‘We were standing in the taxi line at the airport going back to College and we were saying ‘we are so lucky; how does this happen?’’ – Claudia Cameron, Trinity Student.
When residential students Claudia Cameron and Finn Cowden received the email from the Careers and Alumni office calling on applications to intern with Senator Jane Hume (TC 1989) they applied, despite not holding high hopes that they would be selected. To their surprise, they were chosen for the internship, we caught up with them after their return from a trip to Canberra and Parliament House.
Claudia is currently in her second year of an Arts degree majoring in politics, whilst Finn is in his third year of a Bachelor of Agriculture.
The two friends were split up during their time interning with Senator Hume, with Claudia in the office on Wednesdays and Finn on Fridays.
Tasks during their internships included writing speeches, preparing briefs, researching what politicians were saying to the media, reading policy documents and attending meetings with high-profile politicians.
Finn became an important advisor on rural issues, while Claudia assisted with issues pertaining to public policy.
‘They pushed us, I mean it was such a good learning experience. I never really worked in an office where I had to be making phone calls, even learning to not be scared of making phone calls to people who you think are important,’ explained Claudia.
The highlight of their experience, however, was the trip to Canberra and Parliament House which included Senator Hume reading out their speeches in parliament. Consequently, their names are now recorded in Hansard, the official transcript of parliamentary proceedings.
Although politicians can occasionally be depicted as temperamental, they were overwhelmed by how welcoming the Senator was and her ability to communicate with both them and other staff. The Trinity connection was also beneficial and a source of shared experience.
‘And, obviously her being ex-Trinity is a nice connection to have, we had that common ground. We had something to talk about, to share stories about Trinity. She gave us a lot of advice about making the most of the College years,’ said Claudia.
Claudia had little idea of what to expect from the internship, but found the overall experience very rewarding.
‘Don’t think you will be photocopying or making coffees, it has been such a huge learning experience, one of the biggest learning experiences I’ve had,’ said Claudia.
Meanwhile, Finn also found it to be an invaluable experience and describes it as ‘one of the best’ internships he has undertaken.
‘I wasn’t going to apply, this is my third year and I thought I’m just going to enjoy my last year at Trinity, but I’m so glad I did,’ said Finn.
The Careers and Alumni Office will continue to advertise work experience and internship opportunities throughout the year. Please check our upcoming August e-newsletter for new opportunities.