I was a little skeptic when I applied for the Summer Global Internship Program (SGIP) through Fisher College of Business at the start of the spring (2017) semester. One part of me said, I should really expound on this opportunity but another part of me wasn’t ready to live in a foreign country for 2 months. As I type this blog, I only have a week and half before this remarkable London internship ends. My decision to accept an internship in London this summer has easily been the best decision I have ever made in my life. Here’s why:
1. Professional Development: London is a global hub for businesses and companies. Some of the world’s largest companies and businesses are headquartered in England and operate through here, making it an exciting place to work and develop yourself. It is one thing to learn about business concepts/ideas in academia but it is completely another thing to apply those theoretical ideas in real life.
At my company, I have had the exposure that I needed to enhance my problem solving and analytical skills. Working and analyzing large business database, preparing slide deck for an important meeting with a client, writing out business propositions, and developing end-to-end product portfolios include some of the important business skills that I have had the pleasure of acquiring through my work this summer. I have also become better when it comes to time management, business communication, team work etc. Besides the obvious benefits that comes with an internship, an international internship such as this will set you apart from your colleagues in the ever competitive job market. During my time here, I have also been able to expand the list of my professional networks.
2. Personal Development: Not only has this internship help me grow professionally, it has also propelled my personal growth. Living in a foreign country by yourself away from your family and friends impacts you in many ways than you think. It effectively makes you a new person. Since the day I landed in London, I have had to do things that I would have never done if I had decided to stay in Columbus. I have learned how to be self-sufficient. Whether it is grocery shopping or figuring out how to get navigate the underground train system (tube) or preparing my own meals, I have broken out of the dependent shell which I was so accustomed to living under around my family members.
3. Broaden Cultural Experience: One of the best things about this internship has been the fact that it has allowed me to develop a greater awareness of the world, and our place in it. This experience has helped me essentially escape the American bubble. America and England share same language, but don’t be fooled by that. There is a substantial difference between these countries. I have learned a great deal about the British culture and the British people in this past two months.
In addition to that, traveling to countries like Germany and Netherlands have fine-tuned my intercultural skills and awareness. Traveling and learning about new culture, people, and food also helps you become a global citizen. Often times, we are too carried away with what’s going on around us only. But when you actually push yourself out of your comfort zone and become open-minded, you will experience things that can help you moving forward. Add cultural competency to your outstanding experience, and you will set yourself apart from your peers.
4. London Attractions & Activities: London is one of the most historic cities in the world. That being said, there are numerous landmarks and attractions that you can visit while you are working here. Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the Tower of London, River Thames, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye etc. just to name few iconic London venues to visit. There are also ample of activities that you can do in London during your free time. Whether it is revisiting the history through the lenses of arts and/or antiques at the British Museum or it is playing 5 v 5 soccer at the famous Hyde park or attending a concert at the packed O2 arena or standing at the prime meridian line which separates the Eastern and Western hemisphere, London offers you so much to do.