Meet our Parliamentary Interns taking part in the Parliamentary Internship Programme 2022 between September and December:

Adam Nimmo

4th year Law and Philosophy student at the University of Glasgow

I chose to study law and philosophy largely because of their relation to politics; I wanted to learn how we can understand, govern and improve our society, and how we can use law reform and policy to change people’s lives. For most of my degree I worked part-time as a civil servant, before spending the summer of 2022 looking at criminal justice reform on a Carnegie Vacation Scholarship. Now, I’m excited to get a unique insight into parliamentary work and politics with the John Smith Centre.

The parliamentary internship is such a great opportunity and one I’m very grateful to be a part of. I hope to gain a much deeper understanding of the role of an MSP, and how they work with both their own and other parties to promote good governance, enact beneficial legislation and represent their constituents. I’m looking forward to working with a wide variety of people and—with a lot of practice—beginning to develop some political communication and analysis skills.

When I have the time (so, usually outwith the semester), I try to read a good variety of fiction and non-fiction (I recently read Yōko Ogawa’s The Housekeeper and the Professor, and would recommend it to anyone!) I love sport, especially football; cooking and music. I got into online bullet chess during lockdown and now I can’t put it down—even when I should really be doing more productive things!

LinkedIn: Adam Nimmo

Twitter: @AdamNimmo_

Host MSP: Paul Sweeney MSP

Alex Collins

3rd year Politics and Sociology student at the University of Glasgow

I have grown up and live in the East End of Glasgow, an area of great deprivation which influenced my decision to study Sociology and Politics at the University of Glasgow. I am now in my third year and look forward to completing my undergraduate degree. I am a first generation university student which sparked my interest in social mobility, youth policies and educational disadvantage. This can be reflected through my role as a Citywise mentor in the northeast of the city. This involves working with children, families, and communities to make a positive difference in their lives.

Through my role as an intern I hope to gain insight into the everyday tasks that contribute to our political decisions and legislation made. I hope to understand issues constituents face and learn how MSPs can make a difference. This unique opportunity will allow me to create positive relationships within a political setting while making connections in the working world. I hope to gain knowledge and skills that can be combined with my previous experience to take full advantage of this opportunity. I hope this will allow me to gain a clearer understanding of my career goals in the future by witnessing the true work and life within a constituency office.

My passion for social issues is reflected through my volunteering. As well as my involvement in Citywise mentoring programme I also take part in their family fun days for those in the community. Outside academia I have a great interest in travel. This summer I combined my interest in education and travel through my role an Au pair. I lived with a host family in Barcelona where I embraced new cultures, met new people and travelled alone. This role also involved teaching two young kids English which has inspired me to begin my journey in learning Spanish.

LinkedIn: Alex Collins

Twitter: @AlexCollinss_

Host MSP: Bob Doris MSP

Aysha Sohail

3rd year International Relations student at the University of Glasgow

I’m Aysha, an International Relations student in my third year at the University of Glasgow. Alongside my studies, I am a John Smith Parliamentary intern and ready to start my internship, diving into the world of politics. I also write for a blog called FemLegal – which examines legal/policy issues that affect gender equality. I help run the social media account of an educational environmental blog and volunteer with my local Climate Action Network. At university, I am on the committees of the Food and Body Society (as newsletter coordinator) and also Successful Women at Glasgow (Branding team).

I would like to gain insights from my host MSP and their team, and learn more about politics in Scotland from a frontline perspective. I am interested in helping with casework, and seeing how MSPs support their constituents on a day-to-day basis. I think this would help me better understand how the political system operates and be meaningful work. I think seeing how constituencies gather and present local issues on the national level would be another interesting area. I would like to develop my skills in communication, organisation and analysis in a political setting – by responding to casework, writing briefs and assisting at surgeries. I think this programme will help inform my future career choices and give me valuable experience in a political setting.

In my downtime, I like to read novels – mostly fiction (historical fiction, classics, fantasy) and non-fiction (about the geopolitics, feminism and the environment). I also enjoy knitting and crochet, making clothes, homeware and gifts. I like baking and cooking vegetarian recipes. I love spending time with family and friends, travelling and going to the theatre.

