Graduate Trainee programme now open

Connect’s 2016 graduate trainee programme is now open. For further details click here.

One of our recent graduates, Leonie Blakeway, shares her experiences below.

I started my career at Connect as a graduate trainee and haven’t looked back since. I knew that I wanted to work in public affairs and wasn’t sure where to start. That was until I heard about Connect’s grad scheme. It throws you right into the thick of it, you arrive and are a core member of a close knit team from day one.

Starting in the politics team, you learn to support each other whilst trying to navigate the daily goings on in Parliament. You spend your mornings monitoring and learning how politics really works. Political monitoring involves going through Parliamentary business, think tank reports and anything of interest in the news and sending it out to our different clients. It’s a great way to learn about our clients and the issues that they really care about and develop a specialist knowledge. I’m currently monitoring the Trade Union Bill for a group of our clients who know that they can come to me if they have any questions around any of the Clauses.

As you develop and get the hang of things you start to hone your consultancy skills and are treated as a core member of the Connect team, attending meetings in Parliament and providing briefings for clients.

You also get to work with a wide range of clients at Connect, from trade unions to charities and even plumbers. This means that no two days are the same, for example last year I spent one day organising and putting on Movember in Parliament and helping to shave some senior MPs and then had to write a briefing on the Trade Union Bill the next.

We’re a close knit team at Connect and no member of staff is too senior to engage. Our Chief Executive, Andy Sawford, is really friendly and keen to work with everyone, no matter how long they have been working in public affairs. This means that there are plenty of opportunities to work with the senior team and gain the benefit of their expertise.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the friendly atmosphere and social side of things are taken very seriously at Connect. We often go out for drinks and curries as a team and our Christmas party is legendary.

If you’re interested in applying for our Graduate Scheme 2016 please complete the application form here and send to Lora Shopova at by Friday 12th February.

Lora Shopova