Every summer, University of Dallas students spread all over the world to gain experience through internships and jobs. In the summer of 2018, Elisa Ron, a senior and double major in politics and economics, had the opportunity to intern at the Liberal Democrat Headquarters in London.
Ron interned as a policy researcher in the policy unit of the Headquarters. Her tasks involved reading, researching, and summarizing academic reports and government reviews. Her major project of the summer on immigration policy entailed researching and drafting a project on race equality issues in Britain.
Ron reflected that working with Liberal Democrats, the UK’s third party, was interesting because it is a smaller operation and isn’t as prominent as the other two major parties. “The smaller office and smaller team meant there was so more responsibility. It allowed interns the chance to do things they wouldn’t normally do.” Ron also mentioned that she hadn’t expected to be taken as seriously as she was. Being an American, she didn’t know how she would be received, but she appreciated being seen as a colleague there.
Ron also reflected on what it means to become involved in the political sphere as an intern. “You aren’t there to express your opinions; you’re there to do your work. It is easy to become involved in the partisanship and the polarization, especially in politics, but you shouldn’t. You want to be known for what you contributed, not what you say.”
One of Ron’s favorite aspects of the internship was the chance to go abroad, and she spoke on the uniqueness of being an international intern. “It was really good experience, the kind of experience I wouldn’t have gotten in the United States. Working abroad is totally different ball game than studying abroad. You have to navigate a different world culture, and make an effort.” Integrating herself as an American put a different twist on the internship experience, she said, because she learned how to interact with people that she never thought she’d interact with.
Ron discovered this opportunity when researching for an international internship, and the Hansard Society helped her get placement at the Liberal Democrat Headquarters. Strengthening her application was a strong GPA, letters of recommendation, experience abroad in the UD Rome Program, work experience as a tutor, and her expressed interest in the city of London.
While interning in London, Ron also took the opportunity to study at the London School of Economics as part of her program, taking classes in British Parliamentary Politics.
Saying she would highly recommend this internship to anyone considering a political or international position, she encouraged, “Don’t let finances get in the way. I was nervous about the cost, but I made it work because in the long run, it’ll really benefit in so many ways.”
She also cautioned, “Be aware of cultural surroundings, and don’t be afraid to apply to a prestigious position. I never thought I would have this opportunity in London. You never know, so just give it a try.”
To make an appointment with a career advisor, click here.