'My time at SYP'

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Scottish Youth Parliament

26 April 2018

My time at SYP

By Susie Chilver, S6 pupil from Edinburgh


So… where to begin?

The last time I wrote anything about my time at SYP was around November, and I said “I have had an invaluable experience and I look forward to seeing where it takes me further into the academic year.”

Now, five months later, I can safely say I have had an abundance of worthwhile, educational experiences since then, and that I never thought I would learn this much from my time here at SYP.

Among the many opportunities the team have provided me with, was the SYP Awards. Spring came (or so we briefly thought!) and with it, the chance to partake in the voting panel for this year’s awards. This was great, as I had obviously never done anything like it before, and it was weird (in a good way!) to know that the discussions we had and decisions we made were actually going to have a direct impact on MSYPs, and the message of empowerment that SYP encourages was in full swing. Not only this, but as well as being surrounded by professionals, I was treated with the maturity of a professional myself. Although the others and Kirsty [SYP’s Administration and Policy Assistant] may have done this incidentally, it still went a long way.

An underlying current in my whole time at SYP has also been the flexibility of the team. From the way the March Sitting was rescheduled so quickly due to our snow-packed days and all resources were altered accordingly, to the way the whole team have been so easy-going and understanding about any postponing, date, or time changing due to my very busy school schedule, and the fact that there has always been something different and exciting for me to do each week – it’s no wonder that adaptability is one of the skills I feel that I have developed the most.

I can’t say enough how fun an environment the SYP office has been to work in. Imagine an office where ten friends have a laugh, whilst also getting an unbelievable amount of work done, continuing to be productive and efficient, and carrying an organisation that cares for all of Scotland’s young people. That doesn’t seem quite possible, yet somehow, those at SYP manage. The whole team have also been so unbelievably kind and welcoming to me, treating me as part of the team, letting me get used to working in an office, and even going so far as to get me some cake for my birthday!

I do not think I will ever be able to show how grateful I am for everything SYP has done for me. Having to initially be interviewed in order to achieve the role taught me (unsurprisingly) some interview skills, as well as making me do something new and helping me gain confidence. Getting to meet every individual member of the SYP team and being able to attend the October Sitting opened my eyes to the full scale of SYP’s work, and got me thinking more about the different jobs, roles and exciting paths to follow in the world of work.

The list of transferrable skills I have gained this year is endless, but I can say for sure that the confidence, communication abilities, and focus I now have at the end of S6 and at the end of high school, is so largely down to my time with the Scottish Youth Parliament.