I started my week with College Green Group as many new starters probably would. I felt nervous to meet a team of professionals in an office environment in the heart of Westminster – a place not renowned for its tranquillity or patience. However, my time interning at College Green Group taught me so much, and I’ve come away feeling enthusiastic to learn more.
Embracing the opportunity
As I passed the Palace of Westminster and entered 15 Great College Street, I was warmly greeted as a member of the team instantly. I started this internship without a particularly profound understanding of politics and, despite my nerves, I was excited for this opportunity and was eager to learn.
Some personal background on me: I grew up in north London and before this internship I worked at local pubs in my area. I hope to put my savings towards my travels around southeast Asia.
I graduated from Nottingham Trent with a degree in English Literature and Philosophy before studying a further course in Graphic Design last year in Brighton.
I had some experience at school with Amnesty International where we would write letters to different governments, mainly in lower economically developed countries, to petition against the appalling treatment of civilians and people who were unfairly trialled and put on death row. So whilst my knowledge of politics was limited, I was ready to throw myself into the internship.
How was my week?
I started Monday morning by attending a board meeting that I felt grateful to be invited to – given I had only just started. I found it really interesting to see how the team worked together, pooled their knowledge, and shared ideas in a respectful and collaborative manner. The team were super friendly in explaining each project they were working on to me, so I felt included and fully briefed.
Throughout the week, I worked across a range of projects – from scrutinising and editing a document that we planned to submit to the Government, to creating wide-ranging stakeholder maps that would be used by clients and colleagues.
I found the use of the parliamentary database ‘Hansard’ particularly useful as it records all contributions in the House of Commons and House of Lords. I was tasked to sift through its resources and find mentions of certain topics and people in order for my colleagues to make progress on an upcoming project. It was incredibly rewarding and exciting to have this level of responsibility.
The internship was also a great opportunity to further my research skills, and I did so by looking up how to improve the growth, welfare, and opportunities of vulnerable people in the UK.
Reflecting on the experience
I really enjoyed my time working at College Green Group. The entire team made such an effort to make me feel comfortable and encouraged me to ask questions if need be. Despite the building’s proximity to the Palace of Westminster, the office has a relaxed, friendly atmosphere where everyone is eager to help – or make one another tea or coffee.
Although I do not have a lot of experience within the political field, I have always had a passion for being proactive in making positive change. As a wise man once said, ‘you must accept the things you cannot change, and change the things you cannot accept’.
I think politics is a good place to work. As I learnt at Amnesty International, it is essential to use your voice to change things in the world – especially for those who cannot speak up. I am encouraged that those I worked with during my internship continue to do this and are part of various campaigns that seek to do this too.
I was afraid I would feel intimidated working amongst professionals in an office environment for the first time, but I can gladly say my experience was anything but. I have learnt so many skills, in addition to broadening my knowledge within the political and public relations sector whilst working at College Green Group that I am excited to take away and use in the near future.