My name is Scott and I graduated from
Exeter in 2014 and I now work as an Office Manager for an MP. It’s a fabulous
job and it’s one that I definitely am better at doing because of the fact that
I’ve done learning from work experience. I think learning from work experience is
really important because if you do it when you’re at university you can use it
as sort of a dry run for your first graduate job when you graduate. It’s
really important that you use the experience to reflect on what you’re
good at as well as the things that you’re not so good at. I thought I was a
good writer until I had to work for an MP. At work I had to write concisely and
clearly, where as at university you tend to pad out your words a bit more. I
also found out that I was quite good at organising myself and organising my time,
which is something that I wasn’t so good at, at university. So learning those
sorts of key skills and reflecting on what you’re good at is really important.
Doing that with the support of the staff at Exeter is really helpful. I first
started making decisions about what I wanted to do when I was very young. I got
into politics really early. I was delivering leaflets from a very young
age, always interested in the news and seeing what’s in the paper and I thought
I want to be at the centre of this. So I started delivering leaflets, got to
know a few people working in politics and some local MPs and decided pretty
early on that Parliament would be a fun place to work. So the transition for me
from university to work was quite easy because I actually got offered a job by
the MP who I did a work experience module with at university. Which is
fantastic, not least because it meant I didn’t have to spend my entire third year
filling out grad schemes, but it meant that I went back to a workplace where I
was familiar with, I could fit back in really easily. So I’d advise anyone
who enjoyed their placement to see if they will offer them a job after
university because it saves so much time, and makes that transition to your first
job really helpful. In terms of advice for people I would say make sure
that you demonstrate attention to detail, that you’re a good writer and that you care about whatever it is you’re applying for.
Whatever that may be. Lots of CVs look the same and if you can
demonstrate you really care about something, that makes a real difference.
If you have a passion and can show that you’ve actually done something to
try and achieve what you care about, I think that’s really powerful. I would
just give one plug to people and say you should think about working in politics.
No other career, or few other careers, give you the ability to enact change in
the things you care about and give you access to the levers you need to make
change as politics does. It’s a very rewarding job and definitely worth doing.