Staff stories - Dhruv - Scottish Government Jobs

Staff stories – Dhruv

Tell us a bit about you?

I was born and raised in India and later moved to the UK. I live in Edinburgh with my wife and our son. I studied anthropology so I enjoy all things culture – travel, music, food, the list is endless. I’m also an amateur photographer.

Workwise, I’m a User Centred Design specialist and I try ensure that inclusion and participation is at the heart of developing all public services.


Did you study after leaving school?



What and where was your first significant job?

I worked as a Project Coordinator (Design Research) for a firm called CKS Consulting in Bangalore, India.


When did you join the Scottish Government and what was the role?

I joined SG in 2017 as a User Research Lead within the Digital Transformation Division, Digital Directorate.


Tell us about your current role at SG?

I work as a User Centred Design Assessor for the Digital Assurance Office within the Directorate for Internal Audits and Assurance.


What first attracted you to working at government or in the public sector?

I noticed that Scottish Government were talking a lot about embedding user centredness into Digital Public Service Design. This was an underexplored area and I had some experience in this field. Therefore, I applied for the job. I had never considered working in the public sector before that.


What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day would involve a good mix of reviewing evidence that Service Teams submit to us for assessment, planning the week ahead, writing reports, and having conversations with teams embarking on Digital Transformation journeys. I co-chair the Race Equality Network so my work day often involves collaborating with others to ensure that this is a fair and equitable place of work.


What do you like most about your current job?

Impact. I like the idea that you see the impact of your work directly improving people’s lives. I also like the relative flexibility that working for SG gives you. This has helped me with my childcare duties massively for example as we have no family in the UK.


What is your working pattern?

I work full-time, compressed hours. I do longer days Monday to Thursday and half a day on Friday (the second half).


What do you think is the best thing about working at Scottish Government?

Diversity in thought, unity in action.


Have you used any employee benefits whilst working at Scottish Government?

Flexible working and Shared Parental Leave when my son was born in the middle of the pandemic. I used to be a regular at the gym in the office I worked in when I had just moved to Scotland.


What has been your career highlight so far?

I led the work on designing person-centred workplace adjustments for SG. At the launch of the Disability Recruitment and Retention Action Plan someone from the audience commented that they participated in my research and felt that for the first time in their life they felt like someone ‘listened’ to them. I had a massive lump in my throat. I still class that as one of the most difficult projects I’ve ever done. To have had that kind of an impact, I’ll always be proud.


What career advice would you give your younger self?

To reflect on personal values and to try and find somewhere that aligns with those rather than a “paying the bills” approach.