Stephanie Gianni, London Internship

Westminster StephanieInternship: I worked as a Press and Marketing Intern for English National Ballet, one of the UK’s most renowned ballet companies. This experience helped me learn the difference between Public Relations and Marketing. My main ongoing tasks with Public Relations involved researching press contact information, and cataloging press clippings. Also, I was able to assist with dancers’ interviews and photoshoots for media outlets such as Glamour Magazine, The Evening Standard, and BBC News. For Marketing, I learned to use InDesign to create promotional fliers, analyzed ticket sales reports, created direct mail materials, and called local dance schools. The most exciting experience I had was representing ENB at opening night of a world premiere show by checking in guests and answering questions about the company.

I learned: My internship experience helped me learn the difference between Public Relations and Marketing, and gain further insight into working in the arts industry. Looking back on my abroad experience, I learned how important it is to take advantage of every opportunity presented. Four months may seem like a long time, but time flies much faster than you expect. I have to say I also became a savvy traveler after exploring Europe without having data or internet everywhere I went.

I was surprised by: How confusing it is to see cars driving on the opposite side of the road and get used to looking the right direction to safely cross the street. It was also surprising that, although the European countries are so close in distance, each can be vastly different in culture

The hardest part: I’m from California, so I know what it’s like to be away from home for long periods of time. However, when I first got to London it took me a few weeks to become comfortable being this far away from home, especially with an 8 hour time difference. Once classes started and things became familiar, I focused on the excitement of being abroad and by the end never wanted to leave.

The best part: Immersing myself in the city I lived in while having the opportunity to travel Europe with new and old friends. These trips, memories, and people made my abroad experience unique, and I can’t imagine a better way to remember my first times in Europe!

My tips:

  • Figure out the places you’d like to travel to most, then book your flights early.
  • Budget your expenses; remember the pound is almost double the value of the dollar.
  • Immerse yourself in London and all it has to offer (there are plenty of free activities).
  • Sign up for BU Social Program events for cool events at a discounted price.
  • Form relationships with your co-workers because it’s the easiest way to get to know locals.
  • Balance your time between traveling Europe and really experiencing the UK.

Thomas Tung, London Internship

London Bridge with crowdInterned at a company called Thriev, a start-up company that specializes in private chauffeur service.

Internship: Thriev is Kind of like Uber, but they use all electric vehicles and their target market is mostly corporate customers. I was a graphic design and social marketing intern for them. Projects included creating new websites, finding optimal solutions for the phone network, managing Google AdWords to promote job listings and the company’s services, etc.

I learned: From my time abroad, I learned to trust my instincts more. You go abroad to experience a new culture, create new memories and build new friendships. You’re living life and enjoying every moment of it, but you realize you should acknowledge that little voice in your head or that gut feeling. It can help you get out of sticky situations if you ever encounter them. Also, you learn to respect different cultures. Living in London for three months makes you realize that you’re not just a tourist in a foreign country.You’re living in a different country where there is a different culture than America. Traveling and studying abroad allows for a student to embrace the lifestyle of the community that hosts him/her.

I was surprised by: I learned that British people ‘work to live’ which is the opposite of Americans who ‘live to work.’ It’s not to say that British people are not hard working. They are extremely hard workers. They just understand that work is not what life is all about. They care about downtime, and spending that downtime with friends and family.

The hardest part: The hardest part was getting adjusted into the English culture. It is so different than what it is like in the States. Social norms are different in the UK. Currency is different and at a different value. For the first month or so, you forget that you have to convert all the values into American dollars.

The best part: The best part was meeting new people from the different colleges in the States as well as British people with whom you develop professional relationships. You get to learn and experience education and business from a different perspective. Traveling all over Europe was another plus.

My tip: Keep an open mind, but trust yourself. That is the best way to enjoy your semester abroad.

Ann Masline, London Internship

Ann PenguinsInterned at Whisky Mist Nightclub

Internship: I worked at Whisky Mist Nightclub in the district of Mayfair in London. I was the PR and Marketing Intern at Whisky Mist. During my time at my internship, I planned events, managed the club’s social media accounts, and emailed prospective clients, from musicians to fashion designers, to visit Whisky Mist and have their events with us.

I learned: From studying abroad, I learned that there are so many fun and exciting opportunities beyond jobs and internships in the US. Knowing this, it’s exciting to realize that if I wanted to go back to London, or any other international city, it’s possible, and I now have the independence, resources, and skills to do so.

