Diana Lunca studied International Relations at Coventry University and graduated in 2018. Originally from Romania, she chose to come to Coventry because she liked the interesting programme of study, the diverse range of extracurricular activities and the cultural diversity of the city.
Diana Lunca studied International Relations at Coventry University and graduated in 2018. Originally from Romania, she chose to come to Coventry because she liked the interesting programme of study, the diverse range of extracurricular activities and the cultural diversity of the city. One of the things Diana took part in as a student was the ParliaMentors programme, a UN award-winning leadership scheme for university students from different faith and belief backgrounds which is currently looking for new applicants.
“I am very interested in intercultural and interfaith communication, as well as in creating a positive and impactful change in the local community. ParliaMentors gave me the opportunity to work with people from different cultural backgrounds on a successful social action programme.
“It was amazing, even better than I expected. The programme not only helps you to build your skills and be mentored by an MP, but also provides a wide range of intercultural communication training.
“I am still part of the alumni network and I get involved in the Faith and Belief Forum (FBF) through different volunteering programmes.
“Through ParliaMentors, I gained many transferable skills such as fundraising, stakeholder engagement, programme coordination, as well as effectively managing a social action programme (which introduced a mentoring scheme) designing the programme, managing the budget, and monitoring the volunteering team.
“I even developed report-writing skills by collecting, compiling and analysing the data to create monthly progress reports on the social action programme and researching ways to improve its evolution.
“I enjoyed every moment, from the training week in London to the graduation ceremony in the House of Commons, from where, two years later, I had the chance to work. I also loved the fact that it was such a welcoming and friendly environment and that I am still friends with many of our team members and volunteers after almost three years.
“After University, I found the programme very useful as in addition to the practical skills I developed while delivering the social action programme, ParliaMentors taught me how to work independently, how to manage the time and finances for a project and how to identify and engage with people who might have an interest in the programme.
“Years later, I still use stakeholder engagement techniques I learned on the programme and found that the whole experience was a confidence booster which certainly helped me to further my career.
For this, I will always be grateful for being part of the ParliaMentors programme and I would definitely recommend it to others.
Diana is currently working as a Policy Adviser at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
Find out more, the closing date to apply for the ParliaMentors programme is 26 April.