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Career Summary

Nick was an Account Director at Heathcroft Communications before it was acquired by Teneo in February 2013. He started his career working in the European Parliament for an MEP and since gained considerable years of experience of public affairs work with previous roles at Financial Dynamics (FD) and Gardant Communications. A former County Councillor and National Chairman of Conservative Future, Nick has worked on a number of Parliamentary campaigns and sits on the board of the Conservative Co-Operative Movement. He is also a Trustee of ‘United in the Community’ - a sports and educational charity.

What academic/professional qualifications do you have?

BA Politics, University of Essex

How did you get into Public Affairs?

I had just graduated from University and needed to satisfy my keen interest in politics. Public Affairs seemed the natural choice and I was very lucky that FD had a job on offer.

What skills and characteristics are most important for a career in Public Affairs?

You need a genuine interest in politics and current affairs with strong writing and people skills. It is the art of persuasion after all.

What was the best piece of advice you were given when trying to break into Public Affairs?

I never really had any advice. Public Affairs just seemed the obvious choice having done my early stints with the Conservative Party.

My advice for anyone looking to go into consultancy? Decide what policy areas most interest you, log onto the APPC website and take look at the sort of companies and organisations PA agencies are representing.

What is it about working in a consultancy that most appeals to you?

The potential to cover 3 or 4 very different policy areas a day, 5 days a week, the opportunity to meet interesting people – and the privilege of spending as much time as possible in Westminster.

Having been National Chairman of Conservative Future as well as a Councillor, how helpful do you think an active party involvement has been to your career?

There are plenty of people who have carved out very successful careers without have any formal links or experience with any particular party. A good lobbyist needs to have a thorough understanding of the political process matched with a clear grasp of how policy impacts a client’s business or organisation.

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

To have worried less about my post-grad life and taken more advantage of student life.

What do you think will be the biggest change to Public Affairs over the next five years?

With the new lobbying register soon to be enforced I can see the industry coming under further pressure very soon. There are too many holes in it. It is a shame as there are some excellent people with integrity doing fantastic work in our industry. We need to do much more to address the various misconceptions of what it is we actually do.

Read Nick Vaughan’s Public Affairs Profile where he answers questions including: What campaign/issue are you most proud to have worked on? What do you enjoy about working in public affairs? What’s your prediction for the 2015 General Election?

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