2 Minutes With … is a series of short features to introduce us to the passions and interests of Lawrence students on and off campus. Find more 2 Minutes With … features here.
Story by Awa Badiane ’21
As a Lawrence University student from Italy, Andrea Arivella ’20 knew that studying in the United States was not going to be the end of his study abroad experience. The government major is now spending winter term studying in London at Lawrence’s London Centre and interning at Parliament.
“I finished my requirements for my major in the fall,” Arivella said. “So, I thought it would be a nice experience to come to a different place. Also, because this is my senior year, I wanted to use this time to look for some careers. That’s why I applied to the internship program, to get some ideas on what I want to do and make some connections. In a city like London, I knew there would be lots of options.”
Arivella is interning with Wendy Chamberlain, a newly elected member of Parliament (MP). However, Chamberlain was not his original internship placement.
“What they say in the office is, my MP died,” Arivella said. “Politically died. He was in office since the 1990s but did not get reelected.”
Two weeks before the start of winter term, Tom Brake, the MP Arivella was supposed to be interning with, lost the election. This put the internship coordinators at the London Centre into a bit of a frenzy trying to coordinate a next option.
Pursuing the internship
While still in Appleton, Arivella had worked with two internship coordinators at London Centre via Facetime.
“They looked over my resume and helped me to transfer it into a British CV. … A few weeks later they emailed me saying they found an internship.”
He was all set to work in Brake’s office. Then came a message from one of the internship coordinators that Brake had lost his re-election bid, but efforts were already under way to find a different internship placement in Parliament.
“She emails me saying, ‘I’m sure you know, but Tom Brake has lost his seat, but I’ve been scrambling, and I found you someone else,” Arivella said.
He would eventually land on Chamberlain’s staff. Despite the initial chaos, it was worth it in the end.
“What I was told with [the previous MP] is I was just going to be writing back to constituents, so I was going to be behind a laptop all day typing stuff, which I hated,” Arivella said. “When I found out I was going to be working with someone new, especially because this is her first time getting elected, I knew it was going to be more interesting.”
Arivella said day-to-day activity moves at a fast pace as he helps to support his MP’s office.
This internship and being in London have given Arivella the opportunity to explore various ways he can put his government major to work after he graduates in June.
“I already knew I wanted to have a professional career in Europe, but this experience has definitely further established that idea,” he said.
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Tips on studying abroad
We asked Arivella to share some advice on studying abroad:
“Just do it. Don’t be scared. I’ve talked to people and they’ve said to me, ‘You’re going to London for three months, doesn’t that scare you?’ No. Don’t be scared to explore. Make friends, meet new people, delve into new cultures.”
Awa Badiane ’21 is a student writer in the Communications office.