Emily Murrell

BSc Social Policy with Government, 2011
EU Policy Advisor, Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)

After graduating from LSE, I completed a Masters in International Relations and Diplomacy at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium. I thoroughly enjoyed the internationally focused modules in my LSE degree, including EU politics and international and comparative social policy, therefore I was keen to specialise further and strengthen my language skills. My Masters dissertation was published by a UN research centre and on my return to the UK, I joined the Civil Service where I have been working in numerous posts ever since.

I always knew I wanted a career which did more than simply line my own pockets or help a company make more profit. I was open minded when I graduated about whether I would work in a NGO, an international organisation or the UK Civil Service and simply took the opportunities which life presented me with and excited me. I have no regrets so far in terms of my career, but I do still hope to try other job roles and organisations in future.

I currently work in the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change as an EU Policy Advisor in the International Climate Negotiations team. I chose this job because I wanted to use my language skills, work in an international environment (based in London for now but with frequent travel) and needed a job which utilised my key skills of networking, delivering at pace and negotiating.

I love my job, it is fast paced and challenging, internationally focused, involves frequent travel and I am surrounded by a dynamic team that genuinely care about what they do. I wanted a job where no day was the same and I am very fortunate to have found that. My team are responsible for anything related to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. My role involves briefing ministers and senior civil servants before major EU or international meetings; mitigation policy; ensuring the UK influence climate change and energy policy in Brussels and building positive relationships with international stakeholders.

I love that my job involves me being challenged intellectually on a regular basis, that no day is the same and that the work is ultimately very, very interesting. I hope to apply for promotion next year and work my way up in the Civil Service. In future I would love to try working in a major international organisation, in the EU or in an NGO, perhaps abroad, but I am very open minded.

I took every opportunity while I was a student at LSE and after graduation to try different internships and voluntary roles to test what type of jobs I enjoyed and excelled in. Having LSE on your CV makes it much easier to get interesting internships and I highly recommend getting a few internships under your belt before graduating, as sadly a degree alone is not enough for graduates these days. I learned it is important to apply for jobs you are genuinely passionate about, not simply follow the dreams and career plans of others, be it friends or family, as you are likely to sell yourself well as a result and get the job you really want.

My degree taught me to think independently and critically, challenging both my personal views and values as much as any particular political theory or government. I was inspired by global experts who made many of the decisions and implemented many of the policies which have changed the way we address social issues today, both at the UK and international level.

LSE is a leading institution for the social sciences and there is no better place to study social policy and government than on a campus which is less than a twenty minute walk from the Houses of Parliament. International reputation aside, I wanted to study in an international environment, having been brought up in a very ‘British’ white middle-class area for eighteen years, I wanted a global perspective on issues. As well as this, I was keen to study in London; a city full of opportunities, culture and the guarantee of a great social life!

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Emily Murrell