Ashleigh Morris

Ashleigh Morris photo

08 Dec Ashleigh Morris

Job title: Intern for the Department of Chamber and Committee Services
Type of position: Internship
Company: House of Commons
Degree:  Politics with Professional Development BSc

Why I loved it:

“My placement was an incredible opportunity to develop the skills I have obtained throughout my degree and apply them into practical work. Working directly in the political sphere and experiencing parliamentary activity has enabled me to understand the way politics works first hand. I have been able to work on important issues that have direct impact on our society and have learnt an array of skills from those I worked alongside who have expertise in law, science, economics, policy analysis, parliamentary practice and procedure. Not only has my placement made me excited about returning to university as I feel I am much more ready to tackle my dissertation, it has also made me confident about life beyond university. It has made me aware of the opportunities that are out there and triggered a real interest in gaining a place on the House of Commons fast-stream programme.”

My best experience/greatest achievement:

“Every Wednesday I attended Committee meetings where the MPs serving on my Committee questioned a variety of witnesses to gather evidence for the inquiry. At one point I attended one on Sustainable Development Goals where the MPs questioned Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International Development. As I have a real interest in issues of international development this was an incredible opportunity. Each week brought a new panel to discuss a variety of issues and I really looked forward to these! By the end of my placement my biggest achievement was the work I have helped complete, to be published on the Committees website.”

What I learned:

“When I saw the opportunity for a Brunel student to take part in this placement I knew it was something that I would love and knew I had the skills required to do it. However, as I didn’t have work experience in politics I lacked confidence and doubted whether I could get it. My advice to anyone looking for a placement is to be assured of your abilities and if you see an opportunity that you might not think you could get, still make sure you apply. Utilise the great placement services that we have at Brunel and set up regular meetings to make sure your cover letter and CV are a representation of yourself. Practice interview questions in front of a mirror and record yourself speaking to make sure you look and sound confident, engaging and enthusiastic. This will give you the best chance to get the placement that you really want!”

About my experience/Tips for students:

“My placement was based in the Scrutiny Unit; specifically I worked for the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) which monitors the contribution made by government departments and agencies to environmental protection and sustainable development. The work I did involved policy and evidence analysis, primary and secondary research, preparing and writing briefing materials for MPs serving on the Committee as well as briefing them orally. I have also been given the opportunity to work on the Committees legacy report, which explores what the EAC has done over the last parliament, the Government’s response and ideas for what the next Government and Committee need to do.”