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Belfast City to London Town in the Name of Politics
The 2019 PSA Student Video Competition is now open, but our 2018 winners just wrapped up the final phase of their time as competition winners: a week of work experience at YouGov. They wrote about their impressions of the last year below.
In September 2018 our politics teacher enlightened us about a competition the Political Studies Association (PSA) was running. It involved making a short video on “What Brexit means to you”. This immediately appealed to us because we felt that Northern Ireland had been left out of the negotiations and talks about Brexit.
No one had ever asked us, “What does Brexit mean to you?”
After making the video over two weeks, and missing a lot of study periods which we might have got in trouble for(!), we finally sent our video to the PSA. A few days later we received the best email, telling us that we had been selected as one of the four finalists, and that the PSA was going to fly us over to London to present the video to the Speaker of the House, Rt Hon John Bercow MP, and many other judges. Much to our surprise and joy, we were later announced winners of the competition by Mr Speaker himself and thus invited back to Westminster for the PSA Awards Dinner later that month.
The day truly felt like a dream! To be at Speaker’s House in Westminster surrounded by British Political history and being interviewed by one of the biggest names in British Politics was one of the most surreal experiences and something we will all savour for the rest of our lives.
Part of our prize from the PSA was a week of paid work experience in the London YouGov office. As you can imagine, shadowing what is such a well-respected and internationally recognised organisation did concern us all slightly, but the reassurance from Jamie Roberts (PSA Development Officer) was something that helped us all to be confident enough to go into the office ready to work! For the week we shadowed the Political team within the office. We were guided through how to make our very own political poll and given an insight into the different ways statistics can be manipulated by groups for political gain. We all found it incredibly interesting to read the data accumulated by YouGov on what sort of people take their polls.
Overall, the week in London was one we will never forget. Excluding the week of exciting and challenging work, what stands out to us as a group is the generosity the PSA has showed us over the last few months. They have presented us with opportunities no one else has received but have also given us the means to take those opportunities. The financial and personal generosity shown by the PSA is something that will never leave us.
Esther Follis, Olivia Palmer and Anna Brown are students at Wallace High School. They were the winners of the 2018 PSA Student Video Competition on the question, "What does Brexit mean to you?". Check out their winning video here.
The 2019 Student Video Competition is now open!
The PSA has chosen 'Our Climate Emergency: The Voice of the Next Generation' for the theme of this year's competition. For full competition details, including submission requirements, click here.