Research Intern with newsdirect
University - University of Edinburgh
Qualification - MA in Social Policy & Politics
Job hunting experience - I was pretty convinced when I graduated that I didn't have the experience necessary to work in politics. I was able to do an internship with my local MP for one summer while at university but the field is full of people who were able to take on lots of unpaid experience - something that was never going to be achievable for me. Although everything worked out perfectly, I spent a lot of time worrying I wasn’t going to be able to get the kind of job I wanted! So few intern opportunities were paid that Adopt an Intern was a real life saver.
Role and Responsibilities - newsdirect reports on the work of Scottish politics and specifically the Scottish Parliament: from the smallest details like individual letters published by committees, right through to big events like elections and referendums. When I started, I was focused on contributing articles and formatting content for newsdirect's Parliament Today service, which rounds up the events of each day. By the time my internship was coming to an end I was managing and editing the publication.
Working in a small team in such a fast paced industry, I also got to try my hand at lots of other aspects of the business, including social media, representing the company at conferences and contributing to the all-important staff cake rota! newsdirect really allowed me to contribute to the team and gave me a level of autonomy way above my initial expectations.
Where are you now? - I was lucky enough to be brought on permanently when my internship ended. It's around 3 and a half years later, and I love what I do so much I'm still here! I've worked my way through a variety of roles, from Parliament Today editor to account managing our public health portfolio.
Nowadays, I head up our monitoring team, overseeing the workload of a team of 11 to make sure we meet our daily and weekly client deadlines and contributing to service design for new clients. It's a varied role which requires keeping a cool head when things get busy (think government reshuffles or election nights!) and making sure colleagues feel supported. It’s great now to be working with our interns, who come a range of academic backgrounds and with a variety of political experience, and being able to put myself in their shoes.