Jana Amchin, London Internship Program

JanaBoroughMarketInterned in Marketing and Events at The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, Fall 2014

Internship: The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation was started by one of Britain’s most admired chefs, Jamie Oliver, to share his love of food and to educate people about the benefits of a healthy diet.  Interning at the Foundation was a wonderful experience from both a professional and a personal standpoint.  I learned so much about numerous aspects of a profession that I would love to become a part of.

The majority of the time, I was involved in the Kitchen Garden Project (KGP), where I became familiar with food education and policy for schoolchildren.  I was in charge of posting on KGP’s Twitter, as a means of communicating with our followers and promoting the important work of the Foundation.  Our objective was to attract more UK schools to the new Kitchen Garden Project website, so that they, too, could benefit from this wonderful program.  I also had the opportunity to work in other departments within the Foundation, doing various jobs such as researching and contacting young people’s centers and housing foyers across London to promote Fifteen Apprenticeship Programme’s upcoming recruitment period.  In addition, I had the chance to attend a cooking workshop and to help prepare lunch for a company meeting, as well as set up for a few of the Foundation’s fundraising supper clubs.

Interning at the Foundation only served to further my love of everything food.  From my experience here, I came to look at food from a different perspective than I had before.  I now appreciate food not only for the actual food itself, but also for what it represents- food brings people together in a way nothing else can.  I was very fortunate to have been placed at such a well-respected organization and to work with such an accomplished group of people.

I Learned: I learned not to limit myself and to step out of my comfort zone.  Living in a different country made me realize that I wanted to take advantage of all the opportunities around me- when else would I have the chance to spend four months in London?!?!  I pushed myself to explore the unknown – I went to places I didn’t think I was interested in going and did things I didn’t know I wanted to do.  Not surprisingly, I had some of the best experiences of my life!

What Surprised Me: What surprised me most was how a city that is so rich in history could be so young and modern.  London has always been considered very traditional and proper.  In reality, however, it is actually very contemporary and exciting!  It has so much to offer, including wonderful dining, shopping, and world-famous museums and theater.  Alternatively, you can choose to hang out at a local pub, walk along the Thames or explore the incredible architecture all around the city.

Hardest Part:  Fitting everything I wanted to do into my busy schedule!  Between classes and my internship, I very carefully had to pick and choose how to spend my free time.  London is a big city with many unique neighborhoods, so there were always fun and interesting things to see and do.  Of course, there are also many other amazing European cities to travel to on the weekends. There is still so much I want to do in London that I didn’t have time for.  I’ll just have to go back!

Best Part:  THE ACCENT!!  And exploring new places with my new friends!

My Tips: Definitely read Time Out London every week.  It’s filled with loads of useful information on free things happening throughout the city, good places to eat, and the best markets, bars, and shops to go to.  I enjoyed reading it on my commute to work.

Hidden Gem: It’s not really a hidden gem, but you need to go to Borough Market while you’re in London.  It’s so much fun to walk around and drool over all the delicious food at the hundreds of different stands.  It can get really crowded though, so it’s best to go during the week.  However, if you’re looking for less touristy, but equally as yummy food markets, definitely head over to Whitecross Street Market or Maltby Street Market.