Although a lot of hard work and long days, I can easily say it was one of the best experiences of my life to date and will keep in touch with my fellow G20-ers into the future.
The G20 was an amazing insight into what it is like to report on, and be part of policy making. Arriving at the airport, being treated like VIPs and being escorted to private buses was a strange experience. However, for me it was most exciting being part of the International Media Centre. The general atmosphere of the centre and constantly seeing news reports and interviews being conducted meant we right in the centre of the media frenzy.
As I was writing my analysis on gender equality at the G20, I went to several press conferences including the C20 (civil society engagement group) and W20 (the new women’s engagement group) who advise on G20 policies. During these press conferences I was able to ask a couple of questions to the members board of both the C20 and W20. Asking questions in front of a packed room of journalists was quite nerve racking, but it was great to be in a position where my questions were treated with equal value to those in the business for decades. I even got approached by a board member after and swapped business cards!
During the G20 I also conducted several interviews with representatives from the C20 to add to my report. Having never interviewed in this context before to speaking to some of the most influential women at a global conference, it was such a great experience and will give me even more confidence in the future. After completing my policy brief, my interviewees have got in touch with their thanks, and I have even been requested to have my analysis translated into Russian and published on a Russian website.
GLOSS’S GLI scheme has given me the opportunity to gain practical experience within policy and international relations and look into the effectiveness of this type of summit, something I have always wanted to do and never expected to have the possibility of doing at this stage in my course.
Having published an article for Global Policy journal, I have increased my quality of writing, particularly to a very tight deadline under pressure. The need to stay relaxed and focused during the G20 whilst also attending high profile conferences, (including being third row for Obama’s press conference!), has meant I’ve gained relational and time-management skills that I otherwise would have not realised I had.
Although I have always been interested in policy making, the GLI scheme has meant that I’m even more focused and passionate about being involved in shaping policies in the future and I’m now looking into civil service or diplomatic service careers in more detail.
Joanna Moody is a BA Geography student at the University of Sheffield.