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Parliament, the Scottish way

When Anthony Turner, SSH’15, arrived at the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment in Sep­tember for his co-​​op, it became imme­di­ately clear he didn’t cross the Atlantic Ocean to run errands or catch a glimpse of inter­na­tional pol­i­tics from afar. Rather, he was imme­di­ately thrust into action, working hand-​​in-​​hand with Jackie Baillie, a member of the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment for the Dum­b­arton con­stituency and Shadow Cab­inet Sec­re­tary for Social Jus­tice, Equal­i­ties, and Welfare.

“They had immense trust in me as a North­eastern stu­dent, and I was truly a part of the office,” said Turner, a San Fran­cisco native and an inter­na­tional affairs and eco­nomics com­bined major at Northeastern.

In his co-​​op posi­tion, Turner fre­quently researched bills and local sto­ries and responded to let­ters from con­stituents. He also par­tic­i­pated in writing par­lia­men­tary motions. After two weeks of writing those motions and run­ning them by the chief of staff, he proved his meddle and took over a much larger share of those responsibilities.

Oppor­tu­ni­ties like these—the chance to be a valued member of a global team while still in school—initially drew Turner to North­eastern. “I knew for a fact that the co-​​op pro­gram would would give us at North­eastern an invalu­able head start.”

He com­pleted his co-​​op in December and looks back at his time in Scot­land with deep pride. “Whether it’s work we did with the same-​​sex mar­riage bill cur­rently making its way through, or the work ensuring that money dis­trib­uted to coun­cils for public housing ten­ants was actu­ally get­ting to the people who need it, I cer­tainly feel good about a lot of what I did in that office.”

Turner’s first expe­ri­ence in pol­i­tics came in 2012, when he worked on co-​​op as an intern at the Mass­a­chu­setts State­house in Boston. The expe­ri­en­tial learning oppor­tu­nity, he said, served as a good spring­board for what he wanted to do—and where he wanted to go—on his next co-​​op.

Upon grad­u­a­tion, he aims to pursue a career that com­bines social ser­vice and his polit­ical experience.

“My expe­ri­ence with co-​​op has given me the oppor­tu­nity to figure out what field is the best fit,” he said. “When the time comes, the most impor­tant thing to me is to make a difference.”

– By Jordana Torres

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