Charlotte

JOB TITLE
Postgraduate Student and Parliamentary Intern

INDUSTRY
Postgraduate Study/Politics

EMPLOYER
LSE/Sajid Javid MP

 

I originally come from Surrey, and during my time at Kent, I studied Politics and International Relations. My interests include politics, musicals, travelling, and trying out new restaurants and cafes, which is why I enjoyed my time living in Canterbury!

I found out about the course whilst researching different courses and universities online. I was very impressed by the range of modules available compared to other universities, and I really liked the campus when I attended the open day.

I completed a number of internships before and during my time at Kent to improve my CV. I was also on the committee of Kent University Conservative Association (KUCA), where I was Secretary in second year and Chairman in third year. I also attended Debating and Model United Nations, where I attended a conference at Reading University. Societies played a very important role during my time at Kent; they’re a great way to make friends and meet like minded people, and I met some of my good friends through societies.

Since my gap year before university I have tried to gain as much work experience as possible. Over the years I have done internships in Parliament, the Civil Service, the charity sector and in public affairs. These internships have been proven to be very valuable since they have allowed me to broaden my skills, as well as providing me with a clearer idea of what I want to do following my studies.

Today, I am studying for my Masters in Public Policy and Administration at the LSE, and I intern for Sajid Javid MP once a week as part of the LSE Parliamentary Internship Scheme. The scheme was one of the reasons why I applied to LSE, and even though I had already completed an internship in Parliament, I really wanted to return to gain more experience.

During my internship in Parliament I assisted with organising the annual jobs fair in Bromsgrove, which is Sajid’s constituency. This involved recruiting local and national businesses to exhibit, as well as other administrative tasks relating to the fair. I was very fortunate to help out on the day, especially since my previous internship in Parliament didn’t involve constituency visits. It ended up being the biggest Bromsgrove jobs fair yet, and I was very glad to hear that attendees were receiving job offers in a matter of weeks after the fair took place.

I think that my time at university shaped my principles, and since graduation they’ve been reinforced. Before university I didn’t care much about networking or setting goals, and I was too scared to try new things. However, during my time at university and my internships I realised that these principles were very beneficial.

The one piece of advice I would offer to current students is get some relevant work experience or get involved with societies while you’re still at university. The job market is very competitive, so it is very important to stand out. However, make sure it doesn’t get in the way with your studies.

 

 

 

Foreign & Commonwealth Office – Deadline 26th March

FCO Graduate Internship
Ref FCO0095
Location London
Department FCO
Closing date for applications 26 March 2018
Salary 19,041 (with an additional London Location Allowance of 4,520)
Appointment Full Time, Up to 10 months fixed term appointment
Start Date: 30th August 2018

The Role

The UK’s relationship with the rest of the world has rarely been so complex – or so interesting. Across the globe, the UK faces both challenges and opportunities. The FCO has teams working on everything from crisis in Syria, to helping British nationals in distress overseas, to creating new opportunities for British business, particularly in the fast growing economies, as well as managing a global network of posts overseas.

This is a unique opportunity to be right at the heart of the FCO’s work and to understand what it takes to run an effective global organisation. You will participate fully in the work of the FCO Department into which you are placed and have an opportunity to influence how policy is made and delivered.

Your placement will offer you an in-depth insight into the work of your host FCO Department and plenty of opportunities to learn more about, and experience, the wider FCO and to develop your skills. As we cannot necessarily match placements to academic background, they are most suitable for recent graduates looking for general FCO work experience, not specific career related experience or experience relevant to ongoing academic studies.

If successful with your application, you will be placed into a friendly and supportive team, where everyone is encouraged to seek out development opportunities; depending on circumstances, these could include cover in ministerial offices, temporary secondments to crisis teams and job shadowing in other Departments within the FCO.

The FCO is committed to recruiting and developing the most talented people from all backgrounds into a truly inclusive and diverse workforce.

Appointments to the FCO are made through open and fair competition, in strict accordance with the key recruitment principles of the Civil Service Commission.

Essential Information

For further information please use the links below:

If you have any queries then please contact us by emailing candidateenquiries@capitaras.co.uk

Further information about the FCO may be found on its website www.gov.uk/fco

Mitchell

JOB TITLE
UK Monitoring Content Co-Manager

INDUSTRY
Political Communications

EMPLOYER
Dods Parliamentary Communications

 

I come from the middle of nowhere originally. I’ve always had an interest in film and politics, so it was pretty much a coin toss to decide which I took on as a degree, and linking back to the previous point, whilst at Uni I worked on a student film in my spare time and even took a couple of modules in film during my first year, so it’s a great idea to explore all your options.

