Get the inside track
“I enjoy language and am quite descriptive, but I’ve found that being a good communicator is all about being able to convey your message in as straightforward a way as possible.”
Without doubt Select Committee training, preparing clients to face intense questioning from MPs. It’s quite a surreal experience, sitting in front of a client, often someone vastly senior to you, and grilling them. We aim to make the experience as gruelling as possible so you can really go for it!
I did a couple of weeks’ work experience after university and loved it. I was applying for the civil service at the time, but I didn’t really know what I wanted to do – all I knew was that I was obsessed with politics, but didn’t want to be ‘in’ politics. I was sat with the Public Affairs team and they definitely made a huge impression on me – I think I appreciated the fact that essentially they were all political geeks like me.
I work on the Political and Regulatory team, so it’s pretty much politics every day – it’s been a bit of a busy year for us! Essentially our job is to help our clients understand and navigate government policy, and advise them on how best to communicate their objectives to politicians. You have to be a generalist to some extent, and I cover a number of sectors, but over the years I seem to have developed a speciality in transport. It’s a field I enjoy because it often involves very tangible products and outcomes.
The weekend away and Christmas party are yearly highlights. Personally though I’m a fan of the summer softball in Regents Park. Everyone works so hard so I think we all appreciate an opportunity to kick back a bit.
Getting to the point! I enjoy language and am quite descriptive, but I’ve found that being a good communicator is all about being able to convey your message in as straightforward a way as possible. It’s very easy to overcomplicate something and as soon as you do that, your message is lost.
I’ve become a lot more confident in my abilities. I’m an extremely self-critical person and it’s sometimes tough to know whether you’re hitting the right level when you work so closely with an exceptionally talented group of people, many of whom have been doing this for years. But I think that challenge actually pushes you to raise your game, at least that’s what I’ve found.
I don’t think I expected it to be such a relaxed atmosphere. Don’t get me wrong, everyone works extremely hard, but it’s not like some offices that can feel closed off and stuffy. It’s a very flat and open structure where everyone is genuinely friendly.
Easily my team. I think we pride ourselves on being slightly different to the rest of the office, mainly because of our field of work, and I love that.
Extremely friendly. It’s something that comes up a lot when people spend time working with us. I think many people expect it to be very corporate because of the work we do but that couldn’t be further from the case.
Politics is ‘always’ exciting – if not slightly exhausting! I can’t think of a single sector that has changed as much in the last year, and had such a seismic impact on business and society, as politics. It’s so volatile at the moment and is becoming increasingly relevant to every aspect of our work. Public Affairs has had to adapt and become more flexible as we try to explain the changes we’re seeing, and not just predict what we think might happen.