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My 2 weeks working at the Queen's Awards Office

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My name is Thomas Murphy. Some of you may have heard of me, some of you may have seen me and some of you don’t have a clue who I am. I'm a Year 10 student on a 2 week work experience assignment in the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise office (QAO), thanks to Linda Stephens, since Monday 7 July. The QAO is part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) headquartered at 1 Victoria Street, London. Today is my last day, and this is to tell you what I got up to and learnt during my fortnight here.

Thomas Murphy outside Number 10 Downing Street.
Me outside 10 Downing Street.

For most of the time, I have done some normal office activities - like sending, drafting and replying to emails (mainly Linda’s), and arranging and attending meetings as well as meeting other teams in the department.

On Wednesday, I spoke with Nick about what the Ministerial Briefing Hub does and how they support ministers.

On Friday 11 July, I and the other work experience students had a tour of the Houses of Parliament, which was interesting. In the House of Commons we saw where Winston Churchill smashed his fist into the table which holds the Despatch Box during his “We shall fight on the beaches” speech, leaving the markings of his ring. We also saw where the Monarch and the rest of the royal family sit in the House of Lords. We were shown where the Black Rod has nearly broken down the door to the House of Commons and we were told the story of Margaret Thatcher’s bronze statue. Overall my first week was enjoyable.

At the start of my second week, the presentation ceremony for the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion recipients took place in the Innovation Centre of the department. I helped the team set up the lighting and I set up the rolling slide presentation of the recipients and set up the projector in the theatre to display the holding slide so it didn’t obscure, the BIS Secretary of State, Vince Cable, while he was speaking. Unfortunately I could not go to Buckingham Palace afterwards for the evening reception for all of the winners.

On Tuesday, I travelled to Cambridge for a Queen’s Awards event held by United Kingdom Trade and Investment, which was aimed at encouraging more local businesses to enter for the Queen’s Awards. I travelled with Sean by train, which in my opinion took ages. The event was good, the food was delicious. Very delicious.

On Wednesday, I had a chat with Tony in the Analysis unit and learnt what they do and how statistics are used in the world. Also, 3 other work experience students and I went to hear the second reading of the Small Businesses Bill, unfortunately, we only heard the introduction as the Retirement of the Clerk of the House Motion went on for longer than expected.

Yesterday, I met Lord Young and went to the X-Forces One Year Anniversary thanks to Harriet and Chaquita which was a lot of fun so thanks for that. I also went inside 10 Downing Street, an honour which few people get.

Today, I was shown by Kerry how businesses enter and individuals nominate others for the Queen’s Awards and the assessment and administration processes, all of which are done online.

Overall, I have had a very educational experience (which I feared as these 2 weeks were meant to be away from education) and I’d like to thank you all for my experience and a massive thanks to Linda for getting me in here.

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