I’m currently trying to learn Japanese, although as I’m not great with languages it’s taking me a little while to get anywhere near being able to say I can even speak the basics with confidence. I love football, even if it’s basically just a recurring punishment for supporting Stoke; and I run a really nerdy social media/news website in my spare time to try and keep me sane.

I can’t remember exactly how I found out about my course, but I can remember that I chose it for a couple of reasons. The first being the concept of wild modules, which I knew I would want to take in film and gave me the chance to really explore which avenue I wanted to go down as a career. And the second was because I fell in love with the campus when I came to visit.

As was required for one of my modules during my third year I needed to find an internship somewhere, so although it may not count as extra-curricular I worked for the local Liberal Democrat party for a few months over the summer, which proved to be a lot of fun and helped me to develop quite a few key skills that I needed in the work place.

I also took part in the Harry Potter society on campus, which is where I met my fiance. So definitely take part in societies if something takes your fancy!

Knowing that I wanted to move to London as soon as possible after University I started to look for work opportunities throughout my third year at Kent. Eventually I landed on an Public Affairs internship with a company called Redwood Consulting, who specialise in PA and PR for property stakeholders (I knew I was on to something special when a man wearing a cap with the football team I support walked past just before I entered their offices).

My internship with Redwood was contracted for 3 months, so during my time there I kept searching for full time roles to take on once my contract came to an end. As it turned out I had a very helpful mentor at Redwood and she helped me to find a job with Dods and at the end of my 2nd month I handed in my notice, having being offered a full time job as a Monitoring Content Specialist for Dods.

My job with Dods started in October 2016 (Roughly 3 or 4 months after graduation) and I’m still with the company now, only in a different role. Over the course of my time with Dods I began to take on more responsibility in the team, even crafting myself a new job title by showing some initiative in the social media side of things. Then through determination and a little bit of luck I eventually found myself as the Senior member of the team and subsequently the Co-Manager (which is where I am now).

The core aspect of my job of and the job of my team is to monitor all the various Parliaments/Assemblies in the UK and to relay important information/information we are sent directly by stakeholders (Political parties etc.) either to our team of consultants or to clients directly. Beyond this I also act as a  source of contact for queries and issues for both internal and external sources; liaise with various teams throughout Dods to ensure that our product is being smoothly delivered to clients and to identify new areas for improvement.

The one piece of advice I would offer to students today is don’t be afraid to take on extra curricular activities during your time at University or even once you find yourself in work. I wouldn’t have progressed the way I have at Dods if I didn’t go out of my way to identify an issue in our social media offerings, prove that I could improve things and earn a new job title which then put me in good stead for my next couple of promotions. Furthermore, I don’t think I would have been given the opportunity at Redwood if I didn’t already have prior experience interning for a political party during the summer between my 2nd and 3rd years of Uni.

Even to this day as I continue to redefine what I want to do for the rest of my career I am constantly engaging in other ways to develop my CV outside of my actual job (Or even just taking on stuff outside work because I find enjoyment in it). You aren’t always going to be head over heels in love with what you do at work/Uni, so putting the effort in to create something of your own on the side that caters to what you love is often the most rewarding thing that will keep you ticking.

 

 

 

Wellbeing Festival 2018

Student Support and Wellbeing encourage you to enrich your life and try something new for free!

We have a huge variety of inspiration for all students and staff at the #WellbeingFestival2018. It will be very interactive and a chance to relax and connect positively with your own mind and body, and with each other. Follow @unikentssw on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as we publish details of the events as they are confirmed over the next few weeks.

For the full programme please visit our web page.

Come along to Eliot Dining Hall on 23 March between 12pm and 3pm for an exciting line up of over 25 internal and external organisations coming to take part in the day, such as Espression Arts café, Canine therapy (the now famous cuddly George!), bush craft, live music, free healthy food and nutrition information, mindful colouring, various mental health and charity stands, representatives from the LGBT network, the Chaplaincy, the Sports Centre and Kent Union. In addition there will be some free workshops so watch this space for details and come and try something new: yoga, Tai Chi, mindfulness, raga singing, writing for wellbeing, HeartMath: stress management & herbal medicine.