LinkedIn: Aysha Sohail

Instagram: @aysha.sohailx

Host MSP: Fulton MacGregor MSP

Beth Lindsay

4th year Scots Law LLB student at the University of Glasgow

Three years ago I relocated from a small town in Fife to Glasgow. Now, I’m in my final year of Scots Law LLB and entirely in love with the city! My passion for exploring careers within the public service started in my early teenage years, during which I was a Police Scotland Youth Volunteer and shadowed a local MSP in Parliament through sixth year. Despite studying the theoretical background behind political systems during University, I believe my role as Parliamentary Intern will elevate my understanding as I observe the day-to-day duties of elected representatives and contribute to their policies.

Working with Citizens Advice has opened my eyes to the severe socio-economic disparities within Glasgow and Scotland more broadly. Consequently, I am extremely passionate about initiating real change to improve conditions for real people. I particularly look forward to understanding how MSPs engage with communities from various backgrounds, resolve concerns of constituents and tackle growing inequalities. The John Smith Centre actively encourages people into politics who genuinely strive to represent, inspire and resolve broken systems. I am incredibly honoured to be undertaking this experience during such a dynamic, exciting and challenging point in history where distrust in politicians has never been greater. I am passionate about rebuilding faith in public service and truly excited to help make a real difference in the lives of constituents. Finally, I hope to gain the practical skills necessary to kickstart a lifelong career within the political sphere.

Outside of my degree, I enjoy travelling and have spent the majority of my summer exploring some beautiful European cities. I particularly love the outdoors and going on camping holidays, regardless of Scotland having the most unreliable weather! I also hold a keen interest in music so I regularly attend a variety of gigs, and I’m a proud season ticket holder at Scotland rugby.

LinkedIn: Beth Lindsay

Instagram: @bethh.lindsay

Host MSP: Gillian Mackay MSP

Claudia Sans

4th year Politics student at the University of Glasgow

I am a final year Politics student at the University of Glasgow. I came to Glasgow 5 years ago and fell in love with Scotland almost instantly. I have a passion for the outdoors and I like to get out anytime I can. This has made me passionate about conserving natural spaces and the implementation of environmental policy. There are many issues I am passionate about especially regarding social justice and representation, which have fueled me to pursue work experience in the public sector.

I hope to gain a good knowledge about what the daily work of a constituency office looks like, I hope to through this also get an insight into Scottish government workings and what systems and practices look like from the inside and what makes them happen and how. I hope to learn from the staff hosting me in the constituency office and I hope to meet people with the same values as me, and who are eager to work for these.

I am almost always in the outdoors any chance I get, I participate in a variety of outdoor and water sports and I am passionate about conservation of natural spaces. I love reading and writing, and I also draw and paint whenever I get a chance.

LinkedIn: Claudia Sans

Host MSP: Neil Gray MSP

Laura McGee

4th year Social & Public Policy student at the University of Glasgow

My name is Laura McGee, I’m 20 years old and come from a small town called Ardrossan in North Ayrshire. I’m a fourth year social and public policy student at Glasgow University, and I also work part-time in Argos.

I started the social and public policy society at Glasgow University and have thoroughly enjoyed being the president the past two years. We host a range of events and collaborate with other societies to provide educational and social events for all students of Glasgow University. I am a really social person and take any opportunity to meet new people.

I hope to gain an insight into the day-to-day workings of an MSP office. Coming from an area of deprivation many people are apathetic to politics and feel no connection to it, I would like to bridge that gap and bring myself closer to the heart of democracy and in doing so learn what happens at the core of public service, what the people I vote for are doing for my community. I also hope to gain a range of skills from working with the people in my constituency office and gain a further understanding of the range of roles available in public service. I am honoured to be selected to take on this role and hope I can make connections as well as friendships from the programme.

My personal interests include a passion for politics and public service, particularly in many areas of equality. Growing up in an area of deprivation opened my eyes to the disadvantage’s deprivation can bring. I hope after I finish my degree in social and public policy to have a career in public service and hope this internship can point me in the right direction. I hope it can equip me with a range of transferrable skills for my future career prospects.

My main hobby is singing, I love to sing and have been competing as long as I can remember.

LinkedIn: Laura McGee

Host MSP: Paul O’Kane MSP

Lucy Runciman

4th year History and Politics student at the University of Glasgow

I’m from the Scottish Borders, however I have lived in Glasgow since beginning University. Having always enjoyed history at school, I decided to combine this with my interest in current affairs, prompting me to study history and politics. I absolutely love my degree and am particularly interested in environmental politics. Last year I was fortunate enough to partake in a year abroad, allowing me to move to the beautiful city of Vancouver. This was an incredibly enriching experience, and I look forward to putting the skills which I have gained into practice during my internship and final year of university!

