Subject of study: BA Politics / MRes International Environmental Policy and Politics
Year of graduation: 2011
Current position: Senior Researcher - Crime and Policing, Greater London Authority Conservatives
What are you doing now?
I am a Senior Researcher and Advisor to Conservative members of the London Assembly on crime and policing, which includes advising them on policy and helping attract media attention.
What did you find most valuable about your course at Westminster? How did the skills you learnt during your degree help you to shape your career?
My degree provided me with a mindset to assess politics and ensure policy is presented in an understandable way. The most valuable part was the contact I had with actual practitioners, alongside developing a wider understanding of political philosophy and how this influences everyday politics.
What was the best thing about being a student in London?
I loved studying in central London because you're at the centre of everything – and all of the key institutions a political student would love to access are only a few tube stops away.
What extra-curricular activities did you participate in that enhanced your time at the University?
I undertook an internship as part of my undergraduate degree – but my degree also enabled me to begin making contacts which have remained valuable throughout my career.
What advice would you give to someone thinking for pursuing a similar career?
Don't over think where you're going to be when you finish your degree - working in politics is very fluid, and it is hard to follow a defined path.
Get to know your peers, as more likely than not they'll be working alongside you in some form at a later date - be that in journalism, policy or somewhere else. The contacts you make can be as important as your education.
Why would you recommend Westminster as a place to study?
Since leaving the University of Westminster I've worked as an advisor to politicians, a broadcast spokesman for a pressure group and as a specialist in crisis media communications for the police. I've had a varied career so far, but often return to the skills I learnt around critically evaluating information while at UoW. It's great doing a job which puts you at the centre of the news agenda, and I would say a highlight has certainly been either working on a number of high profile policing issues a few years ago such as Plebgate, or working on legislation which eventually became law while working in Parliament as a Researcher.