Special Adviser to the HM Governments Independent Adviser on Antisemitism (on secondment from the Antisemitism Policy Trust)
BA International Relations, 2014
Before I started applying for Universities, I did extensive research into the different ‘International Relations’ courses. Most courses differ amongst Universities and I found that Birmingham University’s course most matched what I was looking for in terms of module topics and study options.
Why did you choose to study International Relations, and does it continue to impact on your experiences?
I chose to study International Relations because it was a course that allowed me to expand on the subjects that I had been most interested in at A-Level, giving me the opportunity to keep studying politics and history in more depth but on both a UK and global level. The course module options in first and second year allowed me to broaden my interest in topics such as Diplomatic History, International Security and British Politics. The course has continued to impact my experiences especially when networking over the years. Writing my dissertation, gave me the important skills I needed to carry out in depth research in the early years of my career.
Describe your current role and organisation
My current role is Special Adviser to Lord Mann, The HM Governments Independent Adviser on Antisemitism. He is responsible for providing the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) with independent advice on the most effective methods to tackle antisemitism. Based in the House of Lords, my role is to support and manage the Adviser’s activities, namely strategic planning, policy areas, communications and operational activities.
Tell us about your career journey from Birmingham student to where you are today.
Since I graduated in 2014, I have been working for The Antisemitism Policy Trust which is an organisation that works with British Parliamentarians, policy makers and opinion formers to address policy issues relating to antisemitism. I began there as Head of Research where I helped compile the 2015 Inquiry into Antisemitism. In 2017, I moved into the role of Policy and Communications Manager where I project managed events, led international delegations for Parliamentarians and helped organise international conferences. The Trust acts as the secretariat to the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism so over the years much of my work was based in Westminster. Five years after I started my career, I was offered the opportunity to be seconded by the Trust to Lord Mann, to act as his Special Adviser in his new role as the HM Governments Independent Adviser on Antisemitism.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received (career or otherwise)?
Before I chose my University course, my parents kept telling me to choose something I love. I never understood this until I started my career. From experience, employers are keen to employ someone who has an interest and who can talk about a subject passionately, someone who has a breadth of knowledge. It not only makes your University course and studying more enjoyable but once you start working you will meet a wide range of people and you never know when your favourite module at University will come in handy!
What one word would you use to describe the University of Birmingham?
“My top career tip is to find work experience at any given opportunity. It not only shows motivation and commitment, but employers will appreciate someone who has had insight into the work involved in an office and who has worked in a team before. The Winter and Summer holidays are a perfect time to gain some understanding on what you might like to do as well experience a 9-5 work life daily routine (which is very different to University life!)”