MSc Public Policy, 2003–2004
Mark Rusling, MSc Public Policy, 2003–2004.
Since leaving the School of Public Policy, I have had quite a varied career. When I started my Masters, I already had a contract at Linklaters in the City, training to become a solicitor. But my heart wasn't in it and I left after two years to work for the United Nations Association, covering campaigns, policy and public affairs for all things concerning the UN. It was fun and I stayed for two and a half years before leaving to join the trade body for the domestic energy retailers, working in a policy and public affairs role again, covering social policy issues surrounding gas and electricity.
I have been a Labour Party member for a number of years now and, after the 2010 general election, David Lammy (the MP for Tottenham) asked me to join his team as Head of Office. And that is what I have been doing since, speechwriting, managing his staff, liaising with the media - covering everything that an MP's office covers. It has been a fascinating few years - leading a campaign to stop Tottenham Hotspur FC from leaving Tottenham, managing the aftermath of the riots which started in Tottenham in August 2011 and developing policy on London issues.
I was also elected as a Councillor in Walthamstow in May 2010 and, since May 2012, I have been the Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Corporate Resources. My role involves employment, business and skills, as well as managing the benefits cuts imposed on local authorities by the government. I carry it out part-time, alongside my position with David Lammy. It certainly keeps me busy and out of trouble!
I have never once regretted my time at UCL. The course was fascinating and, having gone on to work as a politician and for a politician, it has even been useful! I would encourage anybody with an interest in how decisions are made to follow that interest at the School of Public Policy.