Izaak W.

Parliamentary & Communications Assistant
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Izaak W.
Historical Archaeology
United Kingdom

My employment

Parliamentary & Communications Assistant
MP's Office
United Kingdom
Politics and public affairs

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A day in the life of a Parliamentary & Communications Assistant in the United Kingdom

How I found out about the job


The recruitment process

I got my first graduate job in October 2013, but my contract was potentially ending in April so I looked for other jobs online. This one was posted on w4mp, a well known political jobs website. The work was well suited to my skills and the job was with an MP I had shared values with.

My career history

October 2013 I started at Canterbury City Council in the web communications team. It has nothing to do with Historical Archaeology, but your degree does train you to think analytically and write well - both of which came in handy.
In February 2014 I started in the parliamentary office.

Where I hope to be in 5 years

It's an open question. There are a few routes I'd like to go down in the future, and I suspect the right one/right mix will pop up quite unexpectedly.

My advice to students considering work

Do well in your degree, but think really hard about what you want to do afterwards and get the relevant experience (i.e. experience that will directly translate to your job). It's the same advice everyone gives, but it's vital. You can't expect to get a job in journalism if you've not written any articles, and you won't be working in marketing if you've never done any... marketing.

I'd also look into self-teaching basic skills in areas like coding and promotional materials design. Very few people have basic skills in these areas. If it turns out that there is an opportunity to enhance your work in these areas once you've started the job, then it's much easier to learn on the job having already taken the first, quite painstaking steps to learning a new platform.

Maybe just as importantly, talk to your friends about what they're going for and how they're preparing. You can get some good ideas like that, and it'll broaden your mind to the opportunities that are open to you.

Send off emails to MPs that you really like, many of them take on interns regularly but don't necessarily advertise.

And don't undersell yourself. Apply for plenty of jobs, but if the first one that comes up is going to leave you in poverty and not progress your career goals then don't feel bad about turning it down - if you can afford to.

My advice about working in my industry

Just have a diverse skills set and grab experience. Try coding, design, data visualisation, Wordpress, social media tools. Send off emails to MPs that you really like, many of them take on interns regularly but don't necessarily advertise.

What I do

- Organise events, both small (like coffee mornings) and large (e.g. a major St George's Day Festival)
- Write press releases and liaise with the media
- Update and run the website
- Research into policy issues, especially locally
- Arrange diary appointments

Working for an MP tends to be very 'all hands on deck'. There are lots of little tasks that filter through every day.

What I like most

I don't think there is any other kind of job where you get to work with everyone and anyone in the community. I love that, and I enjoy helping to put together important campaigns that get to the point about the issues people care about.

What I like least

The natural deadline: General Election 2015!

Next steps...

If you like the look of Izaak’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Izaak a message to find out more about their career journey.

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