Another year group of interns began work at the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, having recently graduated from universities across the country. After visits to a number of charities, educational institutes and St Beuno's Jesuit Spirituality Centre, the group began full time employment with their respective offices during the first week of October 2017.
Interns on the Faith in Politics scheme can apply to work with Christian MPs or peers in their Westminster offices, the CBCEW and CES parliamentary team, the Catholic Communications Network, CAFOD or Caritas Social Action Network. They are also given the opportunity to complete a fully funded, part-time postgraduate certificate in Catholic Social Teaching at St Mary's University, Twickenham. As well as this, the group regularly meet with Christians who work in all walks of public life, as well as those succeeding in the private sector.
Rory, an intern from last year's cohort said: "I have learnt a lot and am ready to go into the working world with confidence. I cannot imagine a better first year out of university."
This year's group has settled well into their new lives in London. Josh particularly notes the special community in which the interns live throughout their year. He says that "everybody makes an effort to make it feel like a real community." Being in a Catholic environment has also helped to "develop faith and friendship" in equal measure.
The wider support that the interns receive has a lasting effect as they develop careers. Intern from 2013, Phoebe, has greatly benefited from the networking that takes place after the internship has finished. She states that "the experience of the internship was invaluable in securing a career in the charity sector", and has since benefitted through "a wider network of support" around the scheme.
Not only does the network encourage friendships and working relations, but also provides information on job opportunities that may be of interest to the group. Phoebe now works for the Santa Marta Group to prevent human trafficking and modern slavery.
The Young Professionals Network, originally a gathering of ex-interns but now open to a range of young professionals in the Christian and charity sector, is a means not only to meet like-minded individuals, forging professions in London, but is also a space to learn, be encouraged, encourage others and help in the community.
More information about upcoming events can be found at www.facebook.com/youngprofessionalsnetwork1/.
Applications are open to become a Faith in Politics intern in the academic year beginning in September 2018. Applicants are advised to apply for more than one role, even if their university degree does not seem directly related. The main criteria for entry are an understanding of the Catholic faith, a strong vocation to social action, a flair and initiative for creative work, and a 2:1 degree or higher.
More information and the application form can be found at http://faithinpolitics.org.uk/.
For a more in-depth insight into the experiences of our interns then please read the first edition of the new, annual magazine at http://faithinpolitics.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Interns_Magazine.pdf