Alumni & Student Pub Night

The Alumni Pub Nights series is Kent’s social and networking series for alumni and students.  The theme of the next Pub Night is career advice and mentoring:

Date: Tuesday 27 March
Time: 18.00 – 20.00
Location: Miller’s Arms in Canterbury
Register here

Join us and catch up on news from Kent and socialise with current students and fellow alumni.  The University of Kent’s Careers and Employability Service will be also be joining us to talk about what help they can give students, staff and alumni and how the mentoring platform, KEW-NET, could be of use to you.

Alumni please join us to find out how you can help a Kent student progress in their career. We will be exploring mentoring, campus talks, taking part in Kent’s Employability Festival and offering a student work experience.

This is also a fantastic opportunity for 1st or 2nd year students to network with alumni and find out about our upcoming graduate careers fairs and work experience opportunities.

Drinks and nibbles will be provided.

Please help us get the word out and share on Facebook!

 

How to get a job in the 3rd sector

Volunteering is key to breaking into the third sector

Handily for those who’ve already signed up to volunteer, organising and taking part in voluntary events is essential for getting your first charity job. “You need to stand out from the crowd. This means finding time to volunteer with a charity or community-based organisation,” says Ola Fajobi, global head of human resources at Christian Aid.

Likewise, Henrietta Blyth, people director for Tearfund, says volunteering can even outweigh postgraduate qualifications. “Having relevant experience and skills is more valuable than lots of qualifications. Pick a few charities you fancy working for and write to the relevant member of staff to ask them if you can shadow them for a few days. If they say yes, you have an ideal way of building relationships in the sector.”

You don’t need to be in London to work for a charity

While it can sometimes seem like all charity jobs in the UK are based in London, there are plenty of opportunities to be found in the rest of the country. “Although there are less charities outside of London, there are also less candidates, so don’t see this as too much of a barrier,” says Joe Marsh, fundraising consultant for Prospectus.

Though, due to vast size of London, and its direct flight links abroad where charities may have field programmes, there are undoubtedly more opportunities in the capital. “You have to ask yourself whether you would be prepared to move to give yourself more options,” adds Marsh.

When looking for charity jobs, be adaptable

It’s important to be flexible when looking for your first job. You’re unlikely to land your perfect role immediately, and demonstrating flexible skills will help you stand out from the crowd. “There is a lot to be said for candidates who are multi-skilled or have a number of specialities. You can sell yourself as dynamic, adaptable and an asset to any number of departments,” says Glen Manners, charity business manager for TPP recruitment.

Persevere to get your first charity role

The voluntary sector is competitive so part of breaking into an organisation is simply to keep going, says Andrew Hyland, recruitment manager for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Part of what makes candidates successful is showing your passion to recruiters. “The key is to flesh out why you want to work for a charity with examples of why you share an affinity with them. Quote an article, statistic or something from their website – anything to show that you’ve gone above and beyond can help you stand out,” says Manners.

Create your own third-sector job

To land your first charity job or get promoted, one option is to create your own role, says Carla Miller, managing director of Charity People. Look at the gaps that exist within your charity, which are relevant to your skills and offer to fill them. “I have created my own new job that way at a few different charities,” adds Miller. And if you’re looking for promotion, “sit down with your manager and discuss how you need to develop in order to operate at a higher level – then work towards that”.

Make your job applications clear, tailored and concise

How you write your cover letter can make all the difference when applying for jobs in the third sector. “You need to make sure you absolutely address in your letter the main areas that a charity is looking for, and that you do so in a succinct and well-written way,” says Pasca Lane, head of public relations at Scope.

Hyland agrees: “When you apply, ensure your cover letter includes all the skills and personal abilities highlighted in the job description.”

Likewise, it’s important to make sure your CV is concise so it’s easy for recruiters to see your skills. “CVs should be laid out clearly with skills and achievements at the beginning of the document,” says Sandra Smith, senior consultant at Charisma Charity Recruitment. “Voluntary work is important and should be included on CVs as another skillset. This will help prove you have passion and an interest in the charity’s work.”

*this article was published in the Guardian

How to make the most of your summer!

With exams over and essay deadlines in the past, I’m sure you are all entering holiday mode, with beach days, BBQ’s and festivals occupying your time. Along with a much needed rest, the summer is also a great opportunity to take up an internship or volunteer with a charity. Although it may not seem as tempting as lazing on a beach, developing your work experience greatly improves your job prospects. By completing an internship or voluntary work, it will enable you to test out different industries and consider the type of career you would like to pursue after graduation.

