Final Weeks in London: Wrapping it Up

Hi, everyone!

So this will be my final blog post, and it will cover my last two weeks in London. As always, I’ll talk a little bit about work and then a little bit about my adventures.

Part 1: Work

The last two weeks of work honestly flew by. My seventh week of work I spent doing basic data entry and working on part four of my marketing project. The data entry is rather boring, but it has to get done, and it is of tremendous importance to our COO, so I don’t mind doing it too much. It actually helps with the app development, because I’m entering data about the films such as genre, subgenre, mood, and other things. These are what we call “taggings,” and they will allow users of the app to search for certain types of films, create playlists, and help our app suggest films for them to watch. Overall, I don’t mind doing the database entry because I can listen to music and do something of importance for my boss. Often, I’ll try to motivate myself by seeing how fast I can get it done in order to impress him. Several times, I’ve finished a load of database entry and he’s thanked me and praised my work. It makes it all worthwhile. So, as far as staying motivated when doing dull tasks, my advice to you, as a future intern, would be to find a way to make it challenging and important. You also always want to put your best foot forward and give all of your effort in any task in order to make a good impression.

As far as my marketing project goes, during my seventh week of work I spent most of my time perfecting my SWOT analysis. I had a meeting with Jesse during the middle of the week to talk about his thoughts on my work, and I went from there. Again, Jesse was pleased with what I had done and mostly gave suggestions of his own. However, I had to redo my SWOT matrix four times before he was completely satisfied. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t gotten a little frustrated, but it was also a good challenge because I wanted it to be perfect. Finally getting his stamp of approval was very rewarding, and I was ultimately really happy with how it turned out.

The next week of work pretty much consisted of me doing a little bit more database entry, but mostly working on part five of my marketing project. Part five of my project had to deal with actually picking a strategy for the company to pursue. This strategy was to be comprised of a basic strategy and a growth strategy. For the basic strategy, I had to choose from one of seven strategies from Porter or Treacy and Wiersema (a quick Google search and you’ll see what I’m talking about). Then, after choosing one of those, I had to choose a growth strategy to accompany the strategy I had already chosen. The growth strategies were to be chosen from the Ansoff matrix. This matrix provides four different growth strategies, based on the products and services provided by the company, and the market within which they are being sold. It’s rather interesting, and I really liked this part of the project. I did a great amount of reading, but it was rather difficult to choose which strategies to go with. I found that debating with myself was often the most difficult thing. Also, I was nervous to choose the “wrong” strategies and disappoint Jesse. In the end, Jesse was again happy with my work and all he had me do was argue and explain my choices to him, and after he was happy with my explanations, he asked me for a couple other things. He first wanted me to take my whole conclusion that I had typed up and make it more organized and professional. In order to do that, I added a title page, a table of contents, page breaks, and more headers. Lastly, he suggested that if I had time I could make a presentation about all my work. I ended up working for hours and hours on my presentation and finishing it at 10 PM the night before I got on the plane home, but it was worth it. I was very happy with the finished product, and I think Jesse and my other marketing coworkers were as well. Overall, I had a really solid ending to my internship, and I can’t believe how much I learned. It was an amazing experience, and I honestly can’t believe it’s already over.

Part 2: My Experiences

My second-to-last weekend in London I spent doing all my favorite things over again. First, I went to Green Park, where I got a latte and sat and watched people. It was a perfect day outside, and just enjoying some time in the park was wonderful. From there, I made my way to Buckingham Palace again, and then into St. James Park, which is my favorite park. The water and the trees are just so beautiful there. After that, I checked out 10 Downing Street again, and made my way to the Westminster area to see Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and Parliament. I walked over the bridge and got some great pictures, and then I got lunch at a great Italian place right along the river. After that, I did a little bit of shopping, crossed the Millennium Bridge, and took one last look at St. Paul’s Cathedral. The next day, I got a full English breakfast with a friend, and went to some of my favorite markets.

Green Park on a Beautiful Day
Latte in Green Park
Big Ben from across the River
My Full English Breakfast

My very last weekend, I did a day trip with my friend to go see the English coast. We went to this really pretty park, Seven Sisters Country Park, where we saw these beautiful chalk cliffs and the seaside. I was really surprised how pretty the water was. I thought it would be an ugly dark blue gray color like the Atlantic can be, but it was lighter in color and more teal than I expected. After checking out the park, we took a bus to a beach town called Brighton, where we walked the pier, did some shopping, and had a great dinner.

Lattes before Hiking in the Seven Sisters Country Park

Priyanka and I with the Chalk Cliffs in the Background

On Top of the Cliffs looking at the Sea

It was a fantastic last weekend in England, and I can safely say that I saw everything I wanted to. I already can’t wait to go back. England, thank you for being my home for the summer. And to all of you reading this, I hope you have learned some things and enjoyed reading about my experiences. Have a wonderful school year, everyone!

