Excitement and anticipation are emotions that first come to mind when I think about the experience that awaits me. On 31 January 2017 I was thrilled to receive an email advising me that my application to partake in the Hansard Scholars’ Programme had been approved. This eight week program will see me travel to London during May – July to undertake an internship with a Member of the British Parliament, as well as engage in study delivered through the London School of Economics and Political Science.
As a third-year student studying a Bachelor of Business with double majors in Public Relations and Management, I originally chose QUT due to its ‘real world’ approach and triple crown international accreditation. Never did I ever consider how rich, real world and in depth my education with QUT would indeed be. I have been very lucky over the past few years to have had the ability to learn, interact and connect with QUT’s extensive wealth of academics and industry professionals. Particularly, I have relished my time as a student within the School of AMPR. I’ve always had aspirations of taking my studies international however I never even considered that I would one day get the chance to learn and engage at the centre of British politics in London.
Throughout my studies, I have been engaged in part time employment that has supported my study and career aspirations. Albeit, I have probably worked too much, juggling a full-time study load and two-part time jobs for much of it. However, I don’t regret any of this experience. Spanning my undergraduate degree, I have held a managerial role in a retail environment, and over the past 18 months, I have had the privilege of working in the Government sector. These positions have instilled in me proficiencies of time management, the ability to work under pressure and the ability to lead a successful team. My current position, where I work for and alongside an elected representative, has really ignited within myself an immense allure and interest for government relations, politics, communications and public relations as future career paths. I have had the opportunity to observe the positive effect that strong and effective representation has on a community. Further, my experience as a staffer has positively influenced my tertiary education, adding another dimension and experience to my “real world” degree. My passion, combined with my experience as a PR student at QUT, drove me to apply for a position in the Hansard Scholars’ Programme, an experience that will see me live, work and study in the heart of London, at the centre of British politics.
I am truly eager to learn and gain experience in a whole new political system that is so diverse to Australia’s system of government. Given the country’s current political situation, I feel as though I will receive an especially unique experience in my internship. I will also be lucky enough to be in London as the United Kingdom goes to the polls. I believe that this involvement will provide me with a wealth of knowledge and further practical experience that will assist me no matter what career path I embark on post-graduation. I am also very keen to meet other likeminded individuals who will hail from all corners of the world and embark with them on an 8 week journey to really explore our passion for government and politics, and gain real world practical experience. Travel has always been a passion of mine so I am able to do all of this whilst living in one of the world’s most thriving cities!
The biggest piece of advice that I could pass on to others is to engage, work, intern and involve yourself in the industry that takes your passion. Whilst QUT offers an extremely ‘real world’ approach to learning, it is critical to ensure you maximize your opportunities and really get involved to make sure your studies are taking you exactly where you want them to. There is nothing sadder than hearing graduates despise their occupation after studying long and hard (having spent lots of money!) over at least three years. By really getting involved with your chosen field of employment early on, you essentially can get a ‘head start’ and really maximise connections and further your real-world learning. To anyone who thinks they won’t get accepted for a job, internship or overseas study experience they desire – give it your all and apply for whatever you’re interested in. QUT offers a wealth of support to assist you in making applications, building your CV and making yourself ‘career ready’. You’ve got nothing to lose and if you’re lucky enough like me, you’ll be much richer in experience for it and interning and studying overseas.