When I arrived at LSE last September, my LSE Parliamentary Internship application was high on my priority list.
A friend of mine, a previous LSE Parliamentary Intern, highly recommended the scheme, so I was keen on getting into the programme. The internship was a perfect addition to my studies since Westminster is the place where most of the issues we discuss theoretically in the classroom are actually debated and shaped. In addition, it was a great way of having an exciting job which supplemented my finances to live in London.
Although my internship experience was marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, which required working remotely instead of being in Westminster, I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to work for Mark Logan MP for Bolton North East (Greater Manchester area). After applying via LSE Careers for the position in Mark’s office, I was shortlisted and got an invitation for an online interview. It was the first time I had been interviewed for a job abroad in English, and it frightened me a bit to compete with native speakers. Nevertheless, language was not an impediment and I was later told that my previous experience in German politics was the decisive factor in me getting the internship.
At the beginning of my job, I needed to get familiar with the platform Caseworker.mp to help manage the inbox and answer policy inquiries. Due to the remoteness of my internship, I was working independently while always being able to contact the policy worker in the office. Most inquiries (and complaints) were related to the Government’s handling of the pandemic, which required me to stay up to date in British politics. I also conducted research for Mark’s work in the Science and Technology Committee.
Every Monday, we had a virtual team meeting that I could attend, helping me get to know my colleagues from Westminster and the Bolton offices. It was always a collegial atmosphere, and I had the chance to ask questions and talk to Mark directly. He showed a great interest in German politics, which is why he asked me to give a short presentation on the newly elected CDU leader and its repercussions on the upcoming general election as well as German-British cooperation. I was overwhelmed by the interest of the entire team and Mark’s profound questions, making this one of my highlights during the internship.
The office was flexible in agreeing an end to the internship; hence, I was able to work from December till March for 15 hours and continued to work for only one day a week before terminating my internship in April. The remote nature of my internship also allowed me to work from Germany the time I stayed there, being again very flexible geographically. My personal highlight of the internship was my visit to Westminster in the summer; finally meeting Mark, getting a tour in the Houses of Parliament, eating British cuisine for lunch, and most importantly, having a chat in person – that is so different from zoom calls.
I can recommend the internship wholeheartedly to those students interested in British politics who are keen to help in day-to-day business in parliament, working towards some exciting projects. This experience definitely helped me better understand British working culture, get more confident in English letter writing, and was a welcomed alternation with my student life at LSE.