by Amina Khatan
Choosing a degree in politics naturally meant I was inclined towards the world of activism and campaigns. My first biggest opportunity struck with an internship at the Institute of Public Policy Research, where I was based for five months, researching major social issues. My experience there was fantastic; an excellent platform for those interested in connecting rigorous academic research to policy solutions.
I was keen to make my next career move a ‘campaign-based’ one and so then came; UNISON, the public service union. My move into trade unions was totally new! I knew little about them, but quickly picked things up through a supportive network of colleagues. I am till today involved in the movement – that fights for such an important cause of employment rights and protections.
My next step at Bliss, the special care baby charity, was a great insight into NGO’s and the healthcare sector. Following this, I gained a further promotion as a Senior in the voluntary and community sector, in Kensington and Chelsea, working on a major housing campaign and elections work. I have been fortunate to have had such a diverse breadth of experiences in the world of campaigns, locally and nationally working to champion major social justice issues.
My recommendations to those entering the campaigns scene or moving up the chain are below:
• Brainstorm the type of causes you care about – and what type of organisations excite you.
• Work with a mentor or career coach for guidance throughout.
• Benefit from getting involved in voluntary campaign schemes: such as UpRising or Aspire.
• Take opportunities to always develop your learning and skills.
• Share and celebrate your successes and achievements at work and beyond.