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My internship with I have a voice

Maya Carter

BA Education, Culture, and Society, Goldsmiths, University of London

Internships are a great way to obtain new skills, applied knowledge, and insight into the working world. This spring, I had the opportunity to intern with I Have a Voice CiC, where I worked on social-action campaigns to initiate social and political change.

When I discovered I Have A Voice through my university's career service, I knew it offered an invaluable opportunity to learn more about the world of policy, public affairs, and social action. As someone from an education and social science background looking to enter the world of policy and research, an internship at I Have a Voice allowed me to bridge the gap between my current knowledge and my career goals.

A typical day in the life of an intern at I Have a Voice is varied, engaging, and educational. From research and analysis to public affairs and press, the wide range of processes associated with launching a social action campaign mean that you can shape your experience to align with your interests. Every task is engaging, but my favourite activities included attending our in-person social action day, writing a press release to promote the Justice 4 You campaign, and collaboratively working on the Politics 4 All research report.

I always found the best way to organise my time was to create a to-do list at the start of the day. Here is what a typical day looked like at IHAV:

‘Politics 4All’, the focus for I Have A Voice’s summer activity programme, was one of the main projects I worked on. With young people voting at consistently lower rates than other age groups, Politics 4 all is a youth-led campaign aiming to understand and address the barriers young people face to political participation.

To explore this question, we surveyed 124 of our peers in schools, universities, and colleges, asking them about their current political knowledge, political literacy skills learned in school, and how they might like to increase their political literacy, and collecting data on gender, ethnicity, age, location, and institute-type.

We collectively analysed the data to draw qualitative and quantitative insights on the factors impacting young people’s political participation. We created a research report detailing our findings and the next stage of the campaign will focus on communicating our findings with key influencers and decision-makers with the intention to initiate social and political change.

The most important lesson I learned at I Have a Voice is that making social and political change is more accessible than you think. Whether you decide to enter a career in politics or want to see change in your local area, it is important to know that you can influence social and political decisions beyond just voting. From campaigning and activism, to volunteering and taking social action in your local community, there are so many ways to make positive changes. Writing to your MP is a great place to start and if there is a social or political issue you care about, don’t be afraid to write to your MP and ask them to address it. Let them know why that issue is important and think of tangible changes you would like to see.

An internship at I Have a Voice equipped me with the skills, knowledge, and experience to confidently take the first steps in my intended career. This summer, I Have a Voice is running a work experience programme offering participants the opportunity to launch the Politics 4 All report. Opportunities include creating social media content, seeking out partnerships, reaching out to MPs, learning from campaigning and sector specialists and more. Whether you are looking to enter a career in public affairs and politics or are exploring your options, I Have a Voice’s summer programme offers an excellent opportunity to develop your skills in social change, campaigning, and politics.

If you would like to learn more about public affairs and politics, develop transferable skills and experience for your C.V., and meet other socially engaged young people, sign up using this link!

IHAV’s Summer Programme will commence on Tuesday 25th July at 2pm via Teams and will run throughout July and August. The sessions will end with the launch of our Politics 4 All report. For more information please follow our social media and keep up to date with our newsletter!

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