[:en]My name is Louise King, and I have recently moved to London to begin a 6 month internship, shared between Volonteurope and Volunteering Matters where I will be fulfilling the role of Policy and Strategy Intern.

 

I am from Scotland and grew up in Glasgow before moving to the Scottish Borders. I then completed an undergraduate degree in Politics and International Relations with French at the University of Dundee, and will graduate officially in June 2017.

 

During my degree I spent a year at Sciences Po Grenoble in France. This exchange gave me the opportunity to improve my competence in the French language, experience student life within a different education system and meet other Erasmus students from all over Europe. Living and studying in Grenoble definitely strengthened my sense of identity as a European citizen, and helped me define my ambitions and career goals. Throughout my studies I conducted research on the media’s treatment of immigrants in Britain around the UK European Membership Referendum, as well as specialising in human rights advocacy. I especially enjoyed organising and implementing advocacy campaigns as part of my degree and it is something that I would like to pursue in the future.

 
I feel really lucky to have been given the opportunity to work with Volunteering Matters and Volonteurope and I can’t wait to get more involved in all their upcoming projects. I will be supporting the Volunteering Matters Strategy Team with the development of the National Network of Volunteer Involving Agencies, a network with a membership of over 90 national agencies who work together to influence government policy, share practice and common concerns and carry out research and advocacy projects. I will also undertake research to support the development of articles, policies and papers. Furthermore, I will be supporting the development of Volunteering Matters’ public function through monitoring and recording political activity in Westminster and Holyrood, the Welsh Assembly and the devolved city regions.

 
Much of my work with the Volonteurope team will be based around the preparation of the 26th Annual Volonteurope Conference in Brussels. The conference ‘Pathways to rights: empowering young Europeans’, will explore new ways of participating and works to strengthen successful initiative and looks to be a really interesting and engaging event. I will also conduct research for the 2017 European Report on ‘Youth and Access to Rights’; support Laura de Bonfils with her international working groups looking at measuring the Social Impact of Volunteering and the working group on Participation. Much of my degree was research based and I am looking forward to using the skills that I learnt throughout university to carry out the research aspect of my job role to a high standard.

 

As my first office based job, I expect this internship to be both challenging and incredibly useful in building my skills, experience and self-confidence, which will improve my employability in the competitive third sector. Working with such a well-established organisation not only looks good on my CV but means that I will be working with experienced team members who have a wealth of knowledge from which I will be able to learn.After this internship I hope to study a Master’s Degree in the UK or Europe in environmental sustainability, focusing on local environmental change and sustainable cities. I am passionate about tackling climate change and environmental degradation, and am conscious of the urgent need to change peoples’ attitudes regarding their individual and collective responsibility to protect the environment. Therefore, after my studies I hope to achieve a position in environmental advocacy or community development. The opportunity to carry out policy research and support the planning and co-ordination of events is one that I really value as it will allow me to develop highly transferrable skills, which will leave me well equipped for the sort of roles that I will be seeking after I finish my Master’s Degree.
I am so happy to have gained such an exciting and worthwhile internship so soon after completing my studies, especially in a sector that can be so difficult to enter, and I will work hard to ensure that I become a valued team member and gain as much as possible from this opportunity.

 

Louise King

Policy and Strategy Intern[:]