Good Afternoon everyone! I know that it has been almost two weeks since my last blog, and I must apologize for that. I will make it up to my readers by having a fairly long blog today. After my last final, I went back to Orrville and relaxed, spent time with family and friends, and prepared for London. I needed the relaxing break after the rough quarter, and really didn’t feel like blogging.
I arrived in London this past Monday morning, and have been doing loads of exploring. I have covered about a good 1/2 of Central London in the three days that I have been here. So far, this trip has been non-stop go go go, but that is how I wanted it to be. I have the opportunity of a lifetime to spend two months in the UK, and I’m going to do my best to explore and see as much as I can in that time. I feel the best way to show the reader how much London has to offer would be to give a rough overview of each of my days here so far:
Monday– I arrived in the UK ~ 8:45am GMT (Greenwich Meridian Time), my good friend Andrew and I traveled by Underground Rail (known as the “Tube”) to Kings Cross/St.Pancreas station where we arrived at Nido (our student housing complex) located in Kings Cross around 10:00am. After unpacking and getting settled in, Andrew and I met up with the rest of the OSU students and we toured the Kings Cross area, then took the Tube to Leicester Square for some Fish n’Chips. After the very fulfilling British dinner, we walked to Piccadilly Circus and went to a couple of pubs to celebrate our first day in the UK. By the time we got out of the pub, it was going on 11pm so most of us went back to Nido and crashed. It had been a long day, and jet lag was really beginning to set in.
Tuesday- Tuesday was a very adventurous day. After a quick breakfast at 9am, the group traveled to our Orientation with EUSA. EUSA is the company that is responsible with each of our internship placements, and is located in the very upscale area near Kensington. The orientation was very nice and we got to meet most of the EUSA staff and learn about what is to be expected of us during our stay in London. After the orientation, we had a nice lunch at a local pub in Kensington. We proceeded to have a little competition, in which we were given a paper with clues to various landmarks around London, in which we had 5 hours to find them. Whoever found the most landmarks in that amount of time would have a round bought for them by the EUSA staff.
A couple of girls and I teamed up to find the clues, however we more or less stayed in the area of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. The scenery there was beautiful, on one end was Kensington Palace (once home to Princess Diana), and on the other end was the Serpentine Lake, and in between those two were many beautiful sites. The Albert Memorial, the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, the Italian Gardens, the Bird Sanctuary, and Speakers Corner are all located within this area. The Princess Diana Memorial fountain was probably my favorite part of the park. It is an oval shaped fountain that is huge, and people can actually sit and put their feet in the water. The fountain is supposed to be a symbol of how Princess Diana gave to her people.
The Contest had finished around 5:30pm, and we all met back at a Pub in Kensington with some of the EUSA staff and chatted over a pint of ale. It was going on 7pm when we left the pub, and I as well as some of the other OSU students went and searched for the famed Platform 9 and 3/4 located in Kings Cross Station. We found the platform, however it was located between platforms 8 and 9, making me wonder why it wasn’t called Platform 8 and 3/4. Once I returned to Nido, it was going on 8:30, and I decided to go shopping for some groceries. The food in the pubs can be expensive, and the best way to lived within your budget in London is to buy food from the supermarket. Each of the rooms in Nido are equipped with a full kitchen, so I figured that I might as well utilize the kitchen during my stay in London. After the lovely trip to the supermarket, I came back to the room and prepared for my interview at MASECO which was to take place the following morning.
Wednesday- My interview with Alex Eichorn, the Chief Operating Officer of MASECO was set for 11am Wednesday morning. I got out of bed around nine, researched the company some more, and then got ready for the interview. As a note, MASECO had selected me to intern with them pending the interview. Those working at MASECO had never met me before; therefore, they needed an interview to confirm that I would be a good match for their company. MASECO is located on New Fetter Lane which is known as the “City of London” or the “Financial District”. It is a very modern area (Due to nearly all of the buildings having been destroyed by Hitler’s Blitzkrieg during the Second World War), and also a very proper area. Nearly every person that I saw on New Fetter Lane was wearing a dark suit.
My interview with Alex Eichorn went fantastic, and I am very excited to be interning with MASECO this summer. After the interview, I decided to explore some of the financial district. I got to see the Old Bailey which is the criminal court, had a pint in the oldest pub in London “Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese” which was rebuilt in 1667 after the great London fire, the Royal Courts of Justice, and the beautiful St. Paul’s Cathedral.
I returned from my exploring around 4:30pm, and rested a bit until the EUSA welcome dinner at six. The welcome dinner was on the H.M. Hispaniola, a ship on the River Thames located in perfect view on the London Eye, and the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. After dinner, Andrew and I walked around Westminster Bridge and get a good view of Parliament and Big Ben. We then walked right around the Corner to the beautiful Westminster Abbey. Alongside Big Ben, Westminster Abbey is the symbol of London. Since 1066, every British King and Queen have had their coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey. We then walked to St. James Street. This may be the most posh street in all of London. Located on this street is the Ritz Hotel which is where all the members of the G20 resided while over in London for the conference. Also on St. James Street is Lobb (the very high end shoe store that custom designs the shoes for the Duke of Edinburgh and The Prince of Wales), the Cigar shop that Winston Churchill frequently visited, and the headquarters for the world famous magazine, the Economist, as well as numerous five star restaurants, and a couple of shops to purchase yachts. Pretty impressive for a street that is at most, 500 yards long.
– As I said before, MASECO is an independent wealth management company focusing on customized personal portfolios for their clients. In 2008, their inaugural year, they managed over $150 million of client assets. During my internship, I will be with a team that will be working on projects and proposals for the clients; I will also be updating the contact list database, as well as researching some clients. My internship is to start on Monday June 29 at 9am-6pm. I will work M-TH, and Fridays will be a Seminar.
To all of my readers, I am very sorry about how long this post turned out to be, but I knew that the detail would provide the reader the information on how much there really is to do in London. I will post Part IV sometime next week, which will be more or a detailed description of how my first week at MASECO went. This weekend will be more exploring, and visits to museums, and possibly a visit to Wimbledon in hope of being able to watch a practice round, or possibly a lower seed match. I would appreciate the prayers that my first week at MASECO will go well. Hope all of you have a wonderful week!