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Going Conservative

Joseph

Experience Information

Employer: Hampstead and Kilburn Conservatives
Job Title: Intern
Major: International Relations
Received Credit?: Yes
Paid?: No

Description of the Organization

I worked at the Conservative office for the borough of Hampstead and Kilburn which deals with and organizes all campaigning efforts in that burrow. I also worked at the Conservative Central Office for two weeks while my supervisor was on holiday. Central Office is charged with all campaigning efforts for the Conservative Party in England.

Description of the Tasks/Projects Completed

I completed a variety of tasks during my internship, including entering in mark registers (datasheets that tell us who voted in the voting referendum) into an electronic database, adjusting electorate data on the Merlin 2 databases according to survey answers, arranging conservative newsletters on InDesign, and helping mass printing and folding newsletters with a folding machine. These direct mail newsletters are sent to thousands of voters in constituency. I also attended and helped out at a number of events where Members of Parliament would discuss key issues with paying members of the Party. At Central Office I organized an excel sheet with 4,000 names and address into something that could be used to send out letters to, I researched potential charities that MPs could possibly make an appearance at for publicity. I also made an excel sheet of all the underground and overground tube stations in London, organizing them into their constituencies and wards.

Skills/Knowledge Gained Through The Experience

I gained experience creating databases and organizing data. In doing so I learned a lot about domestic politics in England and basic campaign methods. I learned from surveys and other means how what political issues are more important in England compared to the United States. Social issues are not debated between the Parties like they are in the US. This has caused confusion for Americans over what English Parties correspond with American ones. I got the chance to explore London during this experience and gained much confidence on how to find my way around the city.

Favorite Part of the Experience

My favorite part of the internship was the overall experience of living and working in a foreign city. I really enjoyed going to events and seeing English MPs address members of the Conservative Party and how they reacted. I was also invited to a Gentlemens Club by the councilor of the constituency. The dress code was suit jacket and tie. There were pictures of old club members around, it was very posh.

How the Experience Influenced Future Career Goals

I wanted to test the waters to see if I wanted a political career, and this was an excellent way to explore that option. This experience made me more aware of the importance of getting involved in my community. There are many opportunities to do so in the U.S., and I plan on exploring those options. I do have an interest in non-profit organizations as well after this experience.

All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of GVSU.

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