Change100: my first month
11 July 2014
by Tony Richards
I’ve been here a month and I haven’t done any photocopying and I rarely make tea (except when it’s my turn).
Often internships can be pointless (and worse, unpaid), providing the intern with little or no skills development while the tasks that no-one else wants to do are loaded onto them. This is a mutually unbeneficial situation and is not the case on Leonard Cheshire Disability's Change100 programme!
With the help of a supportive and pro-active team, I have been able to develop the skills I want and, more importantly, the confidence to go for the jobs I want.
As a policy and campaigns intern I’ve been given the opportunity to develop a slew of different skills, all highly useful in the public policy realm. These include media monitoring, policy analysis, project management, data analysis, contact sourcing, networking, conference delegacy and comprehensive research into the processes of government and lobbying.
All of these specialist skills are ones which I have acquired along with the standard skills needed for almost any job — teamwork and communication. It is a credit to this programme that it has provided me with so much skill development in such a short amount of time.
Over the course of this internship my confidence and my skills are being developed by a team who have been pro-active about getting me up to speed with the practicalities of public policy and public affairs. It’s really encouraging to know that Change100 exists to allow disabled people to develop the necessary skills they need to develop their careers.
In a job marketplace so tough it places unrealistic experience requirements on young disabled people and few opportunities to gain that experience, schemes like Change100 are a welcome breath of fresh air.
Tony Richards is an intern on Leonard Cheshire Disability's Change100 scheme.