Meet our Public Affairs Diploma bursary winner

Meet our Public Affairs Diploma bursary winner

We recently awarded our bursary towards studying the CIPR Public Affairs Diploma to Gillian Reeves, Marketing Director at Catch 21 – a charitable production company that uses video to engage young people with politics.

To win the bursary, Gillian had to argue the case for undertaking a professional qualification in no more than 500 words. Her commitment to professional development and keeping up-to-date with advances in her chosen profession made her a standout candidate.

Here we find out a bit more about how she got started in public affairs….

Gillian, how did you get started in public affairs?

Gillian: I started my career in public affairs as most people do by undertaking a Parliamentary internship. I then worked for the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), an Associate All-Party Group. One of my roles was to devise communications to keep members, Parliamentarians and other stakeholders informed about our work and important transport safety issues that the organisation was highlighting.

What has been the most important learning experience of your career so far?

Gillian: It would have to be my internship working as a Research Assistant to Earl Attlee in the House of Lords in 2007. I learnt so much about how Parliament operates and saw first-hand how Bills progressed and became an Act.

What do you most love about your job?

Gillian: I love networking and meeting new people who do a similar job and have the same sort of interests.

Why did you decide to do a professional qualification?

Gillian: I have chosen to undertake a professional qualification to help further my career. It will not only give me enhanced credibility, but will support my practical experience. I believe it is important to continue to study and learn about the latest thinking, and to refresh my existing knowledge and skills.

What’s the best work-related publication/book you’ve ever read and why?

Gillian: It has to be ‘How to be an MP’ by Paul Flynn (Biteback Publishing, 2012). The book is entertaining and informative. As it is written by a current long-term sitting MP, it gives a fascinating insight into MPs in the House of Commons during the Coalition. In order to influence people’s decisions you need to understand their personalities, what motives them in their day-to-day work and recognise what their career aims are.

Thats great Gillian many thanks and I hope that you enjoy the course !