Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) PhD second-year student Jacob Lundwell joined not for profit advocacy group ‘London First’ during the Brexit planning phase and greatly improved his diplomacy and networking skills. Jacob reported back to us in his case study:

“I chose to work with London First as it allowed me to put my theoretical knowledge about the EU into practice. Working in London First’s Brexit department, which campaigns for a sensible, non-ideologically driven Brexit, which guarantees stability for citizens and businesses on both sides of the Channel. ‘London First’ closely works with governmental bodies, the media, and business representatives to serve that goal. During my time, I have designed and conducted a survey in cooperation with Lloyds Bank and YouGov with 896 senior business decision-makers trying to highlight the perils of Brexit for trade and businesses. Furthermore, I have been actively involved in the compilation of a post-Brexit immigration report, which, I am proud to say, the Home Office had invited us to present to them. However, I gained the impression that our data and analyses, however stark in their warnings, met death ears on most accounts.

My project title was:

• Global Britain — A fair and managed immigration system fit for the post-Brexit economy
• Business Brexit Survey in cooperation with Lloyds Bank and YouGov

Monitoring and responding to the unfolding Brexit process from a London perspective. How can we engage with policy decision-makers by presenting accessible research which we have compiled? The spin that was applied was to seek out potential possibilities and opportunities from Britain’s exit of the EU so as to gain the Government’s and the media’s attention. In order to achieve this goal dedicated research and analysis was key – which is where I came into the picture. My three primary aims were as follows:

  • Monitoring Brexit process and inferring implications for the City of London and the local business community
  • Creating a Business Brexit Survey in cooperation with Lloyds Bank and YouGov survey institute with 896 senior business decision makers (questionnaire design, questionnaire execution, liaison officer between London First and Lloyds, etc.)
  • Supporting the creation of the Global Britain post-Brexit immigration system report (research, data analysis, data interpretation, marketing, communication with No.10, etc.)

The added value the fellowship brought me as a students was:

  • Appreciation of academic life
  • Project management skills
  • Message control
  • Employability prospects
  • Networking and contacts
  • Confidence in my own abilities (disposal of my imposter-syndrome)

My skills were enhanced in the following areas:

  • Office Diplomacy
  • Networking
  • Presentational skills
  • Negotiations
  • Increased Microsoft Excel Aptitude
  • Proof-reading
  • Political spin

The fellowship met my aims, and I was increasingly permitted to take on higher responsibilities which also involved meetings with the Irish EU minister, with external colleagues and my own project oversight at its initial stage.”

Jacob Lundwall worked with London First between September and December 2018.

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