Rachael Squire, an alumnus of 3FF’s Undergraduate ParliaMentors, writes about how the programme helped her start a career as a Parliamentary Researcher.

ttf14.6.11_095As a participant in the Undergraduate Parliamentors scheme in 2010-2011, I was excited to see what the scheme would offer. I was definitely not disappointed. The programme gave me my first visit to Parliament, my first insight into life at Westminster and my first opportunity to attend debates and events with top politicians in attendance. These ‘firsts’ left a lasting impression on me. I wanted to learn more and to experience working in Westminster first hand.

After the scheme, I secured a two week work experience placement with an MP. Once this had finished I asked whether this could become a more permanent arrangement in the form of an internship once a week. Once I had graduated, I was offered a job as a Parliamentary Researcher and I am loving it!

The work is varied so there is never a dull day and you get some fantastic opportunities working here. Already I have had the opportunity to attend a talk by the Dalai Lama and another talk by 3 of The Elders, Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu and Mary Robinson.

ttf14.6.11_113On a day to day basis I find myself doing a variety of things. There is still the odd bit of filing and quite a bit of letter writing, but increasingly my job involves research for debates, speech writing and writing press releases.

I still have a lot to learn about the job itself and also the ways of Parliament. There are a lot of rules and customs that I am still getting used to. Accidently bursting out of a side door onto the Speakers Parade was not my finest hour, nor was standing knocking on a door which I later found out led to a staircase. But it is all part of the process and I am looking forward to learning more and experiencing more of Parliament in the months to come.

Undergraduate ParliaMentors 2012-13 is launching this week. Find out more.