Two recent UNBC graduates are spending a year in Ottawa immersing themselves in the inner workings of the federal government through the Parliamentary Internship Programme.
Hanna Hughes and Daniel Lukac are two of 10 young professionals selected from across Canada to participate in the 10-month long internship program. During their tenure, they will work with both a government and opposition Member of Parliament, take part in academic seminars and write a research paper.
“I applied for the Parliamentary Internship Programme to gain first-hand experience and practical knowledge of the day-to-day political dynamics on Parliament Hill,” says Lukac, who graduated with a UNBC Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2016 and earned a Master of Arts in Political Studies from Queen’s University in 2019.
Hughes graduated from UNBC earlier this year with a joint major in Global and International Studies and Political Science. She credited her experiences at UNBC with preparing her for the program.
“The jobs that I held as a research assistant, student assistant, and journal assistant at UNBC were invaluable for the development of critical research and writing skills necessary for a parliamentary intern,” she says.
Hughes says she applied for the program in part to gain non-partisan experience to prepare for a possible future career in government. Less than two months in, Hughes has already learned a lot.
“The most memorable moment on the Hill so far was when I was able to Zoom with former prime minister Paul Martin and ask questions about the formation of the G20, his role as Finance Minister, and how to operate in a minority government,” she says.
Lukac credits his UNBC instructors and fellow students for providing an environment where his interest in politics could flourish.
“My time at UNBC gave me writing and analysis skills that have been crucial for me professionally, and perhaps more importantly, nurtured my passion for politics and political philosophy,” Lukac says. “It also gave me an absolutely indispensable and incredibly supportive social network, consisting of both peers and faculty.”