I also learned that “please” and “thank you” go a long way, no matter what country you are in.

I was surprised by: Something that surprised me most about my time abroad was just how many young people, both American and non-American, there are travelling around the world. Everywhere I went, there were college students and young professionals making memories and exploring, just like I was. It was amazing to meet these young people who were having similar experiences to the ones I was having.

The hardest part: The hardest part about studying abroad was balancing traveling and exploring with taking time for myself to relax and reflect. It was my initial instinct to book trips across Europe for every weekend I was abroad. After a few weekends of traveling though, I realized that I needed to balance my down time, time spent exploring London, and time spent exploring the rest of the world. Initially, I wanted to do it all, but I found that it was necessary to truly evaluate how much energy, money, and time I had.

The best part: One of the best parts of my abroad experience in London was at the end of the program when I no longer felt like a tourist, but more like a local. By the end, I was confident enough to give people directions, I was a “pro” on the buses and tube, and I was establishing a real routine in my day-to-day life. This was one of the best parts of my time because I no longer felt intimidated by the city, but rather comfortable and confident. By the end, I could also truly envision myself working and living in London in the future.

My tips: 

  • Plan on traveling the most during the first half of the program, when you have classes. During the second half, when you are doing your internship, you won’t have three-day weekends, and everyone will be exhausted from working all week.
  • If you have to choose between shopping at Harrods and buying plane tickets, don’t shop! You will always remember the fun and excitement you had traveling more than the new shoes that you bought.
  • Go to the markets! They are amazing.
  • Try to meet as many locals as possible; not only will you meet great people and learn more about London, but you’ll have a couch to crash on if you ever want to visit again!

MJ Vasquez, London Internship

IMG_6731Interned at Union Investment Management in Spring 2014.

Internship: I worked for a small investment management firm called Union Investment Management located right in the center of London. At my internship, my main project I worked on was the creation of the firm-wide compliance manual offered to first time employees. In addition, I worked on creating summaries for client portfolios. The raw data was provided to me and the other interns, and it was our job to create an easy to read one page summary of what the data was showing. I greatly enjoyed my experience at the firm, not only because of the work we were assigned, but because I was really able to experience what working for an international company was like.

I Learned: Studying abroad taught me that there are so many beautiful places in the world that are just waiting for young students, like myself, to go explore and that aren’t necessarily the tourist “hot spots.” I have always loved traveling within the US, but having the opportunity to be out of my comfort zone and visit cities I had never even heard of before, truly brought a different meaning to the word ” exploring.” Because traveling around Europe is very accessible from London, picking my travel destination was always a challenge!

In addition, studying abroad also taught me the value of creating international friendships. For one of my weekend trips I decided to fly out to Skopje, Macedonia and then take a 4 hour bus ride to Ohrid. On the way back from Ohrid to Skopje, I sat next to a young girl, who helped me figure out the ticketing procedure on the bus after she saw my confused face when the bus driver spoke nothing but Macedonian to me. For the whole bus ride, she and I spoke about the differences in culture between Ohrid and the rest of the world, along with our travel experiences and school life. She and I still keep in touch via Facebook, and I am extremely glad she was able to help me with my challenge that day! I was able to develop plenty of other friendships from similar situations throughout my whole study abroad experience.

I Was Surprised By: What surprised me most about my time abroad was the amount of free time I had. Without having to attend club meetings, office hours, or work, I suddenly found myself with a lot of free time on my hands. After a while, I made sure I took advantage of all my free time. I started exploring all the different places that London had to offer!

The Hardest Part: The hardest part of my experience was finding time to keep in touch with friends and family from home. With the time change and with the different activities I was doing, it was difficult to find a time to update my family on everything I was doing. After a while I was able to balance my activities with my down time, and I ultimately always found a couple of minutes each day to catch up with my parents.

The Best Part: The best part of my experience was meeting wonderful English friends with whom I still keep in touch. During my time abroad I was able to develop a friendship with them that I know will last a lifetime. We did a variety of events such as cooking a “Sunday Roast” together, as well as having picnics at Hyde Park filled with typical English biscuits and snacks. My favorite activities included just hanging out at our flat with them and learning about the differences between American and British culture.

My Tips: 

  •  Don’t stay inside! Enjoy every single day by doing something outside your flat. You’ll thank yourself when the time comes for you to go home.
  • If your internship is close enough to campus, walk. It will save you a lot of money, and you’ll get to explore parts of London you normally wouldn’t have a chance to explore.
  • Enjoy all the food London has to offer. There are plenty of places to eat delicious food – you just have to find them.

