A week at the Scottish Government
Ross McLaren – Boroughmuir High School – @rossmclaren9
In the senior years of high school, it is compulsory for the last week of term before summer that we take part in some kind of work experience. I spent the last five days of my school year at the Scottish Government’s marketing department @ScoGovMarketing. I chose this for my work experience as I thought it had some relevance to what I wanted to do in future. I enjoy journalism, politics and media so this was an ideal experience for me.
When I stepped off the bus on my first day, the first thing that hit me was St Andrew’s House. The building was spectacular and I later found out that previously, before it became a Government building, it was a prison. My first taste of marketing in the Scottish Government was through attending the weekly meeting. In this meeting I was introduced to the rest of the team by Clare Smith @clarebearalert and was made to feel welcome.
The next day I voyaged all the way to Leith to visit the Leith Agency. I was lucky enough to sit and observe a radio advert recording and then had to create an advert myself on the topic of fatigue on the road. This was good fun and the final outcome of my ad was very similar to the one already created by the agency!
Next day was spent at the SCN (Scottish Communicators Network) event. This was interesting – I got to listen to a talk by Chief Superintendent Ivor Marshall who spoke on the present and future of Scotland as well as reflecting on the recent Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
On Thursday I was introduced to the news and media department. This was fascinating! Here I met Mark Hannan who is head of the Justice press team. He took me straight into a daily meeting, where I was surprised how many stories there was to discuss in one morning. Later on I answered a couple of phone calls and delved in to what some of the papers had to say that morning. At 12:00, FMQs came onto the several TVs in the news office.
Later that day I was fortunate enough to get into an event that the FM was talking at. The panellists spoke very well but none were as good as the First Minister, in my opinion. She attracted a lot of media attention – cameras everywhere. Every time she raised even a finger you could hear the cameras clicking around the room. The event was to launch a new initiative 50:50 by 2020, to promote gender equality on boards. The day got even better when I was lucky enough to meet and talk to the First Minister for a minute or two and even get a photo with her!
This week was a great experience for me and it will contribute to my thoughts for the future at university and when moving into employment. The highlight for me was meeting Nicola Sturgeon, but I also loved meeting so many new people throughout the week and how I was made to feel so welcome at every sector I worked at. I am definitely leaving the experience with only good words to say about it and I should remember it for years to come.