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Oakdale High Alum Interns With Scottish Parliament
Across The Pond
Oakdale High School alumnus Lindsay Combs poses in front of ruins of a cathedral across the street from the Scottish Parliament. The 2013 OHS graduate spent nearly four months earlier this year serving an internship at the Parliament. Photo Contributed

It was just three short years ago that Oakdale High School alumnus Lindsay Combs graced the stage to accept her diploma along with other members in the OHS Class of 2013. Later this month, she will begin her senior year at Brigham Young University as a Broadcast Journalism major.

“I’m majoring in Broadcast Journalism because I wanted to learn how to read and write,” she said of her initial interest in the major. “I also wanted to learn to be a composed and articulate speaker.”

Proving to be wise in her initial choice, Combs nonetheless has an interest beyond her major and education at BYU. Once completing her basic studies she intends to continue her education attending law school.

“I want to go to law school so I can one day prosecute for sexual assault crimes,” Combs said of her long term goal. It’s a chosen career that will greatly benefit from public speaking skills.

“The trial process can be extremely difficult,” she continued, “and many cases never even make it that far. I knew I wanted to work with victims somehow and I decided that helping to give them some closure through a trial is the best way I can help with the healing process.”

To further aid with her future pursuit of law school, earlier this year Combs spent time with the Scottish Parliament as an intern. She shared that she became interested in the opportunity immediately upon learning about it during her freshman year at BYU. Participation in an internship is a requirement of her major. An internship with the Scottish Parliament will enhance her application to law school.

“For two years I saved money and worked to become a better applicant,” she said. “When it was time, I worked with a BYU professor to put together my application and hoped for the best.”

Her efforts proved beneficial as she was accepted to intern with Scottish Parliament member Dennis Robertson-Aberdeenshire West and his assistant Frances Johnston for close to four months earlier this year.

“I did just about anything Dennis needed from me,” Combs explained. “This ranged from running his Social Media to attending meetings on his behalf, to organizing a country-wide conference. Each day was filled with press releases, tweets, newspaper articles, blog posts, meetings, research and a whole lot of political talk.”

American politics were noted as the most talked about topic during her stay, most specifically in an election year.

“I loved hearing their perspective and getting the chance to see various political philosophies on both a micro and macro level,” Combs stated.

While staying abroad, the BYU senior shared she roomed with another BYU student in an apartment found utilizing Craigslist. The arrangement, she acknowledged, made her parents a bit nervous, yet proved to be ideal.

Combs stated learning to decipher the Scottish accent was one of the toughest adjustments.

“I had quite a few people warn me about it before I arrived,” she said, admitting to not giving it much thought beyond that. “The hardest thing was the Scottish accent varies so drastically from region to region. To make it worse they have such a different vocabulary.

“The first couple of days I kept hearing Frances talk about Dennis’s diary and I was so confused,” she said. “I came to realize they use the word “diary” as “schedule.”

When posed with the question of her Oakdale education and how it prepared her for her current chapter in life, Combs stated she was grateful to Oakdale educators for her development as a student.

“That being said,” she continued, “if I could say one thing to Oakdale students it would be that they should never place limits on themselves. Part of the plague of a small town is that it sometimes seems impossible to do grand things in life; that “important” people don’t come from humble towns like Oakdale. Throughout my time at BYU I’ve realized that my Oakdale education and upbringing gave me unique gifts that students in many other places didn’t receive. I’m grateful to have been raised in Oakdale with teachers and mentors that care so deeply about us, and took the time to help me develop more than just academically.”