"At the moment, I’m really enjoying my work and learning a lot! I’ve really enjoyed my two years in the House so far and I’m looking forward to moving around to different areas of my department and the House service to have a wider knowledge of the different aspects of the House’s work.
Working in a procedural office is giving me a good grounding in knowledge of the procedures of the House (although I’m barely scratching the surface!) but I’m also really looking forward to working for a departmental select committee for my next placement. I’ve also been able to be involved in other projects, including setting up the new e-petitions site and helping explore ideas for a new website for Parliament."
I joined the House of Commons Library Fast Stream in 2013, a year after graduating from the University of Bath with a degree in economics. Unlike those on the Housewide scheme I applied for and was recruited directly to the Library as an economist. Before starting in the Library I knew very little about its work, but quickly came to realise the high esteem in which it is held both in and out of Parliament.
One of the most rewarding parts of the job was seeing my work used by MPs and other organisations to inform policy debates.
Working in Parliament has given me many unique opportunities. Following the 2015 election I was an “induction buddy” for two new MPs, helping to introduce them to the work of the House. Towards the end of last year I spoke at a conference in the Polish Parliament and more recently I spent two weeks delivering training for researchers in the Parliament in Myanmar.
My time so far in both the Library and Treasury Select Committee have been highly rewarding and I thoroughly enjoy working in Parliament.
I joined the Civil Service Fast Stream in 2014, I never fully understood how Parliament worked, for this reason I asked to be seconded to Parliament for six months. Luckily I was placed with the Petitions Committee, which has given me exposure to that other “P” which policy advisors often misunderstand – the public!
Parliament is much smaller than most government departments, so the first thing you notice when you start working here is the friendly culture. You also get more responsibility than you would expect as a government policy advisor. On a weekly basis, you’re engaging with politicians and the public, whereas in government, stakeholder engagement would usually be managed at a more senior level.
Overall, I’ve found Parliament a really fascinating and exciting place to work. The core skills required in this role have a great deal of overlap with government policy work: drafting, presenting, researching, corresponding, project management and team work are just a few skills which I use daily. I’m sure that when I return to the Civil Service at the end of this secondment, I’ll be a more effective policy advisor because of the knowledge I have gained during my time here.