This internship involves working closely with Greg Pope, Head of Parliamentary Relations at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference and with the public affairs team of the Catholic Education Service (CES).
Working with Greg, the intern will experience a mixture of policy and parliamentary work including meeting MPs/Peers and producing parliamentary briefings.
In addition, the intern will also be assisting with public affairs work for the CES and will gain public relations and project management experience on education policy issues.
It will suit a candidate with a keen interest in current affairs and the aim is to provide experience relevant to someone who wishes to work in either public affairs or Parliament in the future.
“ Everyone was so encouraging and helpful, and I learned an extraordinary amount throughout the year. ”
The Catholic Parliamentary Internship was one of the best years of my life.
In my year on the Catholic Parliamentary Internship I worked for Greg Pope in the public affairs teams of the Bishops’ Conference and the Catholic Education Service. As a music graduate, I had never done anything like this before, but it quickly went from being a daunting challenge to a hugely exciting journey. I felt like a part of the team from day one. Everyone was so encouraging and helpful, and I learned an extraordinary amount throughout the year – as well as having a lot of fun along the way!
The trips to Brussels and Rome were a once in a lifetime opportunity. To be able to get such a close view of how the European Parliament and the Vatican work was a chance like no other, and both were truly unforgettable.
As well as the mental stimulation gained through my placement and through the studies at Heythrop College, the internship was also spiritually nourishing, and it was this that really helped to make the scheme such a unique and special year.
The Catholic Parliamentary Internship opened doors I never thought I’d be able to walk through, and I’m now working on domestic policy issues for the Catholic Church in their department of Responsibility and Citizenship. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the fantastic experience I gained on the scheme.
“ My time on the scheme was a lot of hard work and very busy, but it was a fantastic year. It has opened up so many opportunities for me and I can’t speak highly enough of it. ”
I enjoyed every minute of my time on the scheme and I thrived on the fast paced, packed schedule that comes with it. In my work I was given a great deal of responsibility and was trusted to complete high level tasks and take on my own projects. I loved the thrill of being able to manage small campaigns or larger scale events and being able to see them progress from beginning to end; knowing that my contribution to the office was really worthwhile.
The range of people that the scheme helps you to meet and work with is truly phenomenal; from MPs and peers to news broadcasters and CEOs. During the year we were so lucky to get to meet such high profile professionals and we were always so humbled that they gave their time to meet us and get to know us.
The network of contacts that I was able to build throughout the year has proven invaluable to me in furthering my career.
My time on the scheme was a lot of hard work and very busy, but it was a fantastic year. It has opened up so many opportunities for me and I can’t speak highly enough of it.
I now work in the Directorate Team at CAFOD and in the future I would like to further a career in Communications / PR work.
“ In the first two months of the internship, I have been very impressed by the variety of experiences and people we have encountered. ”
In the first two months of the internship, I have been very impressed by the variety of experiences and people we have encountered. Before starting the internship, I knew we would visit Brussels and Rome over the course of the year, but I hadn’t appreciated how the trips and meetings organised on a weekly basis would challenge me to think about current affairs in a completely different way. From breakfasts with MPs to visits to working ports, the internship offers anyone with an interest in current affairs a unique opportunity to understand how society and politics interact with each other.
The ethics classes at Heythrop College and the spiritual support offered compliment these experiences by providing a space for reflection, discussion and prayer throughout the internship.
With my role split between the Catholic Bishops’ Conference parliamentary team and the Catholic Education Service, every working day is different, with my responsibilities including setting up and attending meetings with MPs and peers, writing policy briefings and press releases, and researching current legislation working its way through Parliament.
The nature of my role means I am not only working in public affairs, but I am also gaining invaluable experience in policy work, both in the education sector and across a number of domestic and international issues in my work for the Bishops’ Conference.
Of course each intern says their job is the best, but I really feel the support and warm welcome I received from the rest of my team, coupled with the opportunity to work on policy issues from the future of faith schools in this country to the refugee crisis, makes this position particularly suitable for anyone interested in understanding current affairs and civil society inside and out of Westminster.