Daniel - Governance and Elections

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I am studying BA Business and Management at the University of Leeds heading into my final year of study. I decided to apply for this internship because I was looking to gain experience in the workplace and have a greater idea of my future career path before leaving university. 

Alongside my interest in my own personal development, the elections internship really stood out to me as it matched my strengths and working style whilst being a great opportunity to learn how Electoral Services operate and what it’s like to work in local government. During my 12 weeks here, I feel as though I have gotten what I wanted out of the internship and more, having been introduced to new opportunities within the elections team and the council as a whole. My main role was to create process notes and flow charts for key property processes that facilitate the electoral register to be used as a toolkit for the rest of the department to refer to. This meant that I had to demonstrate critical thinking in terms of understanding the processes and how to present them in a methodical and accessible way. This was a challenging experience due to the time frame of my internship, but I am proud of my efforts of seeing a project through start to finish and enjoyed communicating with my team. 

In addition, I have felt part of the team since my first week through shadowing roles across the department, assisting with key tasks, attending team and committee meetings, and being invited to attend a polling station during a by-election. All these experiences have been valuable in terms of the skills and knowledge I have acquired surrounding electoral duties and what effective management of a team looks like. 

Whilst working for the elections team, myself, and the other interns were given a project relating to how the cost-of-living crisis has impacted volunteering in West Suffolk. We created multiple surveys which we sent out to volunteering organisations, the public and West Suffolk employees, to find out about volunteering experiences within the council and across the district. We also promoted volunteering around West Suffolk through setting up market stalls in Bury St Edmunds and Mildenhall. This was a challenging yet rewarding project and a great way to represent West Suffolk Council in the community.

I have found my experience at the council extremely beneficial in terms of my personal development and future career.