My internship at the Cabinet Office

Blog post by Ferzana Yesmine

Tuesday 10 October 2017

Ferzana, one of the GCS Diversity Interns, shares her experience of working at the Cabinet Office this summer

If life is a learning curve, what do you do?

Not that I am searching for some sort of maxim to cover all the incredible opportunities life presents but this summer I decided to try something new: ‘the brilliant Civil Service’. No doubt there is more to do but for my part I found the Civil Service brilliant in community spirit, inclusive of women and aiming to be brilliant in attracting more diverse entrants to GCS.

As a student it’s always worth trying something new, of course, not everything will suit; eventually, we all find our way and meaning through life – call me, ‘naïve’! With this in mind I decided to embark on a new adventure with the GCS.

So what have I been up to? Read on

I have been working with the Campaigns team to deliver government’s priorities on topical issues such as Stronger Economy, National Security and Northern Powerhouse. I attended cross-government meetings (thanks to both managers: Mike & Fayrouz), worked with Digital team in refreshing existing communication publications namely OASIS, and last but not least delivered tasks on tight deadlines. I conducted research to generate academic content that went to Ministers; after all academic doctrines underpin policy objectives. I also helped to arrange meetings, took notes and subsequently circulated to senior colleagues.

One of the highlights of my internship was being able to present a proposal to Alex Aiken, the Executive Director of Government Communications, as part of our effort to smooth out the paths for prospective interns, give them better insight and promote the internship more widely. In order to reach our target audiences, we used the OASIS framework (Objectives, Audience, Strategy, Implementation and Scoring/Evaluation) widely used throughout the Government Communications Service.

I started off the proposal by delivering the first key parts i.e. objectives as well as audiences while also delivering the last section namely ways to score or evaluate the success of our proposal. Alex Aiken not only gave us his time but also was genuinely passionate about diversity and my fellow interns and I are refining our proposal to see what can be done to make it an even better experience for future interns.

Another highlight was going into No10 for a meeting and taking a selfie right in front of the black door!

Now as I get ready to resume my studies, I still can’t believe it’s been only three weeks.