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Emma Gaines - October 2018

Hello, my name is Emma Gaines. I completed a degree in business and sociology at Newcastle University this year and after having spent my summer working at a children’s camp in the USA, I started at the Clerk of Tynwald’s Office as the second Parliamentary intern. Spending the last three years in England and learning about their political system and current affairs, it wasn’t until I started my role here I quickly learnt how unique our Manx parliament is in comparison to others.

My first week started as any job would, I was shown around the buildings and introduced to the staff. On my third day Tynwald was holding the Parliamentary and Assembly Officers Conference 2018 for three days. This involved talks and session from Parliamentarians who work in other jurisdictions in the British Isles - Westminster, Ireland, Scotland, Jersey and Guernsey. I learnt a lot on different issues that parliaments currently face and ongoing changes and challenges, as well as meeting some very interesting people. By this point I thought it was safe to say this wasn’t going to be your typical internship.
My second week was spent on getting familiar with some of the different roles I would be doing as a Parliamentary Intern. I was introduced to committee work, research services, Hansard and one of the tasks I’m most looking forward to; the Tynwald education and outreach programme, where my first task will be to make some changes to the primary school tours of the Tynwald Chambers. Having spent the last two summers working with children, I feel really lucky to be able to incorporate working with young people into my internship. 
My third week fell on the third Tuesday of the month and therefore the first Tynwald sitting of the parliamentary year. After learning about the processes and procedures, it was intriguing to actually see Standing Orders in action.
Part of my role will be running the public tours, the first few weeks I have been assisting on the scheduled tours of the Chambers to start learning on the vast history of Tynwald and my way around the building! This was good preparation because I ended up doing an unplanned tour to tourists from Canada who couldn’t make the public tours. Last minute and with little preparation, I was nervous, but really enjoyed this and was a nice way to ease into doing a tour…..hopefully this will prepare me for the year 6 class I will give a tour to in a few weeks- http://www.tynwald.org.im/education/schools/
November will be full of planning for school visits in preparation for my first primary school tour of the Chambers at the end of the month….I’ve got a lot of learning to do on the 1000 years of history of Tynwald and make it easy to understand for students!  I am also a Committee Clerk Assistant on two Committees so will be working directly with the Clerks and the Members which will be a new experience.
My first month has involved so much variety. Each day has been interesting and diverse…..which I guess is a given when you work in such a fascinating and historical place.  The work I have done for these in my first month has took me out my comfort zone but already I can see how valuable this has been and I can’t wait to get more involved. Reflecting on my first month, I am definitely not worried about being bored over the next 11 months!