Les is a Marketing Management graduate from Manchester Metropolitan University who has secured an ‘unternship‘ with GOLIN. This internship with a difference allows Les to travel for two months to gain life experience, before settling into a three month internship in GOLIN’s digital content team in London. This is Les’s story!

I have just been selected for the GOLIN Unternship. It’s an unlikely internship that pays you not to come to work.

As you can imagine, hundreds of people applied to the CV-free programme. The unconventional process took roughly a month and thoroughly tested both sides of the brain. The programme is designed to find unconventional candidates, so the process was super creative and required many different skills. The final three candidates were given £25 and 2 hours to have an ‘unusual’ Untern adventure in London. This live ‘out of office assignment’ felt very similar to The Apprentice. Despite juggling final year university commitments, starting a business and the general frivolities of student life I relished every moment of it!

My final idea revolved around the topic of happiness. I aim to spend my Untern adventure discovering and trying to understand the art of happiness in the world’s statistically happiest countries.


Thus my idea was born, during my Untern adventure I’m going to travel to two of the top countries on the UN report – Norway and Denmark and two of the top countries on the Happy Planet Index – Costa Rica and Colombia. In keeping with the topic, I’ve decided to shape my travels using the ‘5 positive actions for improved happiness’ outlined by the Government Office for Science. I’ll delve deep into the heart of each unique culture, then I will compare and contrast my experiences to provide first-hand insight into the overarching question of:

A few examples of how I plan on bringing these actions to life:

  1. Being Active in Norway by climbing the most challenging mountains and kayaking through fjords.
  2. Taking Notice in Costa Rica as I witness the annual migration of the endangered humpback whales.
  3. Connecting with complete strangers in Denmark as I indulge in the local ‘Hygge’ culture.
  4. Giving Back to Colombia or Costa Rica through carefully selected and purposeful volunteering.
  5. Keep Learning through surf lessons in Costa Rica and Spanish lessons in Colombia.

With such diverse countries the possibilities are truly endless! Follow me on instagram @LeslieAlfonso or head to Golin.com/uk/unternship to follow my adventures from July 10th.