February 7, 2020, by abrierley
Government Communications Service Internship Reflections
By Siddharth Basu, 4th year, International Security and Terrorism MA
I had the brilliant opportunity of spending last summer interning with the communications team at the Department of Transport in London. This was apart of the Government Communications Service (GCS) internship that seeks to introduce a wide range of communication disciplines to students from diverse backgrounds.
I found out about this internship through a careers email I received and it automatically caught my eye. This seemed like a great opportunity to work right at the centre of a government department and gain insight into a rapidly changing profession.
Much of my time was spent in the External Affairs and Ministerial Visits team which is responsible for stakeholder engagement and co-coordinating visits for the ministerial team. The great thing about communications is that no two days are the same. Therefore, my role was massively varied. Some days, I was working on mapping stakeholder reactions to major policy announcement. On other days, I was in meetings with some of our most important stakeholders. I even got to lead on organising a visit to the Isle of Wight for the Rail Minister! I even got to attend a meeting at No. 10!
While you do get a lot of responsibility on this internship, it is important to note how supportive the Civil Service is. They really do care about your personal and professional development and want to see you succeed.
This internship was also a great opportunity for networking. I was able to meet officials from other departments and ask them questions about their role. You learn so much from just listening to their experiences! Therefore, try your best to put yourself out there. It can be nerve-wrecking, but most people are more than happy to have a chat over a coffee.
I learnt so much in my few weeks. The pace of the work is quick, but it will really equip you well for the long term. I would thoroughly recommend anyone interested in a career in the public sector or the civil service to really give this internship a try. You won’t know if you enjoy it until you try it!
Siddharth Basu (Politics & International Relations, International Security and Terrorism MA ) – Paid Intern at the Government Communications Service Summer programme. This is an incredibly supportive positive action programme to support work experience for students from BAME and other widening participation backgrounds. Details here: https://gcs.civilservice.gov.uk/careers/internships/