Is there anything you wish you would have known before leaving and why?
before I’d left I wish I had fully understood how much of setting up interviews is just networking. I was freaked out that I hadn’t done enough work to find out who I needed to speak to when I was there and that I would run through all of my contacts in only a few days. But once I was on the ground I found that one contact would lead to another who would know someone that worked on a completely different aspect of my question that I hadn’t considered. If you focused on the steps of being a good researcher and engaged with the topic it was amazing how willing a person is to introduce you to someone they know.
That and that Bank Holiday is a thing and it will happen inevitably in the shortest week in your trip and throw off your schedules.
Why did you choose this particular country/internship?
London is a contradiction for anyone working to restore kidnapped persons to their families. It is at once the seat of government for the nation with the strictest policy regarding payment of ransom to designated criminal and terrorist organizations and also the international hub of the insurance markets underwriting kidnap, ransom, and extortion (KRE) insurance, which provides crisis response consultants to clients and indemnifies them against the loss of funds paid to criminal and terrorist organizations as ransom. Its the center of the business side of kidnappings and offers an excellent opportunity to speak with people engaged on the issue from all sides by traveling between no more than a few stations.
What are two interesting things about the country you visited that the average person doesn't know?
Public Houses in the U.K. close very early relative to American bars; it is not uncommon to have your local shut down before midnight. To compensate the British have the lock in. The doors are locked, the lights go on, and everyone becomes guests at a private social gathering. You can pay the bar before last call and cash in your credit for “free” drinks later in the night. Many excellent conversations can be had during a lock in. When you spend the day talking about kidnapping and possible execution of individuals around the world this is known as self care.
On an entirely separate note, I discovered that you can take afternoon tea in Parliament for a small fee and if the traditional terrace happens to be under renovation at the time they will gladly upgrade you to the MP’s personal dinning room instead.