Hometown: Elko, Nevada
Majors: Political science and international studies
An Unforgettable Experience
In Edinburgh, I worked as an IE3 intern for the Scottish Parliament and the governing party of Scotland. I was assigned a project to research and write a policy speech on tax cuts for a Scottish Parliament member who represented West Dundee. The project really challenged my writing and research skills, but it was incredibly rewarding. The speech I wrote was ultimately delivered to the full Parliament chamber.
From Edinburgh to Beyond
Guided by the resources provided by the IE3 program, I found a room to rent that was a twenty-minute walk from the city center where I worked. On my days off, I took advantage of the affordable railway system and traveled to London, Belgium, Italy, and all over Scotland. The Scottish National Party also paid me to travel to Inverness and Dundee.
I had an amazing time exploring all that Edinburgh and Scotland had to offer. Between the sights and social atmosphere, I never ran out of things to do. I made several great friends and became very close with a couple of Scottish coworkers as well as other American students. I am still in touch with them all today.
Challenges Worth Facing
Since I was the only UO student in my program, it took a little longer to meet people and get acclimated than I had expected. However, I met other interns and staff members at Parliament, and those worries quickly went away.
Before graduating, I used my internship experience to delve further into the issues of Scottish nationalism and wrote an honors thesis through both the political science and international studies departments. I was accepted by the University of Virginia to study law and received a personal phone call from the Dean who wanted to talk specifically about my experience in Scotland. After deciding to gain more work experience before attending law school, I landed a job at a well-respected law firm in Denver, Colorado. During the interview for my current position, my interviewer was very interested in learning about my experience. I’m certain that the practical skills I gained abroad have helped me greatly in obtaining my first job out of college.
Take It from Me
I encourage students to look at the internships that are available through the UO’s study abroad program. A meaningful internship will go a long way to help you develop both personally and professionally. Very few graduating undergrads have had a work experience that was both relevant to their field and had an international component. My experience continues to give me professional advantages as I begin my post-grad life.