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Career Summary:

I’ve worked in and around Westminster for 9 years: as policy researcher at the Department for Work and Pensions, head of skills policy for think tank Policy Connect, and in public affairs for social enterprise Horsesmouth. I joined Save the Children as parliamentary adviser in 2009.

Academic/Professional Qualifications:

Degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, Oxford University

How did you get into public affairs?

I‘ve worked in policy and political roles since graduating. The government internship I did whilst at university was helpful in getting my first job at the DWP. I got into Policy Connect by responding to an online advert, and was then headhunted for Horsesmouth. I applied for the Save the Children role after seeing it advertised.

What does your current role entail on a day to day basis?

Meeting politicians and special advisers to discuss development and foreign policy issues, briefing MPs ahead of debates, advising colleagues on strategic approach to campaigns.

What do you enjoy about working in public affairs?

I like constantly being in and out of parliament, not being stuck behind a desk. I’m a politics geek so like following all the political gossip and trends.

What skills and characteristics are most important in your job?

Communication skills – oral and written – are critical. Being able to distill vast amounts of complex information into intelligible key messages. Stamina, commitment, drive – we work pretty long hours! Confidence and interpersonal skills are important too.

How relevant is Degree subject for a public affairs career?

It’s not critical I think. My PPE degree was relevant in parts but I think I could do just as good a job if I’d studied something unrelated.

If you could timetravel back to your final year at University, what career advice would you give yourself?

Chill out – it’s totally normal not to have a career plan when you’re 20!

Read Flora Alexanders's Public Affairs Profile where she answers questions including: Is public affairs growing or decreasing in importance within your organisation? What are the differences between working in policy/public affairs for a think-tank versus a charity? What are the challenges for the charity sector of the public affairs industry over the next five years?

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