Through this internship, I am incredibly eager to further my knowledge surrounding policy development on a local, regional, and national level in Scotland. I am also excited to learn about the various issues and concerns facing Glaswegians, and how these are confronted and dealt with by my host MSP, both within their constituency office and in the Scottish Parliament. Coming from a rural area, I think it will be deeply insightful to learn about these issues and how they differ from those facing individuals elsewhere in the country, providing me with a broader understanding of Scotland’s political diversity. Finally, I look forward to working alongside my host MSP, to enact positive change and to develop valuable skills which will aid my future career development.

In my free time I enjoy socialising with friends, playing netball, travelling, and being outdoors. I also love running and last year I ran the Vancouver half marathon in aid of The Red Cross and the crisis in Ukraine. This year I am volunteering for Glasgow University Charity Fashion Show on their events management team, to raise funds for their charitable partner, Glasgow and Clyde Rape Crisis. In addition to my interest in environmental politics, I am also incredibly interested in women’s rights and representation, which further motivates me to pursue a career in politics and the public service sector.

LinkedIn: Lucy Runciman

Host MSP: Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP

Rabia Lateef

4th year Business Management and Politics student at the University of Glasgow

I am originally from Pakistan and moved to Scotland when I was young. Currently, I am in my final year studying Business and Politics. I spent my last semester on exchange at Frankfurt School of Business and Management which I thoroughly enjoyed and traveled to so many new places. I really look forward to getting back into things and finishing my final year at Glasgow.

I’m particularly interested in seeing politics at the local level as I feel like this is often overlooked. I hope to make the most out of the opportunities the parliamentary internship offers by applying the skills I have developed through working part-time alongside university.

I enjoy getting involved with wider University life through being an executive board member at The Glasgow University Business Club. To relax I enjoy spending time with friends, baking and watching films.

LinkedIn: Rabia Lateef

Host MSP: Pam Gosal MSP

Rachael Wilson

4th year Politics and Social & Public Policy student at the University of Glasgow

I am a fourth-year joint honours student studying Politics alongside Social and Public Policy. After leaving school I worked full-time in hospitality as I was not sure what I wanted to do as a career and did not have the grades to attend university. I found myself becoming increasingly interested in politics and environmental issues which led me to apply to study an HNC social sciences course at college. From college, I secured a place at Glasgow University and I am now looking to pursue a career in the public sector after graduating.

I am hoping to gain a better insight into the day-to-day work that is carried out by MSPs and their constituent workers and to find out more about the work undertaken by committees and how this translates to policy change. I am also keen to find out about key issues facing constituents and the actions that are undertaken to help solve these problems. Overall, I want to take this opportunity to develop my knowledge, skill set and confidence to prepare me for working in public service after graduating.

I am interested in environmental issues and animal welfare, my passion in this area is what led me back to education and what continues to motivate me in my studies. Through my studies and personal experiences, I have also developed a personal interest in education in regard to accessibility and opportunity and what can be done to create a more inclusive environment for people from different backgrounds which will allow them to succeed.

LinkedIn: Rachael Wilson

Host MSP: Ross Greer MSP

Shashank Talluri

3rd year Politics and Economics student at the University of Glasgow

Hi, I’m Shash. I’m currently a third year Politics and Economics student at the University of Glasgow, and I’m excited to be an MSP intern with the John Smith Centre. I was born in the US, and have lived across the world during my life and I have had a very diverse childhood growing up. I’ve been living in the UK since 2012, and I came up to Glasgow in 2020 to start university studies.

I’m very excited to be able to intern with an MSP in their constituency office and learn more about their work and Scottish Politics. The internship offers a great opportunity for gaining insight and contributing to the ideals of civil society and public service. Witnessing politics from a practical perspective will also be very fascinating and I hope to understand more about Scottish and British politics from this.

I love learning languages (I’m currently learning German and French with a little touch of Mandarin), reading about Astronomy and the Stars as well as volunteering with the British Heart Foundation. I also participate as the Secretary for the Adam Smith Economics Society and it is a role I’m greatly attached to and find it very rewarding!

LinkedIn: Shashank Talluri

Host MSP: Dr Sandesh Gulhane MSP