Rachael Gresham, London Internship

Rachael Zip LineAs a college student you are naturally inclined to fear the inevitable – graduating. In what feels like no time at all, suddenly you are in my current position: an incoming senior trying to write about the best semester I had, while attempting to wrap my mind around the fact that in a few shorts months I’ll need to deal with the big ‘R’ word – responsibility.  Go abroad. Before you have real responsibilities, grab the opportunity to travel the world. Build it into your schedule as a freshman or figure out how you can manage it as a senior; either way, do it.

Second semester of junior year was when I crossed the pond and explored London for the first time. BU London resides in none other than the posh neighborhood of South Kensington, with easy access to everything you could possibly need. Hyde Park is less than a block away, Imperial College boasts a gym and student activities they welcome you to join, the #9 and #10 buses run right along High Street when the Tube is too crowded to bear, and there are three grocery stores to choose from, in addition to the American favorite, Whole Foods, around the corner.

Being on the Pre-Law track, I interned with a law firm based in the middle of City, the epicenter of London and its original neighborhood. I was tasked with very basic office jobs: photocopying, retrieving the mail, logging files, making phone calls, and taking notes during client interviews. While the work was not overly stimulating, I loved being able to talk to my coworkers about their favorite parts of London, as well as the UK, and gain native perspective on the city I would call home.

If you are a homebody like me, the mere thought of traveling thousands of miles away can bring on an anxiety attack. This is actually normal; you are not in the minority. Just ask yourself this: if not now, then when? Going abroad taught me how to say ‘yes.’ It taught me not to fear change, but to embrace it, and fully enjoy the opportunities that might never come around again. Being abroad also taught me more about myself, as painfully cliché as that is. Take control of your semester. Be selfish – visit the countries you want to visit, do the things you want to do, explore on your own, and never say no. It might feel like you have all the time in the world, but just like graduation, your end date is looming and one of the best times of your life will be over before you know it.

Sure it was hard to leave my family, of course the exchange rate made it impossible to afford everything, and yes being in a foreign country is scary; however, all these fears subside when your Mom tells you how envious she is of your jet-setting lifestyle and your Dad is can’t stop listening to your tales of Istanbul and Croatia, places he’s never been. If you are fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to not only travel abroad, but to live there for an entire semester, it is actually your duty to go. I am so serious, you must. Those of us who have returned need more people to envy.

Two Tips:

  • Immerse yourself in the cultures of the countries you travel to and find what it is really like to live; don’t just visit all the tourist traps.
  • Remember to sleep or you will end up sick for a week.


Iris Naimark, London Internship—Management Track

Iris London EyeInterned as an Environment Intern at the Policy Studies Institute under the University of Westminster, Spring 2014

Internship: I interned for the Policy Studies Institute under the University of Westminster as an Environment Intern. I mostly did literature reviews and searched for articles and relevant data about energy that were related to the project upon which my supervisor was working. I also did some more minor Excel work and searches. There seemed to be a mismatch between my internship aassignment and what I’m studying in school (Business+Economics), so it may not have been the right fit for me. I did end up asking the company if they could teach me some more relevant skills, so they taught me how to use a statistics software called SPSS, which was great!

I Learned: The experience was really amazing. I have been living in Boston for the past 15 years and have been attending school in the same 2 mile radius since 2nd grade, so this was the first time I really got the opportunity to go elsewhere and live there for a little while. Prior to the experience, I thought I would want to stay in Boston forever, but this opened my eyes to wanting and being willing to relocate in the future. In addition to this, I most certainly learned about the difference between culture here in the States, in the UK and in Europe. All three are quite different, and the UK seems to be a unique mix of American and European culture. I loved the people there and am planning to visit back in the near future!

What Surprised Me: Oftentimes when I visit new cities I have a criterion I use to evaluate them, specifically: “Would I be able to live here?” Most of the time the answer is, “no,” and I think that this is the case because I never spend more than four days in each city when I am travelling. I thought it would be the same case for London—that I would visit, enjoy myself, and look forward to getting back home to Boston. My attitude was completely different by the end of the experience; I wanted to stay and didn’t even want to go on my planned post-study abroad Euro-trip! I do think that London is the best city in the world, so I may be biased, but studying abroad in a new place really does change someone’s attitude about the world.

