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Diary of a parliamentary intern
  1. Hannah Jordan

Abstract

Hannah Jordan is Lord Trees' first intern. Having graduated in July, she has had a whirlwind summer, working as a locum and preparing for a role in which she aims to help the veterinary peer be more effective in Parliament

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As I lean on the table in the consult room, trying to keep the weight off my feet, the decision to pursue a career in veterinary medicine seems a distant memory. It was, after all, nine years ago when I found the courage to defy the careers advice that warned me from trying to get into vet school. In the small seaside town where I grew up, application requirements for veterinary medicine were viewed as being ‘just too hard’ and I was ‘better off not to aim too high and be disappointed’.

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After some suboptimal A level results, I took a backup place on the BSc bioveterinary science degree at the Royal Veterinary College. This was an inadvertent great decision. The opportunity to start afresh somewhere new with a small year group and dedicated lecturers rekindled my enthusiasm to learn and rebuilt my confidence. After three fabulous years we all had to make a decision: would it be a career in science, veterinary medicine or something entirely different? The decision was an obvious one for me, and I chose to take up a place on the graduate BVetMed course.

So, here I am. Four years and a considerable amount of hard work and debt later (seven years in higher education is a long time), the sensible choice for me could have been a well-supported job where I could hone my clinical skills and build my confidence under the watchful eye of an experienced colleague. However, I was not quite ready to leave the bright lights of London and so I applied for the parliamentary internship. The option to indulge some of my other interests and investigate the machinations of government, politics and the development of the veterinary profession proved altogether too tempting.

I start at Millbank in early October and I am looking forward to seeing what will come across my desk. I think for starters I will have to put a lot of names to faces and get to grips with the various regulatory bodies and, of course, locate the whereabouts of the parliamentary watering holes! Lord Trees' appointment to the House of Lords offers the veterinary profession and the bodies we liaise with an invaluable outlet to voice opinions. In addition, it provides another platform from which to shape the future development of the profession. I will work to support him in these endeavours.

Since I graduated in July, I have been working as a locum while I search for a part-time clinical position alongside my parliamentary work. My expectation is that this year will be another steep and exciting learning curve, but I certainly don't want to leave seven years of work to qualify as a vet behind me.

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