My work experience at the National Assembly for Wales By Tooba Naqvi

Where do I even begin? It was always a dream of mine to be working in such a formal yet friendly environment. After working in the National Assembly for Wales for 5 days, I can say that the dream of mine has been fulfilled. I was so lucky to have to have met Mari Wyn Gooberman last year on a school trip to the Senedd, who suggested I come to the Assembly for work experience which I was delighted to hear.

I applied for work experience hoping for the best and before I knew it, I got an amazing response telling me that I was welcome to come to work. I chose to be in two departments, the Communications department and the Policy and Legislation Office. I was looking to gain not only the knowledge of how laws are passed and how the policies of the Assembly’s work, but I was also very intrigued to know how the communication system of the Assembly works too.

On my first day, I was welcomed very warmly, by Daniel at the Tŷ Hywel reception. He gave me a little bit of an insight of what I was going to be doing for the rest of the week and how everything was going to work out. Janette introduced me to the whole team of Communications and I felt very comfortable with the way the staff treated me and I felt like a member of the team straight away.

My day in the office started off by a talk from Robert Orr and Josh Paines about Publications and Graphic Design. They talked to me about the publications of the Senedd and how they have to really truly reflect what the National Assembly for Wales is about with every piece of publication they produce. From things as little as colour palettes to actual leaflet designing I realised that everything was so important and had to be managed well.

I would say that my most favourite part of working in the Communications department was on Friday. I had the honour to meet Aled Roberts AM and Keith Davies AM personally and it was such a delight meeting them. I highly enjoyed the question time style discussion in Siambr Hywel, where sixth formers from different Welsh schools came in and debated on a variety of topics. From whether Scotland should get to keep the pound currency if it separated from the UK, to whether Wales should get independence in the future. I really did enjoy it all.

In the Policy and Legislation Office I met some very inspirational people too and it was great working alongside them as their colleague. Rhea from the office showed me around and introduced me to the entire team. She was so friendly and bought me a Latte too on my first day which is always a plus. I was lucky enough to be able to actually go in to the debating chamber and see the Mace in real and also visit the committee rooms.

I got the chance to help Linda set up the committee rooms for Lord Hall and the rest of the members who came in to talk about the future outlook for the media in Wales.

I would say that my main interest was how Bills are turned in to Acts and the different procedures like The Royal Assent procedure play a role in to the law making. Also going in to the Table Office I learnt a lot about what it is and how it’s significant to the AMs. Adam really helped me understand what the Table Office is all about and gave me a lot of good advice about the variety of jobs I could do within the political field I want to work in. I attended a few Plenary sessions and committee meetings.

Overall, I would say that my experience in the National Assembly for Wales has been so beneficial for me and has definitely given me a really good insight to the political career I want to pursue in the future. I met some very inspirational and friendly people whilst I was there. I have gained so much advice from my colleagues which will guide me in the upcoming years.

I just want to thank all my colleagues for being so nice and making my time so memorable in the National Assembly for Wales.

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