Hardest Part: The hardest part was definitely the mismatch between what I wanted from my internship and what actually happened; I had a lot of trouble communicating with EUSA and attempting to align my goals. Of course, I learned a lot from this and from the internship itself, but I wish the internship matching experience went smoother.

Best Part: Everything! Meeting Brits, living on my own but with best friends, meeting my roommate who is now a very good friend of mine, the sights, traveling around Europe, the food, living in a wonderful location, taking different classes that had a British/European twist, British accents!!

My Tips:Since it’s an internship program and I struggled with the component, I’d get that sorted out as thoroughly as possible. Talk to EUSA before you arrive as much as you can, so you know the 6 weeks you will be interning will be beneficial to your career! Go explore areas beyond South Kensington like Hackney and other parts of East/North London; no Brits our age really live in central London so make sure you take advantage of the Tube and go venture! Plan lots of trips to Europe since London is a great place to fly out of, though beware of the 5ish airports and the time it takes to get to them. Get Giffgaff for your phone plan no questions asked.

Bonnie Hong, London Internship—Economics & Finance Track

London's ChinatownInterned in Marketing and Research at AltAssets, an online financial news website, Spring 2014

Internship: I interned with AltAssets, which is an online financial news website in the private equity and venture capital industry. I was a marketing and research assistant, where my main project consisted of planning the upcoming Limited Partner Summit. My job involved reaching out to potential speakers, preparing logistical matters such as invitations, and finding sponsors for the event. In addition, I was assigned to encourage new and recurring subscriptions for our premium newsletters.

I Learned: From my internship, I was able to learn more about the private equity and venture capital industry and be able to understand how AltAssets’s Limited Partner & General Partner Network was able to connect users to active funds. Throughout this abroad experience, I was truly able to learn how to be a smarter traveler. With time, I wasn’t afraid to go to new places despite of not knowing the language or its transportation system. I knew how to plan for different sights and be able to take advantage of every moment I had abroad.

What Surprised Me: This may be silly, but I remember everyone’s reaction to shopping for groceries. We were all surprised in how quickly the food went bad because markets tend not to use preservatives in their food, and how British people didn’t refrigerate their eggs!

Hardest Part: How fast time flew by! We all wanted to stay during the weekends to experience all of London, but it was just as tempting to want to hop on a flight to explore another part of Europe. With only four short months, I could only plan so many trips before my wallet was crying or, frankly, before I was just too tired from traveling. Planning and preparation was super crucial!

Best Part: The people I met, the places I got to see, and all the food that I got to try. This was my first time in Europe, and I absolutely wouldn’t know how else to remember my experiences than with sharing it with a bunch of my friends abroad!

My Tips:

  • Prepare and plan early for traveling. Knowing what you want to see and do will help use your time more effectively.
  • Check out all the free events! (museums, markets, parks)
  • Book Social Programme events. BU plans a variety of events at a discounted price that are worth checking out.

Ben Kvisler, London Internship—Advertising & Marketing Track

Big Ben During the London MarathonInterned in Advertising and Sales at Educate Direct, Spring 2014

Internship: I worked at Educate Direct (, a small advertising sales firm that helps universities and commercial organizations source talent. I was assigned a variety of work to support the sales team. The majority of the work involved making creative content for email campaigns and adverts. I also generated some email campaigns and made occasional sales calls. The biggest project I took part in was to design a microsite for a client, University of Derby. I designed the basic page layouts and made the creative content to go behind it.

I Learned: I used Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign to make and edit creative work. The latter two programs I got to learn about while on the job. I could have learned how to use these programs in a classroom, but learning how to use them and creating real work for clients was a lot more meaningful.

For the study abroad experience in general, I learned that taking advantage of everyday and weekend is very important. While 4 months may seem like a good amount of time, it’s not all that long. So taking advantage of the free time you have is pretty important. I used the time to travel and learn more about my hobbies. Coming into my senior year, I’ll make sure that I spend it wisely and do the things that I’ve always wanted to do instead of having lazy weekends and evenings.

What Surprised Me: I was surprised by how close every other European country is to London. Many of the big cities are a 1-2.5 hour flight away. And if I booked early enough prices were quite affordable. This allowed me to travel to many countries while not grossly going over budget.

Hardest Part: The hardest part of the experience was trying to do everything in such a short amount of time. I really wanted to travel a lot and go to lots of the iconic London and European sites. It’s absolutely doable, but you have to plan early and get your friends on board if you’d like them to go. Make sure that your on top of your homework too, that always makes it easier.

