Jade Ball

Here is a day by day breakdown of Jade Ball's work experience with Julie Ward in 2015.

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Monday 22nd June: Day One

I woke up to the dreadful sound of my mobile phone alarm clock in Brussels and I realised. Today is the day that I go to work at the European Parliament. Then I began to get dressed into my work clothes that were hung up in the tiniest of wardrobes in the hotel room. Me and dad then left the hotel, handbag and folder in hand. Due to the rain we got in a taxi bound for the parliament which luckily didn't take too long. I arrived early and waited for Haydn (one of Julie's team) to meet me at the entrance. He came down just before 10am and my placement officially began. Firstly I had to get signed in so I could enter the parliament for the week. I was given a visitors badge. Once I got inside I had to go through an X-Ray scanner like at the airport. After that I got taken up to the office which was on the 13th floor in the G-Block which is where all of the S&D [Socialists & Democrats] offices are. There I met Omri & Julia. Two other members of Julie's Team. Soon after I went back downstairs with Haydn to go and meet Peter. He was another student I would be with for the week. All of us went back upstairs and started some office admin work. That involved adding contacts that received Arts Council England funding to an excel chart. After doing that for an hour and bit (I lost track of time) me and Peter went for lunch in the parliament. Let's just say that we got lost very easily as the parliament is massive. Eventually had lunch and went back upstairs. Following from lunch Omri asked me and Peter if we would be interested in going to a Development & Environment Committee Meeting. Both of us gladly accepted! So it was back down to level 3 for this conference which took me to the end of the day. Overall a very interesting and meaningful first day at the parliament.

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Tuesday 23rd June: Day Two

Once again woke up to my alarm and got ready for my second day. Thankfully I was feeling much more relaxed this morning as I had survived my first day.  Fortunately during his free day yesterday my dad had figured out how the metro system works. As we were staying just off Avenue Louise we got on at Louise station and rode for two station up to Trône. Then it was a gentle walk up to the parliament. Just before 9:30am, Peter and Trevor (A member of the UK team) came rushing outside to me. Then we ran towards the square for a taxi and me and peter climbed inside. We were being sent to a conference about lobbying off site. This conference was really interesting as it showed how people can literally buy their way into influencing rule and amendments to documents passed through the European Parliament, European Commission and the Council. After that Konrad (another member of the UK team) met us after the conference and walked us back to the parliament. As soon as we got back we continued it some office work. however that didn't last very long because Julia then invited us to a Creative Industries conference. This was off site so we had to walk a short distance to the venue. People started arriving  at 12:30. But the actual meeting didn't start until shortly after 13:00. During this conference I sort of had a fairytale moment to myself. Due to the fact that some of the delegates could only speak German or French we had to have headphones and listen to an interpreter. This made me feel like I was within a scene from my all time favourite Nicole Kidman movie, The Interpreter which is set at the United Nations. Anyway this conference lasted just over 3 hours so it took me to the end of the day so I could go and meet my dad.  Once again another very politically involved and varied day at the office.

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Wednesday 24th June: Day 3

A very manic start to my third day. Me and dad had to quickly vacate the hotel as he had to go and get his flight from the city airport. Once again we used the metro and got off at Trône. This journey felt like forever as I had to move my suitcase with me on top of everything else. I dropped my case off at my new hotel that I would be with mom at. I ended up going into work early that morning and went into the final stages of a breakfast meeting that Julie was speaking at. The meeting was for the European Foundation for Progressive Studies. After this had finished we briefly went back up to the office. Then Julia asked me and Peter if we wanted to go to a Children's Rights Intergroup. Once again we both accepted. Personally this was my favourite meeting as it was something I had more of an idea about before. The meeting was about the rights of child migrants and refugee children in Syria and its surrounding nations. During that meeting I get a message of my mom saying that she had just landed in the airport and that she was on her way to meet me. Then about 30 minutes later she said she was outside the parliament. I had previously asked if I could meet my mom on this day and it had been agreed. I told Julia she was here and she let me go on my lunch break. I got myself out and ran across to where she was standing. I hadn't seen her since Saturday morning and I had missed her very much. Then we went out for lunch together. Then I went back inside and me, Peter and Barbara went and sat in on a Plenary Session. This is a huge debate where several issues are discussed and it goes on for many hours until an electronic vote takes place. On this occasion we got to listen to the interpreters again as many different nationalities of people spoke in there.  We stayed in there for quite a while, until the end of the day in fact. Then I met mom again and we went back to our new hotel. Today was definitely the most full on and special of all the days so far, as the plenary sessions usually take place in Strasbourg and we didn't think we would be able to actually sit in there and watch. 

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Thursday 25th June: Day Four

Sadly today was my last day at the European Parliament. During the week I have become increasingly accustomed to the way things are run there and I was adjusting well to the working environment. I got dressed and put on my new dress, courtesy of mom bringing it out with her from the UK. We both walked a very short distance, thankfully no metro was required today. As soon as I got into the office I gave the team a small present as a thank you gift for having me for the week which they all loved thankfully. After this I added some more contacts to the excel book for the team. Then Omri took me and peter to a conference within the parliament about the EU's relationship with Russia and the current situation there. After that finished 90 minutes later all 8 of us went out for lunch together in the square which was ever so good. One of the funniest lunches I have ever had. At the table Barbara gave me some presents on behalf of all of them which I was in utter surprise to receive from them. Even though I kept saying to her that it really wasn't necessary. Quite a while later we all went back upstairs and I went through the x-ray scanners for the last time thank goodness! when I got back upstairs I did I small research task for Barbara and printed it out for her. After that she gave me back my employers report and went through everything on there with me. By that time it was time for me to go as it was almost 5:00pm. As I had to leave very soon I asked the team if I could have a group photo with them so I could keep it as a memory of my time there. We did that after several attempts. Finally I said goodbye to everyone individually  and then I left by myself.

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