a great reputation and this is due to the hard work of the faculty staff. I would recommend it to anyone as a fantastic place to study politics.