During the last week of August – I was lucky enough to be on a work experience placement with Vince Cable MP’s office.
I met Sir Vince when he visited Hampton High in January, when I was one of three students giving him a tour of the school. He asked us what we wanted to do after we left school, and I mentioned that I was interested in a career in politics- he then gave me his business card and told me to get in touch.
7 months later- after many emails- I was stood outside Portcullis house in Westminster, ready to start.
I did two days in the office at Westminster- in Portcullis house. Portcullis house is the main office building for the houses of parliament and is just across the road. I was working alongside Sandra, Sir Vince’s PA, and she talked me through things like diary management, correspondence, and everything that means the office works like a well-oiled machine. I even got to answer the phone!
On my second day – I was treated to a tour of parliament, which allowed me to see some of the areas the public do not usually have access to , such as the Whips office, as well as the obvious hotspots, such as the two chambers, the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Standing there, it hits you that these are the places where so many influential people have sat, debated, and so many of the most important decisions were made, and even though the chambers themselves are not actually huge, it’s an overwhelming thing to think ‘so and so has stood here’.
The final two days I worked in the Constituency office in Teddington. Mark and Shona talked me through the day to day running of our constituency, including surgeries, correspondence ECT. Whilst I was here I helped with responding to constituents who had written in with queries or campaigns.
The week was definitely a good experience, and a lot of fun, as well as being very eye-opening, And I’d like to thank anyone who helped make the week happen.
I would encourage anyone to take any opportunities of work experience, in whatever field it may be, as it is such an eye opening, and amazing thing to do.