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Entry-level Jobs in London for an American Political Science Major?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
After realizing that the career center at my university has a sort of Goldman or bust mentality, I thought I would throw this question to the SF big-timers. As a proto-smalltimer any advice would be well received.

First, my background: I am an American Political Science major focusing on American political communications, marketing and strategy. I should be graduating magna cum laude from UC Berkeley in May and have a respectable resume/record of prior professional experience. Finally, I'm sure I can manage a few stellar letters of recommendations from prominent American pollsters/strategists, political scientists, and perhaps a Lt. Governor (depending on a few things).

My overriding goal is to work in London or the greater UK for a few years (or as a VISA permits) before returning to the US for an MPP or JD. Considering my almost exclusive focus on American politics and a somewhat weak quantitative background, what positions would be available in London? I assume there might be a few positions with MNCs in dealing with DC or some other aspect of American political relations--but I doubt these are entry-level.
post #2 of 14
I'm confused, and I'm not trying to be an ass but why'd you spend 4 years studying American politics only to want to work in the UK?

Although, you won't get paid a lot you could always move to the United Kingdom and apply for a position with the American Embassy or Consulate in the U.K. What accounts for the U.K or bust mentality?
post #3 of 14
If you come to London and then start looking for work you could probably pick up an internship/volunteer position at any of the parties particularly if you are coming over before the election. It wouldn't pay but they give expenses and it gives you some experience of the UK political scene whist you were looking for something better.
The parties will also be looking for proper staff depending on how the elections turn out and I don't think being a yank would disqualify you.
post #4 of 14
Find lists of every transatlantic think tanks.
post #5 of 14
w4mp.org has job listings.

May should be a good time - we should have a new government around then.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I'm confused, and I'm not trying to be an ass but why'd you spend 4 years studying American politics only to want to work in the UK?
To be honest, after reading 1000 pages a week (or close to it) on American politics for the past 3 years, I've become a bit burned-out. Secondly, I have familial ties in the UK and really do think I would enjoy experiencing the depth of English culture by immersion. Finally, when else will I enjoy such mobility where I can simply pack up a few things and move across the world? Much of my studies have been universal in terms of political communications and strategy--it's the particulars that I don't know. I've studied American politics from a book and my experience is largely limited to Californian politics. I would expect the vocational learning curves of Washington to be somewhat similar to Westminster or the London financial district. If I can manage a job, I would return to the US for further education with potential options or relationships across the pond in the political or financial sectors. The humdrum of trying my luck in Washington will always be there, the opportunity to work in the UK seems a bit more fleeting.
Quote:
The parties will also be looking for proper staff depending on how the elections turn out and I don't think being a yank would disqualify you.
I've heard somewhere--perhaps a professor--that you must have UK citizenship to work in Westminster? Is this just hearsay or does it have a factual basis?
post #7 of 14
I'm not sure how the whole UK will work out, but if you find a way to do it, I'd highly recommend it. In general, a few years of international experience before going back to grad school would be great for you whatever you end up doing. You should definitely try. I would also take a look at Foreign Service Officer Corps with US Department of State. Might be something very cool to do for 3-5 years and you get to live around the world and work in something connected to your major/interests.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ektaylor View Post
I've heard somewhere--perhaps a professor--that you must have UK citizenship to work in Westminster? Is this just hearsay or does it have a factual basis?

I don't know, I know a Canadian who works in UK politics, and have seen interns from all over the place, but rather far from the power centre.
The parties have their own employees separate to the government/state ones, I should think they could be from anywhere but you will have to do some research.
post #9 of 14
so if you are graduating from a pretty damn good school somewhere near the top of your class, why don't you work in the US for a while - since that kind of pedigree will make you employable at home, and then look at taking those skills to the UK. It's the same for anyone wanting to change countries anywhere, you have to prove you can offer a company something that a local cannot - and as a grad, you can't. Sorry. You can do nothing for the country that a poli-sci kid out of Oxford cannot. Actually, you can probably do less. If you wanna go to the UK now, do it as a grad student on foreign exchange. Otherwise, wait til you have a skill that someone in the UK will sponsor you to bring over. I suppose you could always teach English though. Do they speak that in England?
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt View Post
so if you are graduating from a pretty damn good school somewhere near the top of your class, why don't you work in the US for a while - since that kind of pedigree will make you employable at home, and then look at taking those skills to the UK.

It's the same for anyone wanting to change countries anywhere, you have to prove you can offer a company something that a local cannot - and as a grad, you can't. Sorry. You can do nothing for the country that a poli-sci kid out of Oxford cannot. Actually, you can probably do less.

If you wanna go to the UK now, do it as a grad student on foreign exchange. Otherwise, wait til you have a skill that someone in the UK will sponsor you to bring over.

I suppose you could always teach English though. Do they speak that in England?

+1 - you can't really say you have expertise in American policy yet. Go intern in DC for a while, suck up the crappy pay, and pick a department that involves trade or resources.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
You can do nothing for the country that a poli-sci kid out of Oxford cannot. Actually, you can probably do less.

Yea, that's what led me to create this thread. I would think the key would be to find an aspect of the UK market in need of American specialists. As I mentioned, these positions are normally"”if not always"”experienced-hires. In consideration of my familiarity with American politics, my question was if there existed any entry-level positions for American nationals with my background.

Most of my peers who have chosen a similar academic route are trying to break into political consulting, journalism, non-profits, congressional offices, etcetera in the US. With a large degree of these entry-level Americanists, so to speak, staying in America, my thoughts were to search for a perhaps overlooked niche market abroad.

Quote:
I suppose you could always teach English though. Do they speak that in England?
Got me there.

Quote:
Go intern in DC for a while, suck up the crappy pay, and pick a department that involves trade or resources.

Ideally, I'd like to avoid policy work, especially political economy. Incredibly boring work, imo. What I'm better suited for, professionally and academically, is PR (which is just incredibly hard to break into in Washington as I'm told). Maybe I'm looking for a non-existent position, here"”I'm not sure. After all, I don't have the experience to say.
post #12 of 14
can you give us a succinct but detailed lineup of your professional experience during the degree, as well as any internships, mentorships and such?
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
a succinct but detailed lineup of your professional experience
Like a resume? Hm, to avoid parts of my resume showing up in a google search I'll post my LinkedIn. http://www.linkedin.com/in/ektaylor
post #14 of 14
Hi, just a note to say it ts pretty difficult to get a job here right now, there are a lot of unemployed grads looking for something. However, you only need one place at the end of the day, good luck!
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