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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.”