Case Study: Magdalena Rachubinska
Internship: Leeds City Council
My internship at the Leeds City Council was an exciting opportunity to get some work experience and discover how politics works at the regional level.
It was a very interesting three weeks that provided me with the practical knowledge of local government structures and it is something one is not being taught at university.
I would especially recommend it to students, who, like me, thought that important political decisions come from Westminster or the European Union, when, in fact, what affects us the most comes from our local city council.
I was working in the Liberal Democrats Group Support Office with a number of administrative and support staff. At this particular time of the year (February), everyone's work is concerned with preparations for the Full Council Meeting when the project for the Leeds City Council budget for the following year has to be voted on.
My job was to help with putting together a Council Pack for the Lib Dem Councillors. This included briefing notes on the budget highlights, speeches of the opposition leaders, other party's amendments to the budget, White Paper motions, and other issues relevant to the council meeting.
I also had to provide research and media support, attend meetings and prepare short concise reports. Probably the most challenging task I got was working on the budget speech by the Joint Leader of Leeds City Council that was to be delivered at the Full Council Meeting. It was really rewarding when I heard the Councilor reading out loud the paragraphs that I had written.
It was definitely a valuable experience, which gave me a sense of what a real job in politics looks like. I also became more aware of how important the local political structures are and that the student community should probably engage more in the work of their local council.