Focus on Heloise Plumley - External Affairs Intern at Heelis
After completing my MSc in Comparative Public Policy I needed to do two things: get first-hand experience of working in public affairs to decide more clearly where exactly I wanted to focus my career effort e.g. NGO, government or lobby group, and accumulate practical experience of working in public affairs to bolster my CV.
My internship with the External Affairs team allowed me to gain first-hand practical experience of parliamentary and legislative matters and develop my knowledge of niche issues, such as agricultural policy and biodiversity. It also gave me a chance to learn more about what it is like to work in public/parliamentary affairs with a leading NGO. I was able to make several useful career contacts and shadow other members of staff to learn about their jobs and what they entailed.
In January, having finished with the National Trust in December, I secured an internship with a Public Affairs agency in London. I know for certain that they took me on because of the work I had done with the Trust and they were impressed that I had participated in preparing responses to government consultations. There is no doubt that without the experience and exposure to government affairs that I got with The National Trust that I would not have secured my internship in London. Following my 3 month internship with them, they have offered me a full-time job so I have much to thank the Trust for! The National Trust internship was the first step on my career ladder and has helped me make the transition from student to professional.