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Image of Joe Smallman selfie taken in the College grounds

Summer internship at the Intellectual Forum

Meet Joe Smallman (2017), who is spending part of his summer gaining work experience as an Intellectual Forum research intern.

What you are working on during your internship?

I'm investigating the relationship between different devolution settlements in England and regional inequality. It's really interesting because England is a unique place internationally due to its high level of centralisation in London, and I think this contributes to a lot of communities feeling powerless and 'left behind'.

What impact do you hope the work will have?

As someone who isn't an insider to these policy debates, I don't have a vested interest in a particular model. So I hope I can bring a slightly outside perspective and point out areas where the current paradigm of devolution is contributing to more systemic issues in the English economy.

What do you study at Jesus College? 

I study Human, Social, and Political Sciences, and I'm about to start my third year specialising in Politics and Sociology. Cambridge can seem like a really unusual place coming from a working class background, but I've made a lot of friends here and the teaching has often had a really profound impact on how I relate to politics. I've loved it.

Has your time at the Intellectual Forum been useful?

As an intern, working at the IF has been extremely useful. Julian Huppert has allowed me a lot of independence in following research based around my own interests, and working with various contacts he's put me in touch with has given me a lot of experience in professional academic settings. The work I've done has set me up well to begin work for my dissertation.

What do you hope to do in future?

I'm not too sure just yet, but I'd like to carry on studying politics at postgrad level.

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