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Career Summary:

Internships in Parliament and gaining valuable experience of how the day to day running of Westminster works. Briefly worked for the Third Sector and then used my Westminster knowledge to become a lobbyist for the CLA. At the CLA, I worked primarily in Westminster but some of my job involved supporting our Welsh office and being based in Cardiff a few days per month. At JBP I will work a wide range of clients providing political and communication analysis and advice.

Academic/Professional Qualifications:

Went to University but ended up spending my University days in Westminster, therefore not completing my degree.

How did you get into Public Affairs? (And what was your first job?)

Internship and assistant to Alan Keen MP, this was done after campaigning for his election as MP.

What did your role at the CLA entail on a day to day basis?

Political monitoring, preparing evidence for committees, meeting key stakeholders, engaging with membership and briefing MPs.

What skills and characteristics are most important in your job?

Marinating good relations with a huge variety of stakeholders, whether it is organizations that you work with or MPs office. A strong understanding of the Parliamentary process.

What do you enjoy about working in public affairs?

Engaging with stakeholders and putting a strong policy message across to the relevant stakeholders.

How important is political party involvement to a public affairs career?

I think political party involvement is useful but when working in the Public Affairs sector it is vital that you are subjective and can see policy angles from all sides of the spectrum.

Having worked in the House of Commons, what advice would you give to anyone seeking to move from an MP’s office into a public affairs or policy role?

Advice that lots of people would offer, my roles within the Commons were very junior but staying in the Commons too long can hinder a lot of people’s progress rather than benefit. Do your stint, gain the knowledge and then move into public affairs.

How relevant is Degree subject for a public affairs career?

In my case non-existent. It probably hinders my application when I go for jobs with bigger organization.

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

Finish it…

Read James Lancaster's Public Affairs Profile where he answers questions including: How does lobbying the National Assembly of Wales differ from Westminster? Which campaign/issue are you most proud to have worked on? What’s your prediction for the next General Election result?

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