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Exploring London, Europe and Philosophy: An Intern’s Journey with the IEA

Picture of Jake McCoull

Jake McCoull

2022 Mannkal Alumnus

My journey interning with the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) began in December 2022 during the cold English winter. On my first day of work in London, I was treated to an early snow that beautified my path to the IEA. I passed renowned landmarks such as Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and the Palace of Westminster, which was even more stunning to see with a fresh covering of snow. I felt immediately welcomed to the positive IEA work culture by Head Intern Delyno Jhan Duque who is now Donor Relations Officer at the IEA.

My skills and experience were immediately recognised as I was given the responsibility of recording the important IEA Book Club Event: Liz Truss – Out of the Blue with IEA Director General Mark Littlewood, and authors Harry Cole and James Heale. I then worked closely with Press and Digital Officer Joseph Dinnage on editing, producing, and uploading the final video to YouTube which you can see here Liz Truss – Out of The Blue | IEA Book Club.

In the following days, I worked closely with many key members of the IEA, such as Head of Foundations and Trusts Jack Confrey. I took on a variety of roles and responsibilities, including taking IEA Staff headshots, IEA marketing photos, event and recording images, and I felt proud to have my photography used for the cover and bulk of the images in the IEA annual report. I took the opportunity to take photographs and listen in on the riveting IEA Culture War discussion between Mark Littlewood and Head of Cultural Affairs Marc Glendening. This discussion focused on the UK Online Safety Bill and how the Government is enacting sinister decisions in removing freedoms from citizens who are supposedly too vulnerable to be exposed to free information on the internet.

IEA’s Director General Mark Littlewood and Head of Cultural Affairs Marc Glendining

My favourite experience at the IEA thus far was recording the Parallax Views Philosophy interview between Marc Glendening and author, actor, and musician Gary Lachman, also known as Gary Valentine whose notable achievements include a long career in comedy and being the Bass Guitarist of the famous band Blondie. Gary’s powerful talk delved deep into philosophy, self-actualisation, mysticism, esotericism, and the occult.

Over the long Christmas break, fellow Mannkal Scholar Samuel Cruickshank and I made the most of this time by traveling through Central Europe, seeing Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Munich, Bern, Lucerne, Zermatt, Ulm, Nuremberg, and Berlin. Each city had its own unique architecture, monuments, museums, landscapes, activities, and food for us to appreciate. We saw amazing sights such as Buda Castle illuminated at night while cruising down the Danube River, and fireworks over Prague Castle on New Year’s Eve. In Zermatt, Switzerland we snowboarded down The Matterhorn, one of the highest and most beautiful mountains in Europe. I then had my first experience paragliding down the Swiss Alps, which has left me inspired and impassioned to take up paragliding as a new recreational sport!

Me and Samuel Cruickshank at The Matterhorn

On our return to London, we joined a new and interesting intern group and have been given many new responsibilities and tasks relating to Project Management, Operations, and Finance by Operations and Digital Coordinator Zachary Vicario and Technology and Projects Manager Jamie Legg. I look forward to taking on new tasks involved in research such as contributing to the popular 1828 blog, working more with the various departments at the IEA, and exploring more of London!

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