Scotland internship adventures

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Spring and summer semesters usually mean jobs, living at home and possibly more classes. For one BYU student, it means living in Scotland and participating in a European Governance internship through the Kennedy Center.

Alisse Frandsen, a junior studying public relations, interned this summer at the Scottish Parliament with Dennis Robertson, a member of Scottish Parliament. She arrived in Scotland by herself without a place to live.

“I literally thought I was going to die of jet lag,” Frandsen said.

Another BYU student, Heather Scott, a junior studying international relations, soon joined Frandsen.

“After that first scary week, we found a flat, went to the grocery store and did our laundry,” Frandsen said. “I was shocked that I could be a functional adult in such a short time. It was a real confidence booster because I realized that if I could do this, then I could do anything.”

[media-credit name=”Courtesy of Alisse Frandsen” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]
Alisse Frandsen and Heather Scott campaigned for the Scottish National Party during an internship at the Scottish Parliament this summer.
Frandsen and Scott spent the first few weeks of their internships helping with elections for the Scottish Parliament. Both said they enjoyed the experience of traveling through Scotland and talking to a variety of people.

This year’s election was especially significant because the party is planning on pushing for an independent Scotland in the next few years, Frandsen said.

“They won this election by a landslide, a totally unheard of majority, and winning the election was the first step in gaining independence,” Frandsen said. “It was a really big deal to be there and be involved in such a historic occasion.”

While campaigning, they followed the First Minister, Alex Salmond, around in bright yellow jackets, holding yellow balloons.

“They called us his ‘American Cheerleaders,’ and we were in several news programs and all over the newspapers,” Scott said.

After the elections, Frandsen was assigned Robertson as her Member of Scottish Parliament, and Scott was assigned to work in the press and research office.

“I learned about the parliamentary process and constituency case work, which I thought was really interesting because I got to work with citizens of Scotland, just regular people,” Frandsen said.

Scott said her experience in the press and research office included working on research projects for the party’s upcoming independence campaign, gathering facts, data and examples. Scott also wrote party blog posts, press releases, policy recommendations and speeches.

Another BYU student, Audrey Heaton, a junior studying history teaching, is currently participating in this internship in Scotland. Heaton works with her Member of Scottish Parliament, Colin Beattie, and writes parliamentary motions that get voted on by other Members of Scottish Parliament as well as composes press releases for local papers.

“Politics are so different here than in the states — people’s assumptions and values regarding government are so foreign to American politics,” Heaton wrote in an email. “I’ve also learned a lot about the nitty gritty of how governments actually work.”

All three students agree the internship looks fantastic on their resumes. Scott said she has gotten many job interviews based on her experience.

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