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​Nicola Cowsill | June 2016

This year I have fully embraced my internship in the Office of the Clerk of Tynwald and I am so glad that I took the time to apply, and even happier that I was successful, in my application! Even after spending three years at university, I feel like this year has been a complete learning curve and that I have never learnt as much information as I have in the past year. To say I was rather naïve of Manx politics is an understatement; this system is complex, unique and even more special than I imagined. I could not have envisioned a better first job than this one and in an exciting year of change in Manx politics.  

Being the intern in the last year of a parliamentary term has been very exciting as there has been a lot happening, and I have had opportunities to take part in things that only happen every five years. I think what has made it especially interesting for me is Lord Lisvane’s Review of the Functioning of Tynwald. Being involved in the research side, listening to the evidence and reading the report has allowed me to develop a deeper understanding of the Manx parliamentary system, its development over time together with the checks and balances put in place by various administrations.  

The highpoint of my year was being able to shadow the Clerk of the Social Affairs Policy Review Committee. I have enjoyed this immensely, so much so that I have chosen to further my career in the area of committee secretariat work. With this Committee I have been on a site visit, assisted in writing a report and undertaken correspondence on behalf of the committee. The experience of having a mentor, the Deputy Clerk Dr Jonathan King, to develop my skills as a committee clerk was invaluable and I appreciate the time and effort he has made to help me during this period.  

During my time at the Clerk of Tynwald’s Office I was asked to undertake the Secretary position at the Tynwald Advisory Council for Disabilities (TACD). TACD is an independent body and operates as an advisory body to various public and private organisations across the Isle of Man. The council comprises three Lay Members and two Tynwald Members and the Secretary role. This opportunity, for me, was a reflection of the true purpose of the internship here at Tynwald. It gave me the opportunity to run a Committee, with the full support of team members in the office, which has given me the experience to help me decide on my potential career path. I feel fortunate to have been part of TACD for the last nine months and I am proud to have been able to help the Council in their important work.

I have successfully applied for a role at Universities Scotland which is the representative body of Scotland’s 19 higher education institutions. It develops policy on behalf of the university sector and campaigns publicly on higher education issues, I am looking forward to the next stage in my career combining my interests in education, policy and committee work.

I am so grateful for this year as an intern here at Tynwald; it has been better than I could have imagined and I shall miss the Office of the Clerk of Tynwald greatly.