Until Next Time,

XOXO,

Sarah

 

Sixth Week in London: Continuing my Project and Exploring London

Hi Everybody.

So yes. Week 6. What have I been up to? Well, the answer is quite a bit. Here’s what went down this week:

Part 1: Work

I did lots of research (including interviews) for part 3 of my project, which is internal analysis. This analysis has to deal all with the inner workings of the company and what the company is currently doing. This part went a little faster than part 2, but at the same time it was almost more challenging because I couldn’t just search the web for information—I had to go out there and actively find it.

I also did some work for another one of my coworkers. He asked me to help him put together a PowerPoint presentation for a pitch to another company. I was really excited to be asked to help, because apparently my previous research for the presentation was good enough, and also because the project was for my CEO. I ended up doing a lot of research and a couple slides, and even had a meeting with the CEO. He actually liked what I had done, and so that was a really rewarding moment (not to mention I could finally breathe because I was practically holding my breath the whole meeting).

In addition to that project, I also was thrown another project out of the blue. Jesse (my marketing boss) gave me one hour to complete a project for him Thursday evening. It was sort of a challenge to see what I could do, and I was very nervous about it. However, in the end, I think I produced good work for him, and I think he was happy. It was definitely a character-building activity.

I ended up finished part 3 of my project after having interviewed some of the top people in the company, and I wrote up my conclusion. I also flew through step 4 because it was a SWOT analysis (thanks, FCOB)! So by the end of the week I had finished two parts of my project, and helped on two different projects. Pretty big week, if I do say so myself.

Part 2: Outside of Work

Saturday: I went to the British Library, the British Museum, and did some perusing at Harrod’s! The British Library was actually amazing. They had a very cool exhibit that included such things as original documents from Shakespeare, The Beatles, famous composers, and even the Magna Carta. The British Museum blew me away, too. By far the best museum here I think. It was huge and beautiful and had so many things. My personal favorite was all the Greek things, but the mummies and Egyptian artifacts were very popular. Harrod’s went beyond my expectations as well. This place is a huge department store and offers everything from the £4 tea I bought, to a yacht. My personal favorite was looking at all the expensive gowns.

Easter Island statue at the British Museum
Statues from the Acropolis in the British Museum
The Rosetta Stone
The Mummy Exhibit at the British Museum is very popular
The British Museum from the Outside

Sunday: This was my art day! I went to the National Portrait Gallery, the National Gallery, and the Tate Modern (a modern art museum). All of these galleries were beautiful. I saw works by all sorts of famous artists, including da Vinci and Monet, and all different kinds of styles. My favorite was the National Portrait Gallery, and I bought a postcard of the painting of Ed Sheeran (it’s amazing I promise).

Monet
Monet (I rather liked this one)
Portrait of Charles Darwin
Portrait of Princess Diana (she’s my mom’s twin, seriously)
Portrait of Kate
Portrait of Ed Sheeran (this is the one I bought a copy of)

Hope your summer is going well, too!

That’s all for now!

XOXO,

Sarah

Fifth Week in London: A Short Week at Work and a Weekend Full of Travel!

Hi, All!

This post is going to talk about my fifth internship week! However, this was kind of a while ago, so what I remember might be kind of spotty. Oh well… here it goes! Enjoy!

Part 1: Work

All this week I spent researching and working on step 2 of my marketing project. Step 2 is an external analysis, which means you look at what’s going on in the market your business is in on a macro and micro scale, and what’s going on in the world in general. The task is to identify how these events can affect you, and how you can prepare and/or adapt to trends. For example, one of the analysis tools that I used is called DESTEP. It stands for Demographic, Economic, Sociocultural, Technology, Ecological, and Political factors. Using this tool, you can get a pretty good idea of what is going on in your market and in the world. I did a lot of research for this because my company is a global company, and they’re also looking to expand. So, for instance, when I did research on the economy, I did research on every country my company is in and on the ones we want to move into. This was only ONE of the analyses I did. Let me tell you, the whole process took awhile …

That being said, once my research was done, I wrote up a very lengthy conclusion. When I turned it in to Jesse, I was wary about what he would think, but he ended up loving it. He didn’t even make me change a thing. I was so happy and so relieved, and when he told me my work was “brilliant,” I tried to play it cool. I’m learning a ton by doing this project, and I really enjoy it. However, sometimes I need to do other tasks in order to give myself a break. Sometimes I go out and do remedial tasks (the other interns and I took a bunch of tee-shirts to a charity shop one day) and other times I work on other projects.