If you have an idea about the type of field you would like to work in (i.e. NGO’s, charities , journalism) research organisations both locally and nationally, use business social media sites such as LinkedIn to connect with companies and approach them to see if they are offering any summer internships.

Finding an internship may feel quite daunting, and you may be left wondering where to start. Some useful websites that advertise internships include:

http://www.ratemyplacement.co.uk/search?duration=1&show=jobs (internships offered in various sectors, including governmental and third sector)

http://www.w4mpjobs.org/ (an excellent site for vacancies and internship opportunities in Parliament, Policy / Research, Lobbying, PR and NGOs)

http://ec.europa.eu/stages/index_en.htm (the official website for EU Commission internships)

http://www.goabroad.com/intern-abroad (links to internship and placement opportunities outside of the UK)

Be flexible about the type of work experience you will undertake. You may be determined to pursue a career working in Parliament, but consider undertaking work experience with a local political party. This will give you a great insight into working for an MP, and the nature of work involved. Try researching parties in your area and contacting them directly.

Volunteering is another great way to gain experience over the summer and it is always a valuable addition to a CV. If you would like to work in journalism or the media try contacting your local radio, news or TV station to see if they can offer you some voluntary work. Similarly, if you are interested in working for a charity you will most likely have to devote some of your time to volunteering with a particular organisation first. If you are staying in Kent this summer, visit http://www.charitychoice.co.uk/charities/south-east, an online directory which includes charitable organisations from all across the South East.

You can also use Kent Union’s Toolkit to find opportunities in Canterbury and Medway. If you have are considering or you have taken up voluntary work remember to log your hours using the Toolkit. By logging your hours you could receive a bronze, silver or gold Kent Student Certificate in Volunteering award! And don’t forget if you have secured some unpaid work experience in the UK, you could be entitled to up to £100 from the Careers and Employability Service to help with expenses with the BKEW: University of Kent Work Experience Bursary Scheme. For further information and eligibility visit www.kent.ac.uk/kew

Why volunteer?

As a current student or a recent graduate, I’m sure you have heard all too many times the key to getting a graduate job is ‘experience, experience, experience’. But with the pressures and demands of life, balancing a part time job, exam preparation, essay deadlines and of course a social life, it may seem as though you have no time to fit this in. However, if you can find the time, even if it were just a couple of hours a week, it would help to raise your graduate profile and develop your transferable skills. One way to do this is through volunteering. Volunteering is a great way to gain experience and skills, helping you to stand out to recruiters in a competitive job market.

So, why volunteer?

1) You can fit volunteering around your schedule, committing to just a few hours out of your day. This is your time you are investing in volunteering, so make sure it not only works for them but for you too.

2) There are many opportunities out there, all you have to do is look! If there is a specific career path you are interested in taking, volunteering is a perfect way to test it out. For example, if you would like to work as a journalist try contacting your local news offices for work experience. You can also browse voluntary vacancies through Kent Union and the Careers Vacancy Database .

You can also volunteer through a society, opportunities include first aid, homeless outreach, fundraising and volunteering with children.

3) It’s a great way to network and gain valuable contacts.

4) It will enhance your CV, contributing to your personal development, whilst giving you the chance to do something you care about.

5) You can get involved in the local community, supporting projects which benefit individuals, the community and environment.

6) You can explore different career paths and work with people from different backgrounds.

Remember …

Check if the opportunity covers out-of-pocket expenses, it shouldn’t cost you to volunteer.

If you have undertaken an unpaid work placement, you may be eligible for a B:KEW bursary.

If you do take on voluntary work, log your hours on the Kent Union’s Toolkit and you may achieve an award through the Kent Student Certificate in Volunteering.

What to do with my degree in Politics and IR?

If you are undecided about where you would like your degree to take you, it may be worth spending some time to really explore your career options. As a non-vocational course, a degree in Politics and International Relations provides a broad range of careers you could go into. This varies from teaching, Public Affairs and Lobbying, Journalism, social and political researcher to working with a non-governmental organisation and many more!

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

A degree in Politics and IR gives you many useful transferable skills including:

  • the ability to research, source and examine information thoroughly;
  • the capacity to critically analyse evidence and construct coherent arguments;
  • excellent written and oratory skills;
  • intellectual independence and autonomy;
  • team working skills;
  • a flexible and open-minded approach to work.

Useful links
To find out more about the different careers your degree could take you into, try the following sites:

If you are unsure about your career path, or you would like advice, the Careers and Employability Service offer careers guidance interviews. Full details or to book an appointment.