Alix Lawson, Class of 2016
For an extended time in my life I lived in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 2006 I moved back to the United States with my family, eventually settling in Wallingford, Connecticut. Before I came to MAGES I worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA for the Connecticut Campus Compact. My position allowed me to be a key liaison between local non-profits and universities throughout the State of Connecticut. Before AmeriCorps, I completed my Bachelor of Science degree in political science while interning for the Office of Economic Development for the City of New Haven.
Through my experiences and educational pursuits I became extremely interested in international affairs, particularly pertaining to Europe. I found out about MAGES through a college fair in New York. It was, and has turned out to be, the perfect interdisciplinary degree for me. I have broadened my economic, historical, cultural and institutional knowledge of Europe and the EU as a system. I have also been to some of the most insightful and innovative presentations from heads and representatives of states and made some great connections through the vast MAGES and School of Foreign Service network. After the program I hope to work with international aid organizations in order to advance research, education, and institutional functions of humanitarian work on a global level.
Summer 2015 Experience: Research in Copenhagen, Denmark
In May of 2015 I went to Copenhagen, Denmark on a research trip. My mission was to study the narrative surrounding the summer election, attend conferences, and immerse myself with Danish people in order to understand their overall feelings towards Europe and current events that I had focused my studies on during my first year of graduate school. Having grown up in Denmark, this was an exciting new way to interpret my second home and the subset of European people I have grown to love very much.
On June 18th, Denmark had one of the most exciting elections in the country’s history. The nationalist Danish People’s Party became the second largest political party in the country’s parliament and the Social Democrats gave the leadership to the right-of-center Venstre Party. What I really took away from being there during the election was the narrative and people’s reasoning for voting. The Danish Folk party had been pushing their platform hard this election, and the message was well-received in the southern parts of the country because they are an aging population that depends on agriculture, an industry taking a big hit in Europe all throughout the EU. While I was in Copenhagen I also had the opportunity to go to the European Regulation Roadshow. The conference brought together the banking industry, businesses leaders, and compliance executives to discuss strategies for maintaining efficient ways of complying with EU regulations.
I am currently the Transatlantic Program Intern at the Atlantic Council where I research transatlantic initiatives and help to plan programming for key political leaders from Europe and the United States.