Best Part: The best part was getting to travel to different European countries and getting an authentic take on the US perspective of foreign culture and food. This was my first time aboard, so everything was pretty new. As for London, the best part was being immersed in a city that always has something interesting to do. Most every day and night there’s some kind of event or new place to go.

My Tips:

  • Use the London buses! They’re a great way to get around the city while getting to see all the major landmarks.
  • Take advantage of all the free things to do, like the museums and events.
  • Plan travel early. The earlier you can plan, the cheaper travel and lodging will be. RyanAir and EasyJet are good inexpensive flight operators.
  • Get a Waitrose card and Sainsbury card. They give you discounts at these grocery stores.
  • Get Giffgaff for a SIM card. It worked great for me in London and other countries, and it was cheap.

Kandyce Graber, London Internship—Econ & Finance Track

Kandyce_Big Ben

Interned in Economic Consulting at Europe Economics, Spring 2014

Internship: I worked at a firm called Europe Economics. They do economic consulting for an array of European clients. In fact, two of their largest clients are the European Commission and the European Parliament. I did various different research projects, from browsing news stories on Bloomberg to researching supply chains. I also drafted reports, created excel files, and made phone calls.

I Learned: I learned a lot about Europe, its structure, and its governing bodies. I think this was due to my internship and the amount of research that I did in relation to the European Commission. However, much of what I learned is not tangible. I learned about the culture of London and other European cities. Further, I learned what it is like to live so far away from home and not to be able to rely on your parents. It is a big change, but it is absolutely worth it.

What Surprised Me: I had heard from so many people that London is “not European.” Many people say that it has become very American. Because of this, I wasn’t expecting culture shock, but when I got to London that all changed. While the differences between London and American cities are not huge, they do add up. When I was in London, I wrote a blog and I even posted an entry called “Subtle Differences,” which mentioned some of the things that people don’t tell you will be different, but end up being different.

Hardest Part: As I just mentioned, I was surprised with the culture shock. Because of this, I did go through a period of home-sickness. However, there was so much to do to keep me busy and to keep my mind off home, that I quickly got over it. I’m sure many people experience something similar to what I did. It is natural, but it definitely shouldn’t prevent someone from such an amazing experience.

Best Part: I think the best part of my experience was simply learning about all of the different cultures. The world has so much to offer, and until you experience it for yourself, you can’t quite grasp that. Also, I have to say, I took a class called London Architecture and Urbanism, and it was incredible. I was able to learn so much about London and its history, and I would definitely recommend the class to anyone.

My Tips:

  • Have an open-mind to cultural differences. You are only there for a short time, and you should embrace it.
  • Create a budget. London is expensive, but if you budget, you can do/see a lot of cool things without being too stressed about money.
  • Take advantage of London. There is SO much to see, and unfortunately it isn’t possible to see everything in the time you are there. Before you leave, think about some of the most important things on your must-see list and do them early!
  • Take advantage of Europe. There are 4 airports that are fairly easy to get to from London, so that means you have tons of flight options. Ryanair and Easyjet are cheap so be sure to check out some other cool European cities!
  • Visit the British Museum! This was my coolest site in London and it is huge! If you are planning on going, give yourself tons of time


Kate Walsh, Paris Internship and Geneva & London International Conflict Resolution

LondonInterned for a small, French management-consulting firm in Paris, Spring 2013. Also studied International Conflict Resolution Program in Geneva & London during Summer 2013.

I Learned: Even though I’d taken French languages courses up to the 300 level at BU, I couldn’t really speak the language until I had to take courses with Parisian professors and haggle over fruit prices with vendors.

I also learned that when all else fails: charades.

Comparing/Contrasting My Work Experiences: The business I interned for in Paris was trying to expand globally, so they had a number of interns from very different backgrounds. Almost all of the businesses I’ve worked for in the US have only had American employees, which leads to a relatively limited perspective in the workplace.  I’ve really only worked with small businesses, but my experiences with coworkers have been extremely positive in both France and America.  Side note: for anyone who will be living in France, the French are much more direct about topics that Americans consider controversial like politics or religion. Don’t take offense!

Hardest Part: Once I was accused of stealing an apple from Monoprix (basically the French Target) by an over-zealous security guard. It was traumatizing.

Best Part: The best part of being abroad was making connections with both the other students on my program and fellow travelers. I’m still in contact with people I met in random European hostels!