Law school has always been the plan for sophomore Max Flom of the University of Utah soccer team, but when it came to deciding on what she wanted to major in at Utah, she decided political science would be her best bet, and she also added on minors in Spanish and campaign management.
“At first, I thought that if I didn’t go to law school, maybe I should do something more practical like business or English [or] economics, but none of them really fit,” Flom said. “I just find foreign policy and human rights super interesting within political science. It’s such a helpful major now.”
Thanks to her diverse studies, Flom had the chance to complete an internship in the United Kingdom through the university’s Hinckley Institute of Politics. Last summer, Flom did an internship through the Hinckley Institute under Sen. Orinn Hatch, but this time around she wanted to go abroad to intern with a member of Parliament in London.
“At the end of April, their Prime Minister called a snap election,” Flom said. “So for the first month I was in Wales campaigning for a prospective member of Parliament and that involved talking to a lot of the locals about Craig Williams, who I was representing.”
Flom worked during the week, but she had time to kill during the weekends. She traveled to Dublin, Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris in her free time. Flom admits that at first, traveling to new areas frightened her, but that all changed on this trip. She said it turned out to be one of the best experiences of her life, and she even had the chance to play soccer and watch the UEFA Champions League Final while she was there.
“Max has a wide range of interests and passions,” said head coach Rich Manning. “I always think itís great when they can fill their appetite on all of those things because it just fuels them up for the things they love, one of which is soccer. I think that is inspiring.”
During the second month of Flom’s trip overseas, she was doing casework for a member of Parliament from England in the House of Commons. Not only did she get hands-on experience, but she got to see the Queen of England and British politician Jeremy Corbyn. What stood out to her the most, however, was learning the different system of politics and how it was run compared to the United States.
Having completed her internship and returned to the U.S., Flom feels her experience abroad changed her perspective on life. Flom said there were terrorist attacks when she was in the London and Paris areas, and being away from home, close to the terror, helped her appreciate what she had back in the states. She realized her life should not be wasted, and she should take full advantage of all that it has to offer. She also learned it’s not worth it to get worked up over the little things, which is a lesson she tries to remember now that she’s home.
“I would describe myself as a very uptight, conscientious and worrisome person,” Flom said. “The other intern I was working with, even after the first month, said it seemed like I was a lot more laid back. You go with the flow because when you are abroad, you don’t know what’s going to happen next. Travel plans can get mixed up, you have to eat food you don’t want to eat and you aren’t going to understand the language or the politics.”
Flom now has a new motto that she lives by: just roll with the punches. Since adopting it, she feels more relaxed. She thinks there is a lot of value in traveling to a different part of the world and experiencing diverse cultures and lifestyles.
“Today, it’s so much easier, and the world is so much smaller through travel and the internet,” Flom said. “I definitely think it’s an important thing to go out and do. It’s easy to diss a lot of things nowadays, but I just say, ‘Don’t knock it until you try it.'”