My Journey in Policy: Reflections from Andrew Harrop’s Masterclass

Hani is a dedicated Bid Writer for a charity addressing biases and discrimination in the private and public sectors. Currently pursuing a master’s in Development Studies and Arabic with a focus on climate policy, Hani aspires to apply insights from the Masterclass Programme to influence sustainable development policies. Passionate about community engagement, Hani envisions creating a diverse professional network to foster a socially just and environmentally conscious future. With a commitment to integrating lessons learned into practical initiatives, Hani seeks to contribute meaningfully to a world where inclusivity and environmental sustainability are at the forefront of policymaking.

Attending Andrew Harrop’s Masterclass was a transformative experience that provided invaluable insights on topics such as landing your first entry job, developing your skill set, and identifying policy gaps to address our society’s concerns. Mr Harrop, who has been the General Secretary of the Fabian Society since Autumn 2011, has an extensive background in economic and social policy, and his journey closely mirrors my own aspirations. 

Mr Harrop’s unique career path is particularly inspiring to me, having both started our journeys working in Parliament as students. His progression from a researcher at a think tank to his roles at Age Concern England and Age UK, culminating in his leadership at the Fabian Society, exemplifies a dedicated trajectory of influence in policy-making. As a student of Anthropology focusing on migration studies and climate policy, a key takeaway was the emphasis on evidence-based policymaking. With aspirations to become a policy advisor, utilising evidence to support research and recommendations, is crucial in creating effective and sustainable policies. This approach is reflected in the Fabian Society’s commitment to spotlighting key socioeconomic issues and examining the Labour Party’s policies in the run-up to the general election in July. The Fabian Society understands that we need more inclusive policies that are mindful of social issues to adapt to the changing world around us. Mr Harrop’s focus on inclusive policies resonates deeply with my passion for advocacy and migration studies as I want to utilise policy-making to cultivate sustainable solutions to some of the largest concerns facing Britain. 

Another key lesson from Mr Harrop’s Masterclass was the importance of being open-minded to opportunities, particularly within the non-profit sector. Mr Harrop emphasized that opportunities often resemble hidden gems and may be closer than we realise. This perspective is especially useful for those of us just starting out in our careers. It encourages us to remain vigilant and open to various paths that might not initially seem obvious. For instance, Mr Harrop’s career path included a variety of roles in the charity sector, where he honed his policy and research skills. This advice resonates with my experiences and aspirations, reminding me that valuable opportunities for growth and impact can be found in unexpected places. Once we seize these opportunities, it is crucial to continually nurture fundamental skills such as analysis, critical thinking, and adaptability, which are essential for sustained progress and success in the ever-evolving field of policy-making. 

The Masterclass was exceptionally beneficial, providing both inspiration and practical guidance for my career. Mr Harrop’s journey from a part-time parliamentary worker to a leading figure in policy research and advocacy underlines the importance of dedication, skill development, and a commitment to evidence-based policymaking. Drawing on facts and evidence to support my research from an environmental and anthropological perspective has made me think a lot about my experiences studying migration from a policy perspective and how I can expand my expertise to shape migration policies and challenge attitudes towards migration and its negative connotations. 

As I move forward in my career, I am inspired to develop policies that are inclusive to all and mindful of the world around us. And much like the Patchwork Foundation, I will strive to contribute to a positive change in the political landscape.