Students gain internship with local MP

Earlier this year, Damian Hinds, MP for East Hampshire proposed an exciting offer to local young residents from across East Hampshire to apply for a four week internship at the House of Commons. Two enthusiastic students have just been selected to realise their ambition and have been employed for the summer to work with our local MP.

The Internship was open to young people aged between 17 and 20 living in East Hampshire and its purpose was to enable them to learn more about the workings of an MP and the wider political process by working closely with Mr Hinds and to gain valuable work experience. The lucky candidates were offered the opportunity to observe parliament in debate and the work of select committees as well as being involved in a political project.

Damian Hinds said, “This is an opportunity for young constituents to gain practical experience of the House of Commons and for me to make parliament accessible to them. I believe this is a great opportunity for an A level or university student to enhance their CV and to develop their experience in this area.”

There were a number of applications shortlisted and following from the recent interviews, Damian commented on the calibre of those candidates he interviewed; 
“All the candidates were very strong. I was impressed not just at the high academic standards but also a real commitment to such a diversity of extra-curricular activities. You can develop intellect in the classroom, but character is also formed out of it.  Their broad knowledge of both British and international current affairs really came out in the interviews.  I was pleased to meet such a well-rounded group of young people.  The decision was incredibly difficult with such a strong field.

The two applicants who were successful in gaining internships with Damian Hinds are both in their second year studying A levels at Alton College. Roy Alderton from Petersfield is taking A Levels in Government & Politics, English and French; and Shahenda Darwich of Alton, studying Government & Politics, Economics and Mathematics.  

Shahenda was involved with the BBC Any Questions? programme hosted here in November 2010 when she took over hosting the programme from Jonathan Dimbleby as part of National Youth Takeover Day.

Principal of Alton College, Jane Machell, commented: "I am delighted that two of our students reached the high standards required for the internships. Both Roy and Shehenda are extremely focused, able young people. My thanks are extended to Damian Hinds, MP, who has shown a keen interest in the education of young people ever since he was elected last year."

Damian Hinds added; “These two students who will be coming to Westminster in July are clearly focused on the next phase of their academic lives but both also have very broad horizons.  Working in the House of Commons can be a fantastic opportunity, and I am sure it is one they will make full use of.  I’m very much looking forward to Shahenda and Roy starting, and wish them and all the applicants success in their studies in the meantime.”