One fun thing we did at work this week was that we had a 4th of July picnic! My CEO and COO are both American, so they throw an office cookout every year. It was super enjoyable, as the food was great and socializing with my coworkers was really nice. It was great to get to talk to them outside of work, and get to know each other a little better.

I also started research for the third step in my marketing project, which is an internal analysis. For this, I ended up doing a lot of interviews with the heads of the different departments. Sometimes it could be a little intimidating, but it was really helpful in my research and helping me to better understand the company. I also think some of my coworkers are generally interested in what I’m doing, so it’s good for relationship building too. Overall, it was a great (short) week of work! If you keep reading you will find out why I say “short.”

Part 2: Outside of Work

So I didn’t do much during the workweek after work, but the previous weekend after my aunts left, I did some awesome things on my own.

Saturday (7/1): Shopping day! I went to Oxford Street and shopped literally until I dropped. I was so tired. There are tons of cool shops, and most of them are HUGE. I literally had to leave the one store after a while because I was so overwhelmed with how many items and people were inside. Yikes.

Sunday (7/2): This day I went to the Natural History museum! It was super awesome, and it was massive. Also, most of the museums here are free, which is so nice for me and my poor-college-student self. At the end of the day, I went to Piccadilly Circus, which is a cool shopping area with lots of other fun places, such as China Town, where I also went. There, I got a Bubblewrap Waffle. IT. WAS. AMAZING.

Inside the Natural History museum
Sarah with a triceratops
Bubblewaffle is life

Friday (7/7): I took this day off of work so that I could have one more day in Paris! Yes, this is why my workweek was short. This is the only trip I’m going on, but it was so amazing! Here’s what I did on Friday: le Pantheon, le Jardin du Luxembourg, la Tour Eiffel, l’Arc de Triomphe, Les Champs Elysees, Le Grand Palais, and La Notre Dame.

Inside the Pantheon
View from the top of the Pantheon
Le Jardin du Luxembourg
The Luxembourg Palace (the French Senate meets here)

L’Arc de Triomphe
Le Champs Elysees
La Notre Dame

Saturday (7/8): Le Sacre Coeur, Montmartre (cute area around Sacre Coeur), Le Moulin Rouge, Les Galleries Lafayette (huge shopping center), Le Centre Pompidou, L’Hotel du Ville, and La Tour Eiffel at night!

Le Sacre Coeur
Les Galleries Lafayette
La Tour Eiffel at Night

Sunday (7/9): Le Louvre and a picnic by the Seine!

Sorry for such a long post, but a lot has happened! Hope you guys are enjoying!

XOXO,

Sarah

 

Fourth Week in London: A Visit with my Aunts and My Marketing Project

Hi, All!

This blog post is going to cover my fourth (yes, fourth!) week interning abroad. Like my last post, I’m going to talk about my week at work, but also my week outside of work. A lot happened this week, and I’m excited to share it all with you!

Part 1: Work

This week was mainly focused all around my marketing project. What I’m doing is going through each step of creating a marketing strategy. On Monday, I was able to finish up my research (it ended up being an outline of about 10 pages). In this part, I looked at a lot of different things, for example the company mission, objectives, vision, place in the market, and I did several tests. I’ve learned a lot by doing all these things, and I’ve really enjoyed it thus far.

On Tuesday, Jesse (who I report to for my project) came back to work. He spent a good deal of time with me looking over my work, which was really nice. He was impressed with what I had accomplished and the quality of it as well. He said my marketing professor at Ohio State would have been impressed. I can’t describe how amazing it feels to get positive feedback, so just remember to always work your hardest and try to always do your best work. It’s worth it! After looking over my work, Jesse asked me to write out a formal conclusion. Basically, take my 10 page outline and make it 2 pages, nice and simple, and so that anyone reading it could understand what I was talking about. This is what I worked on all day Tuesday and half of Wednesday. On Tuesday, I emailed a rough draft to Jesse, because I was somewhat stuck, and I wasn’t sure if it was what he wanted.

On Wednesday, I had another long meeting with Jesse, and he gave me some feedback and constructive criticism. He explained in more detail how he wanted the conclusion to look, and after taking in what he said, I was able to re-do it to his specifications, and he liked it very much. All in all, part 1 of my project is done, and I’m very proud of it.

The rest of the week, I spent doing some other work around the office and starting research on part 2 of my project. I’ve learned a lot so far in my internship. I’m really improving my critical thinking skills, as I often have to solve lots of problems on my own. I’ve also learned a lot about marketing through my research, such as different kinds of tests and theories. I’m also learning about what kind of effort it takes to make something acceptable for your boss, and also from whom to ask questions. It’s important to know that the people in your office are there to help you learn, and so it’s okay to ask questions. Just make sure you’ve tried to figure it out yourself first! Overall, that was my week at work, and it was pretty great.

