Emily Carter

What’s your current role? 

Head of Political Campaigns. 

What do you want to achieve from the CiC-Start mentoring programme?  

I saw CiC-Start as an opportunity to speak to someone outside of my current network who has experience in the industry, working together to draw on and progress my career and understanding of public affairs (or PA for short).

Where do you want to be in five years’ time?

Ideally, on a beach somewhere lovely. But if not, I’d like to be a Director or Managing Director of a PA agency. I’ve realised that agency work is my forte and I want to be able to share my passion with a team of other aspirational and driven PA practitioners, working to consistently deliver impactful and progressive campaigns and projects.

I’m based in Manchester, though I’m always looking for a new challenge to spread my wings and take on a new role. I’m passionate about getting and helping women into political positions, and as a true Northerner I work to promote the devolution agenda to truly level-up the North.

What’s your advice for young people hoping to get into the industry? 

PA is about people and communications. Where possible, get out there and network with a variety of people, including agency and in-house professionals, journalists and Westminster aides. Use the current remote working situation to your advantage and reach out to people on social media for a chat. You will be surprised how open and helpful people are despite their busy schedules, and those conversations can lead to new opportunities. And don’t forget the three P’s. People, policy and processes.

If you could invite five guests, dead or alive, to a dinner party at your house, who would you invite? 

I’m not sure they would get along, but here foes. Joanna Lumley, Margaret Thatcher, Barack Obama, Ho Chi Minh, and Joey Essex.

Pierre Andrews

What’s your current role? 

I’ve three hats: Senior Parliamentary Assistant to a Member of Parliament, Head of Policy at Digital Tories and Vice-Chair Outreach of LGBT+ Conservatives.

What do you want to achieve from the CiC-Start mentoring programme?  

I’d like to develop my professional network, explore long-term plans in the realm of political communications and brainstorm new platform for Conservative activism.

Where do you want to be in five years’ time? 

Like Emma, I’d preferably be relaxing on a beach at the end of the world, ignoring my phone for a couple of hours, while it (hopefully) won’t have stopped buzzing for media requests, policy pitches and invites for coffee. 

What’s your advice for young people hoping to get into the industry? 

Don’t be afraid to be pushy, in that you’re clear about (1) what value you think you can bring to the table and (2) what you need to successfully deliver the goods. But – and this is the crucial element – always be impeccably charming while you’re going about it.  

If you could invite five guests, dead or alive, to a dinner party at your house, who would you invite? 

So, Christopher Isherwood, Ayn Rand, Livia Drusilla, Anne Boleyn, and the Duke of Edinburgh. 

Maria Murphy

What’s your current role? 

I’m an Associate at Nudge Factory, an independent corporate affairs consultancy specialising in political, real estate planning, corporate and private client communications. [Can you tell that she works in communications!?] I previously worked as a Parliamentary Assistant and before that as an Intern at Hanover Communications.  

What do you want to achieve from the CiC-Start mentoring programme?  

I hope to gain valuable insight from experienced people in the industry – what steps to take to progress this line of work and establish a plan for the next few years of my career. I hope to be able to mentor others because of being a mentee, and to know what advice to give to others. I also want to discover effective ways of providing a great service to clients and how to best assist them with their public affairs needs, as well as to define my specific interests and decide where to specialise.

Where do you want to be in five years’ time? 

I hope to have achieved considerable progression within the industry; to have taken on more responsibility and to have gained more skills to contribute to the company I work for. I hope to contribute not just professionally, but to those hoping to work in the same sector; to help students and graduates pave their way into public affairs and communications. I want to expand my network and to specialise in a particular policy area. I’m keen to engage more in writing and blogging, in both analytical writing and opinion pieces. More generally, I want to continue promoting Conservative values within the sector and elsewhere. 

What’s your advice for young people hoping to get into the industry? 

Perseverance is the most important piece of advice I would give – it can be a tough industry to break into, and it will take willingness to internalise feedback to succeed. Try and get as much background experience as possible; political, voluntary, academic and communications knowledge all help enormously. Be sure to network – don’t be shy about going to events, contacting people, making new friends. Not only will this help in establishing yourself in public affairs spheres, but it’s  also invaluable for learning about the sector from people with masses of experience and insider knowledge. It also allows you to demonstrate your worth and value to those already working in a crowded field. 

If you could invite five guests, dead or alive, to a dinner party at your house, who would you invite?  

Ronald Reagan, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Princess Margaret, Dolly Parton, and Tim Curry. 

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