Have you ever worked in a CSR agency? I used to work in the ratings department of one which did involve a lot of slumping over spreadsheets, but the company also had an auditing department which did a lot of what you are describing (brainstorming ideas, drawing up action plans, talking to clients) and a lot of people who worked there had biology or ecology backgrounds.
@madrassoup It's a clunky way of putting it but it is actually a legal principle that forms the basis of the article. Like he said, a country like Italy is "Jus sanguinis" (right of the blood) if its citizenship is based on bloodline. Countries like the US are "jus soli" (right of the soil) because citizenship is based on being born there. You can see on this map that it's mostly "new world" countries: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jus_soli#mediaviewer/File:Jus_soli_world.svg
@bowtiesarecool I imagine people who went to DC because of the West Wing have had their dreams crushed a lot harder than people who went into forensics hoping it would be like CSI.
When I first met my freshman year roommate she said she was thinking of majoring in forensics because she liked CSI and I remember thinking that people who actually work in forensics probably hate that. (We didn't stay in touch but I don't think she actually ended up studying forensics.) [edit to respond to tags: I also spent all weekend watching The Fall. It was not as good as Broadchurch.]
I'm an American living in London too and I can see that street in Elephant & Castle from my window.
@AitchBee I do think for that particular aside the argument that the system is broken is justified. My husband is from the UK and the interest on his student loans is the rate of inflation, which seems like a much fairer interest rate for the government to impose on loans used to educate its populace. You should still do your research to understand your loans and decide what you can really afford, but that doesn't mean the system is fair.
"...told myself that rather than take any $40 chances I would go home and Google exactly what shade of lipstick the Mormon moms wear..." I know this was a throwaway aside but it really is the key, I think. I used to get overwhelmed in Sephora or even Walgreens until I was prepping for my wedding and trying to figure out what makeup I should get. I started reading makeup blogs and watching youtube videos. They really do give you a better idea of what's out there, what kind of colors and textures to gravitate towards depending on your needs, so you go into Sephora with a mission rather than blindly swatching whatever you walk past.
Wait can you please explain the 100 euros to Italy thing in more detail?
On Locked Out
I have done this twice, once in Olympia, Washington, where it cost me $75 to fix, and once again in Paris which was meant to cost 900 euros to fix but eventually got down to 300 euros after lots of public screaming and crying and threatening to call the police. I am married now which means I have a perma-roommate who is rarely out of town for long periods without me, so hopefully it will never happen again.
@keaton You should look into that more closely because it is actually way easier to move there as the partner of an EU citizen than a UK citizen, for weird EU legal reasons.