Laura Blumenthal works for the Government as a Parlimentary Assistant in the House of Commons. Here she shares her experiences as to how she secured a coveted role at Westminster and what her day to day working entails.
Your Education in a nutshell
In 2011 I graduated from the University of Leicester in English BA(Hons) and in summer 2013 I finished an MSc in International Public Policy at University College London.
What three words best describe your job?
Unpredictable, exciting, surreal.
In brief, tell us a little bit about your job – what it entails and how it fits into the overall structure of the business.
As an assistant I could be doing anything! This could mean delivering a thank you gift to the Prime Minister in the morning to accounting the office finances in the afternoon.
Tell us a little bit about how you got into your current position.
After my MSc I wanted to learn more about the day-to-day workings of parliament as it was a bit of a mystery to me. I have learnt a lot although there is always something new and unpredictable around the corner.
What was the application process like for your role/company?
I found the role listed on www.w4mp.org. It’s an excellent website if you want to find a job working for an MP. I had an interview and trial day. Written tests are also popular for roles with MPs.
What have been the most interesting projects on which you have worked?
In March we had schoolgirls from all over the country descend on Westminster for International Women’s Day. We organised tours of the Palace and No 10 for them as well as debates and speeches from supportive businesses and the Speaker.
What is the best thing about your job?
It’s incredibly varied and I get to meet lots of interesting people leading in their fields and industries.
And the less good…?
When so much is going on things do go wrong, so last minute meeting cancellations are a bit stressful.
What skills, qualities and experiences do you believe are essential for your role?
You need to know how to prioritise and cope with a large workload. Strong communication skills and the ability to talk to anyone is important. Adaptability is crucial and a sense of humour is vital.
What top advice/ tips would you give to someone looking to go into this sector/job?
Get some work experience in your MP’s office, prove that you can prioritise and adapt well. Try to show on your CV your interest in politics and know what campaigns and issues the Member has been working on.
Your typical day…
Get up @… 6am
My transport to work is… Train
Journey time is… 1h15m
Arrive at work @... 8.45am
My morning consists of… Making sure my Member is set for the day.
Lunch is @... We usually work through our lunch break
My afternoon consists of… Setting up meetings and running all over the parliamentary estate.
Leave the office @ around… 5.30pm
Evening meal @ around... 7.45pm
And finally head to bed around … 11.30pm
And finally…Your bright life
Optimist or pessimist? Optimist
Most proud of… Being elected as a town councillor
Would like to meet? Richard Branson
Success is… Enabling yourself and others to fulfil their potential
Best advice you have ever received… If you want inclusion, include yourself
Personal motto… Dreams don’t work unless you do
Favourite hour of the day… 9.00am. The first hour whizzes by.
Most inspired by... People doings things that are out of the ordinary e.g. starting their own business, volunteering, being artistic.
You can check out Laura's LinkedIn profile just here