It is a little over six months since I started the JPIT internship, and terrifyingly we are already advertising for my successor (you can apply here). I thought I’d take this opportunity to reflect on my experience so far, and let you know a little bit about the scheme.
The JPIT internship is a year-long full time internship paid at the London living wage. It is advertised as (and truly is) “an opportunity to explore living out your faith in the political realm”. But such a broad description might not help people who are thinking about applying.
So what exactly do I do?
Inevitably as an intern my work is varied, but it I would split it into three main categories: communications, engagement and policy.
As intern I am given a remarkable amount of freedom with JPIT communications. I oversee our Twitter and Facebook, I blog and draft media statements, I have even done a few radio interviews. Currently, I am knee deep in a redesign of the JPIT website (to be launched soon!). In a world where organisations are expected to keep in frequent contact with their supporters, the experience I have had in communications with JPIT is invaluable. I can now write communications plans, use analytics platforms to examine user engagement, and even fiddle with the CSS of a website.
This is one of the more scary aspects of the JPIT internship, but also one of the most inspiring. As interns we are called upon to speak to and engage with external groups, with support and training. I have run several workshops, with students, young people, and our own supporters at the JPIT conference. This was something I was particularly keen to do, to push me out of my comfort zone and to enhance my public speaking capacities. It has been particularly inspiring to see how receptive people are to the message that God’s kingdom and justice today are intrinsically linked.
All of this is not to neglect the work on policy that I have undertaken as a JPIT intern. I was a politics student and that was what primarily interested me in the job. In my time here I have worked collaboratively on a number of policy projects. Excitingly, I have been given projects in which I was the main worker. In particular, I have worked on issues around the government’s Prevent policy, tax justice, and intergenerational justice. And there have been projects I have devised and pushed, such as our work on Women and the Vote, and our Advent resource.
So full time JPIT intern or part time JPIT/House of Commons intern?
If you are seriously considering the JPIT internship you will probably have realised that there is another opportunity going, that of a JPIT/House of Commons internship. Choosing between the two is not easy. I will leave it to my fellow interns to tell you about their choice and I will tell you about mine.
Here are just a few of the reasons I chose to work for JPIT full-time. I thought that being full time would give me greater opportunities to participate fully in the policy work of the team. I wanted to be able to commit myself entirely to the work of the team. Finally, I was seriously considering applying for the civil service, and I wanted the full experience of working on policy in a non-partisan manner.
For me, it turned out to be the right decision.
Come September I shall be leaving JPIT for a job in the Treasury – in part thanks to help and encouragement from my JPIT colleagues. My successor will have a wealth of opportunities which I shall be sorry to leave behind. They will also have the benefit of working with a supportive, dynamic and innovative team.
If you are interested in politics, motivated by faith, and concerned about justice this is the job for you. It is an opportunity to exercise initiative, to think creatively, and to learn essential skills for the work place. You should have a fabulous time! And there is hardly any photocopying work to do at all, I promise.
Applications for the JPIT internship are now open. You can find the job description and application form here.