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IHAV Case Study Series: Felicity Oliver

By Charlotte Burchill

We asked Felicity some questions about her experience in politics and her advice for anyone seeking roles within the industry!

When and why did you first become interested in politics?


I studied politics at A Level, but if I’m being totally honest I didn’t really love at the time! I was feeling a bit lost needing a job after uni and so one night googled ‘what can I do with a law degree’. One of the options on the Law Society careers page was working for MP... I thought the job spec sounded alright and it led me to the work4MP website - the rest as they say is history!


Why did you study law and how does that help you in your job now?


I studied Law because I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do in my career and I thought it would be ‘a good degree to have’. Law has given me a good grounding and has popped up in my career unexpectedly throughout the last decade. I never in a million years would have thought while studying Constitutional Law in first year of university I’d one day be using that knowledge of how bills pass while working in Parliament!


What has shaped your career journey to date?


Being open to new opportunities. I always swore blind early in my career that I’d never work in agency. Eventually I had a change of heart and ended up working for 2.5 years in two firms with a range of big name clients, getting a huge amount of experience and making some great friends while I was at it.


What is your standout career highlight?


I was lucky during my time at UK Music (the trade body for the UK Music industry) to work on a number of successful advocacy campaigns on policy issues.


After seeing the devastating impact of the Covid lockdowns on the sector, we designed and delivered the Let The MusicPlay campaign which helped to secure the £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund from the Government – providing a vital line of support for many. It was a very cool moment going on Twitter and seeing A-List music stars retweeting the graphics that we’d been developing in the office just the week before!


What does a typical week look like in your role?


It’s really varied. I can be planning events such as our annual conference on free television to organising receptions and all the logistics this requires – working with venues, coordinating suppliers, sorting guestlists. On other days I can be going to Parliament to meet with MPs and tell them about our work while also drafting briefing documents on issues that matter to us.


Do you have one piece of advice for someone getting started in their career?


I wish someone had told me the importance of networking early in my career. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people who you think sound interesting or work for a cool company. You might think it’s cringe or what can I offer in return, but you’d be surprised how many people love a natter about their jobs and how they got there. You never know what it might lead to and the worst anyone can say is no!

If you would like to be featured in our case study series, please get in touch:

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