Nic Dakin MP

Standing up for Local People

Jessica's Blog: My Time So Far

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It’s been just over five months since I started my placement in the office and time has flown by. During my time so far I have picked up and developed so many skills that will hopefully give me a strong edge when applying to university.

Though I already had fairly decent skills on research, I feel I have really developed these skills to a level I never thought I could- this will also help me vastly for my Extended Project Qualification when college starts again. I have also increased my skills in taking vast amounts of information from multiple sources and fact checking to select the key parts of information. I have also improved my skills in writing for different audiences- from primary school children to adults.

It has been great to attend canvasing sessions- this essentially is door knocking and posting leaflets to houses within the constituency. This is something that is key, in particular in the run up to matters such as elections. Previously, I hadn’t imagined doing this and had quite frankly been rather scary until I actually started and found that I quite enjoyed it.

I have also done tasks such as putting events in Nic’s diary- this is something that needs to be done accurately or else could cause chaos. I also have spent time collecting and organising data to form spreadsheets for matters such as thank you letters. I have also drafted documents, some of which to go with the spreadsheets. Through this, I learnt important skills such as how to carry out a mail merge. On one occasion, I sat in some meetings that Nic had with constituents to see a sample of some of the matters that an MP deals with within their constituency.

 Next week I won’t be in the constituency office as I will have just returned from working in Nic’s Westminster office. This is something I am extremely excited about. Whilst there I will also take on new skills and see the work that happens within Westminster. When I am there, I will update my blog on what I’ve been up to. Some things that I’ll be doing in Westminster include a full tour, a talk in the House of Commons library and even attending the Prime Ministers Question Time. 

A few days after I return from Westminster, I will be going to Leeds to attend the first of the two courses I have signed up for, to improve my knowledge for drafting documents for Nic. The first course I’m attending is a two day course on Welfare Benefits. The following Monday, I will return to Leeds for a course on Universal Credit. These will be an interesting experience which will deepen my skills.

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