The program in which I’m enrolled includes a guaranteed internship. A guaranteed internship probably sounds like a great opportunity to anyone, but a guaranteed internship abroad sounds even better.
Not only do you gain the experience of the internship, but you also get to be truly immersed in the country in which you’re studying. In my classes, the students are also Americans abroad, so my first chance to truly be a part of a new culture was at work.
While the process of actually finding my internship was long and frustrating, I ended up with a pretty great spot at a digital sports media company called Snack Media. While I was hesitant to work in sports—since I’m no athlete and not much of a fan either—it hasn’t really been an issue. I’ve met a lot of cool people and have talked about many topics that interest me, which has given me loads about which to think.
And though I’m gaining really valuable experience, I think the best part about my internship is my coworkers and the culture. It might be because I work in sports, but the office is so relaxed. I suppose I’ve never had a “real” job in the States, so I haven’t got much to compare, but I can’t imagine that the coworkers I’ll have back home will offer to make me a cup of tea or tell me to come in an hour late because we did well at an event the night before.
I presume that much of this could be because of the differences in work cultures overall.
Based on some research I did for one of my classes this semester, Brits value their free time and leisure more than Americans do. People take random days off pretty frequently, everyone chats and goofs off around the office, and next to no one stays late regularly. Even at my retail jobs back home, I worked beyond my scheduled hours and skipped lunch breaks constantly (though I’m not sure if that was an American thing or a retail thing).
I’m really thankful to be able to call this my first experience with a “real” job, but I’m also nervous that now my standards are going to be a bit too high for an entry-level position in the States.
Either way, I know that I was lucky to have this opportunity, and I can’t believe that I only have two weeks left with Snack Media. I’m starting to miss it already.
Parker Sikes, Study Abroad Correspondent
Parker Sikes is a senior at Boston University spending her last semester in London. Studying advertising has revealed her passion for design and nurtured her passion for writing. As a small-town girl who prefers the city, she intends to move to Los Angeles, California after graduating to jump start her career. Parker’s favorite activities include driving, playing her Nintendo DS, reading, and using Oxford commas.