To mark the end of the summer internship programme 2013, the NAO graduate blog has invited Daniel Joseph, one of the 13 participating students from EmployAbility and Windsor Fellowship, to summarise his experiences for us. Many thanks to all interns who have been a great support to the Office over the past few weeks!
For the first week or two, all of the interns, there are 13 of us in total, were in training most of the time. Learning about how Parliament works in our government framework sessions was really interesting for me, so visiting the Houses of Parliament the next day was the icing on the cake!
We then got more involved with our teams, trying to gain an understanding of their projects. The first job I did was checking the consistency of the General Lighthouse Fund’s accounts. I’d never seen accounts before, let alone checked for consistency, but thanks to the friendliness and helpfulness of my team (known as the Lighthouse family), they were soon second nature to me.
One of the most helpful tasks to bring me up to speed with what the transport team does was to read through the last three years of reports from the Transport Select Committee and then summarise their opinions on transport issues. It gave me a basic knowledge on a wide range of transport issues, as well as opinions people could hold.
I also had the chance to work on the Crossrail value for money project. It was quite a steep learning curve, as the only thing I knew about Crossrail was that it would be stopping at Canary Wharf. I first read about the possible impacts of Crossrail on property values, which meant that I could better understand the importance of Crossrail to certain areas. I also learnt about how Crossrail’s impacts could be monitored, as well as petitions presented to the Houses of Parliament about Crossrail. All of this knowledge meant I was able to appreciate the importance of our interviews with people working on Crossrail, which I was lucky enough to be invited to attend.
People ask me what the highlight of my time at the NAO has been. As I was working on the General Lighthouse Fund, it’s a pretty easy answer as those lighthouses are pretty high lights! In all seriousness, I couldn’t choose just one highlight, as I feel that I’ve had so many valuable learning experiences working on both Crossrail and the General Lighthouse Fund. To any possible future interns reading this, I’d definitely recommend you apply and to any of my colleagues, thank you very much for making my time at the NAO so enjoyable.