Glodek’s internship began routinely enough: His duties included going from house-to-house in Mak’s constituency area and distributing surveys to gauge popular opinion of Mak’s performance in Parliament and of Brexit. He also gave tours of the Houses of Parliament to the public and coordinated campaign mailings. While he spent most of his time in a building across from the Palace of Westminster, where Parliament meets, he did have an opportunity to attend sessions from time to time. One such session was the historic Saturday meeting held to vote on the Brexit timeline — a session that Glodek noted was attended by nearly every MP.
After the snap election was called, Glodek explained that he continued to work for Mak remotely, conducting research on various Chinese organizations and companies. He also took classes through the International Education of Students (IES) Abroad, a nonprofit provider of study abroad and internship programs for college and university students. IES also coordinated both Glodek’s and Mora’s UK Parliament internships.
Glodek stated that his favorite course was Women’s “Herstory” where he had the opportunity to conduct research on Odette Sansom, a special operations executive agent, the most highly decorated woman during World War II, and one of the few women to be awarded both the George Cross and appointed a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour). He visited both the National Archives and the Imperial War Museum to find source materials.
“I enjoyed the experience and I got a better sense of how international government works,” said Glodek. Although he is still deciding what he wants to do after graduation, he is now considering positions in government and would eventually like to work as a diplomat.
For Brianna Mora, a junior with a double major in global studies and political science and a minor in Spanish, her desire to pursue a career in law led her to the internship in UK Parliament.
Mora was assigned to Lisa Cameron, a Scottish National Party politician who has been the MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow since winning the seat at the 2015 general election.
Working for a member of the Scottish National Party provided Mora with a unique perspective. While UK Parliament is the legislative body of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, all three countries do not always agree on law and policy. Scotland is strongly opposed to Brexit but as part of the UK Parliament system, the country has been overruled.
While working for Cameron, Mora conducted research on her constituency, worked on her campaign and helped to develop her website design. She also gave tours of the Houses of Parliament to the public.
In addition to her internship, Mora enrolled in four courses through IES. In one course on the European Union, she had the opportunity to visit the EU Commission in Brussels, where she met with students from IES Freiberg to debate the subject of Brexit. This experience gave her a unique perspective on Brexit from students from another country in the EU outside the United Kingdom.
When asked how her internship impacted her, Mora commented, “Before leaving, I was very nervous. I’m very independent but I’ve never been on my own in a foreign country. I gained a sense of confidence and a lot of knowledge. And now I know what I want to do.”
After graduation, Mora intends to attend law school and would eventually like to work in international human rights law with a focus on Europe.
What does the immediate future hold for Mora? This spring, she will be traveling to Switzerland as part of another Global Studies program course.
About the Global Studies program
Penn State Berks offers the only global studies degree in the Penn State University system. While emphasizing a traditional liberal arts education in literature, politics, history and foreign language study, the bachelor of arts degree in global studies also promotes intercultural understanding and sensitivity to diversity — both of which are critical to navigating the 21st-century global environment. All Penn State Berks global studies majors are required to study abroad as part of their baccalaureate degree requirements, providing them with the unique opportunity to add real-world experience to classroom preparation.