My Senedd experience

Published 22/03/2023   |   Last Updated 28/03/2023   |   Reading Time minutes

As-salamu alaykum/Shwmae/Hello, I’m Abida!

I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of the first cohort of YMLAEN interns at the Senedd, along with three brilliant other interns, Afsana, Lukas and Suad. So, I thought I’d share my experience of the internship with you all.

Why I applied

Before applying to the Senedd, I did have some pre-conceived ideas about the ‘type’ of person that would be hired in Parliament or a political institution, based on what I had seen. Growing up, I hadn’t typically seen many politicians or staff working in Parliament, that looked like me, or had the same lived experiences as me. So, as someone of Bangladeshi heritage, of Islamic faith, coming from a low-socio economic area and being the first generation in my family to attend university, I didn’t think that I was ‘that type’ of person to be hired.

In terms of the Senedd itself, I hadn’t seen much representation of those from a BAME background here. So, it was quite admirable to see that the Senedd was honest and actively working on increasing BAME representation in HEO positions within the public sector, one way being through the YMLAEN programme. So of course, when I saw the job description, I had to apply.

One of the other factors that had also convinced me to apply to the internship was the fact that no experience in the chosen field was required, but that there would be training and development throughout the year and opportunities for self-development also. Being a law graduate with no specific communications experience but having a keen interest and passion in social media, news, and politics, this felt like the perfect role and opportunity which suited most of my interests.

The internship

Royals, Committee campaigns, bucket hats, Oscar nominated artists, Commonwealth games, mini mic interviews… the list goes on

As alluded to above, it has been a busy year at the Senedd – and such a surreal year for me! It’s said that the Senedd is the heart of Wales - you really do feel that when you’re working here.

In Summer last year, whilst I was on my placement in the news team, I got to write my first ever press release for the launch of the ‘Affairs of the Art’ exhibition at the Senedd! The exhibition was created by Oscar nominated artist, Joanna Quinn, and it was such an enjoyable experience getting to know Joanna, who shared the best stories of when she attended the Oscars.

Joanna Quinn

Joanna Quinn's awards


The Senedd also hosted the Commonwealth homecoming celebrations, where I had the chance to meet some of the athletes that had won medals for our country. I’m pretty sure it was also the hottest day of the year, so unforgettable for many reasons!



commonwealth games


Some of the most surreal moments for me were during the King’s visit, following the death of the Queen. I had joined the events team during that time and had the opportunity to have walk-throughs with the First Minister and Llywydd. During the King’s visit, I interviewed some of the Welsh Youth Parliament members that had spoken to the King, but also got to experience first-hand just the immense calibre of all the teams at the Senedd, who really pulled together, resulting in a seamless visit. 




I’ve had the chance to lead on committee campaigns during my placement with the Digital team. One standout campaign I’ve led on was the Equality and Social Justice Committee’s inquiry on violence against women, addressing the needs of migrant women. This was a sensitive topic, which I had a prior interest in. I really wanted to get across the message of the Committee’s report in a digestible, understandable way for the Welsh public, through social media. This is where I had the opportunity to thrive within my role. I thought of different ways to display our content on social media, using new templates and simple language choices. This was received well by both the team and our audiences, and the templates have been used again by the team! 


Ah, November 2022 – Wales in the World Cup! To celebrate Wales going to the World Cup, I created a reel for Instagram, consisting of Members of the Senedd, doing transitions with the Welsh bucket hat. This was by far, the most fun project I worked on, and I don’t think many people can say they’ve thrown around Welsh bucket hats with Members in the Cwrt of the Welsh Parliament! I also got to meet Rob Page and Noel Mooney during a Q&A session hosted at the Senedd and interviewed young footballers from a local grassroots club in Cardiff Bay. 

rob page



The Welsh Youth Parliament Members are such inspiring young people, and I’ve had amazing opportunities to work with them as well. During their residential weekend, I was trying to think about different ways to interview the Members – so for the first time on our social media channels, I interviewed Youth Parliament Members … with mini microphones! 



The list truly does go on, my experiences and time here at the Senedd have been unforgettable!

The team

Working alongside such creative people, and brilliant minds is amazing. Here at the Senedd, it goes a step further in that the people here are the nicest. Here, I have never felt the need to dampen aspects of my personality or my background. (Which you should never have to do anyhow!)

The communications team, and each department that has taken on an intern this year, have been the most supportive, encouraging and welcoming teams. (Not forgetting all the other teams across the Senedd)

I have been able to lead on campaigns and meetings, and have full confidence in myself in doing so, because of the constant support, trust, positive encouragement and reassurance that I receive from the communications team. They really made me feel comfortable to bring my whole self to work, and I feel valued and appreciated which means a huge deal to someone like me, who had a little bit of imposter syndrome when I first started!

The interns

There’s no way I could forget to write about the three brilliant other interns who I’ve shared this journey with: Lukas, Afsana and Suad.

From the outset, us four interns really clicked. From training sessions together, Welsh lessons together, me dragging the interns into social media content, hosting a Windsor fellowship visit in Cardiff together, and many more, I’ve had the best time with the interns.


senedd interns


Not only have I learnt hard skills from them, but lifelong skills and knowledge. Afsana, Lukas and Suad are the most intelligent and inspiring people, and I have the absolute privilege of being able to call them my close friends. My internship experience would not have been as vibrant and rich without them. 

The end?

It might be the end of the internship, but definitely not the end of my journey of professional and personal development, that this internship has really helped me with. My experiences, along with all my training, made me realise that I really thrive when I am given the opportunity to develop my skill set in such a wholesome and supportive environment.

So, whether it be at the Senedd, or elsewhere, I am determined to use all the skills that I’ve gained throughout this internship and add value to any organisation that I am in – and also, bring my whole self to work.

I encourage anyone to apply to the YMLAEN internship, which are currently taking applications for the second cohort!