As part of SV work experience week this June, I was given the opportunity to shadow Derek Mackay MSP, the Scottish Government’s Finance Secretary, and those who work in his constituency office in Renfrew.
As someone who has a keen interest in Scottish politics and politics in general, I relished the chance of getting a glimpse into the daily life of an MSP and a Government Minister. I learned valuable office skills by carrying out various tasks which are common in politician’s offices: scanning local press into a database and then compiling statistics, folding and sending letters to constituents and even drafting and publishing press releases on Mr Mackay’s behalf.
The highlight of the week was a visit to the Scottish Parliament, where I met the Minister’s team in Edinburgh, attended First Minister’s Questions and witnessed Mr Mackay give a statement. I was also very lucky to be taken on a tour of the chamber by Inverclyde MSP Stuart McMillan, who showed me around and imparted his knowledge and advice on pursuing a career in politics.
On Friday, I joined Mr Mackay for a tour of Paisley Museum, which is currently being renovated, and then we went to Renfrewshire House where we attended a short ceremony of the raising of the Armed Forces Day flag. Here I met the Provost and Leader of Renfrewshire Council, Councillor Nicolson.
Overall, it was a very insightful experience where I gained a deeper understanding of the great amount of work it takes to be a successful politician, as well as what it is like working for one. I can gladly say that this experience has encouraged me to pursue a career in politics as the week was a very interesting and engaging one.