Part 2: Outside of Work

This week, my two aunts came over to visit me, and we did all sorts of fun things together. It was such an awesome time. I often met them right after work. Here’s some of the stuff we did:

Saturday: We met up and got lunch at a great burger place called Honest Burger, went to Covent Garden (a shopping district), Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and Kensington Palace.

My Aunt Chrissy and I

We found a buckeye!
Me, Aunt Chrissy, and Aunt Mari at Buckingham Palace

Sunday: Market day! We went and saw Abbey Road and then went to Borough Market, Old Spitalfields Market, and Camden Market.

Abbey Road Street Crossing
Outside of Abbey Studio

Monday: Met up after work for dinner and a night bus tour of London!

River Thames at night

Tuesday: Met up after work for drinks and dinner (my first Indian food experience)! I actually liked it!

Wednesday: I had a meeting for our program this night so I just did laundry and went to the gym.

Thursday: We went to the Adele concert! It was SO AWESOME!

Outside the Adele Concert
Stage at the Adele concert

Friday: We met up at the London Eye and rode it (which was amazing), and went to dinner and then to see Kinky Boots at the theater (which was also super good!)

On the London Eye!
On the London Eye with Big Ben and Parliament in the back

Outside the theater where we saw Kinky Boots

That’s all for now! Hope you guys are enjoying this and getting excited for any trips you may have planned!

XOXO

Sarah

Third Week in London: Updates on Work and Personal Development

Hi All!

I’m coming to you again from London! This post is about my third week –  work has been great and has really picked up! I’ll talk a bit about what work has been like, and also the things I’ve done just living in London and my personal development.

Part 1: Work

I’m currently helping prep for my company’s app launch. They’re working on making an app that will be used on smart TVs, much like the Netflix app. The user will be able to create playlists of short films on their own, and the app will also make recommendations. It’s a really exciting project that they have been working on for quite some time now. I’m doing my part by inputting data into the database from which the app will get all the film information. This type of information can include the synopsis of the film, the genre, subgenres, etc.

Apart from working on the app, I’m also watching and reviewing films for one of the acquisitions team members. I write notes about the films while watching them, and then wrap up all my thoughts in a word document. I take notes about things like theme, camera angles and shots, emotions, and really anything else that I may fancy. I really enjoy doing this because I get to see so many different types of films. It’s so interesting to see what people all over the world come up with. I’ve watched some really good ones– films that have almost moved me to tears– and others that have been super weird.

I’ve also been helping go through contracts for my company. They have to clear out their cabinets because they’re acquiring so many new films, and there’s not room for them. It’s my job to go through and find the contracts that are expired and can be moved. Doing this is helping me learn about all the components of the contracts and how diverse the film world is.

The biggest thing that I’m working on right now is my marketing strategy project. The marketing team, which consists of two men, one from South Africa and another from the Netherlands, has asked me to help them with their marketing strategy. It’s a huge project, and once completed, they may use some of my ideas in their own work. I’m learning so much by doing this. Not only about marketing, but also how to work on my own and utilize my critical thinking skills. It’s definitely a challenge, but I’m excited about it. Wish me luck!

Part 2: Personal Experiences

A lot of my time after work this week was devoted to cooking and working out, but I did go out on Thursday night which was pretty fun. Since I have never really cooked before, I decided I would teach myself to cook here, in order to save money and help prepare me for living off-campus this year. So far I’m doing pretty well!

Chicken with Spinach and Tomato Spaghetti
Salmon with Veggies

Aside from cooking on my own, I’ve also had some awesome stuff out in the city. First of all, let me tell you that it IS possible to eat for cheap in the city. You just have to go to the right places! AND there’s so much variety here. It’s super fun to try all kinds of things!

Poppies– BEST fish and chips EVER
Pizza from Pizza Union on my street. This place was super cheap! Kind of like Blaze on OSU’s campus
Gelato from Camden Market.. super beautiful and it was super good. I got raspberry, strawberry, and mango

It’s definitely a good idea to keep track of how much you’re spending while doing your internship abroad. If you’re like me and paying for your trip yourself, things can add up quickly. I keep lots of my receipts to track my spending and also monitor my online bank account quite frequently. It keeps me knowledgeable about where my money is going and how much I have at all times.

Going out at night in London is also fun! I explore the city with other people from the program and it has been a great way to socialize and have fun after work! The most important part is to stay safe though. Always be with someone or let someone know where you are!

St. Pancras International Station at night. This picture doesn’t do it justice–it was stunning.

Hope you all have enjoyed reading so far! I’ll post again soon about everything I did my fourth week (it was a lot). That’s all for now!

XOXO

Sarah