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Work Experience

A Picture of Wilf

Even before I applied to study Politics at Newcastle I went out and got some work experience with my local (then prospective) MP back at home in London.  It’s easy to approach your MP through the House of Commons. I just wrote a letter.

Even though this work was unpaid, it helped with my CV, and so now I do a couple of days campaigning for my MP each holiday, to keep up the contact. Who knows how helpful it might be when I graduate – even though I have no plans to become a politician . . .


It was interesting – gripping – to observe how political campaigns work on the ground in practice. There were loads of other great young volunteers and I enjoyed the sense of being in a community striving towards a shared goal.

I have also done work experience at a literary agency, and at a magazine company. I enjoyed the former much more, as I ended up reading ‘the slush pile’ – which means the unsolicited manuscripts mailed in to agencies in remorseless quantities every day. I was very much hoping to discover the new J. K. Rowling, and achieve fame, glory and dosh.

But I didn’t.

Though I learned a lot about office life, and about how the whole universe wants to become a writer. My mum’s a writer, and she says, ‘God knows why’. At the magazine company, I lifted piles of magazines from one room to another for many hours; again, I learnt a lot about office life, and although it wasn’t for me, it didn’t seem as ghastly as people make out. That said,  it was a small magazine, with a  jolly team.

Image Source: GIPHY

Image Source: GIPHY


On each of these placements I got £150 a week to cover travel costs and lunch.

My advice would be…

  1. Don’t be afraid to apply.
  2. Keep your options open, apply to a variety of small and large firms.
  3. Pick a field that would be beneficial post-uni.
  4. You’rE not on your own, the University has a fantastic Careers Service with a variety of vacancies from internships to casual part time jobs. The Uni’s Career advisers in there are always happy to look over your CV or help you prep for an interview too!
  5. Just do it!

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