Tag Archive for: London

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 (https://www.educate-direct.com/), 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!


Aisha Rawji, London Internship–Management Track

London Eye_Aisha

Dear London, xx Cheers, Aisha

My three month journey in London

Dear London,

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Just like the beginning of Love Actually, when Hugh Grant narrates a scene at the arrivals gate of Heathrow, my journey began full of happiness and love. Maybe it’s a ploy on Heathrow’s part, but I have never felt so proud, excited, and nervous to enter a country in my life. All I could think was “Wow, look at all these videos of the Queen. Wow, I’m so blessed to be at this airport. WOW I’M IN LONDON.”

My first mistake, however, was right when I got out of the airport and paid 80 pounds to get to my residence in South Kensington. (NOTE: NEVER EVER TAKE A TAXI FROM HEATHROW TO CENTRAL LONDON, YOU WILL REGRET IT).Living at the Crofton was a bit of a thrill, so many people packed into the residence hall, stealing from each others’ fridges, staying up until the crack of dawn for no reason. But it was, nonetheless, the best possible situation. I can’t thank the people I met enough, my new and good friends, for shaping my experience in a way I couldn’t imagine. From stuffing our faces with waffles in Amsterdam, to yelling “BONJOUR!” throughout the streets of Paris, to eating gelato on all the bridges in Florence, to missing our train in Rome, to partying it up with Pharrell in Ibiza — I couldn’t have asked for better friends to share my experience with.Back to London.

Lesson #1: Don’t rush it, enjoy it

At the beginning of my trip after reading every guide, abroad bible, London book and paper possible I created a to-do list on my notes on my iPhone. This list includes everything from ride the London Eye to walk Carnaby Street to take a cheesy picture on Abbey Road. I did successfully manage to finish 99% of the to-do list and am incredibly happy that I did. Halfway through completing my list though it dawned upon me I was really doing it wrong. It’s great to have to-do lists (yes, I am a true type-A personality), but what you shouldn’t do is be in a rush to do it all without enjoying the moment. That’s when I discovered Hyde Park, my true haven that I could find about a minute walk away from the Crofton. The days when I didn’t want to keep going, Hyde Park was always the great alternative. Rent a bike, get a bottle of wine, listen to some free music, watch some people try to impress their dates by feeding the swans and then get attacked by them —it really was a great time.

Lesson #2: Make deeper connections

Being in a new country, or anywhere for that matter, you cross paths with hundreds of people everyday that are continuing on their own journey. In Los Angeles, crossing paths mostly happens while you’re stuck in traffic on the 405. In London, although the city is quite large, crossing paths can mean on the tube, in Piccadilly Circus, in the Tech City Roundabout, at Waitrose, at Nando’s. The people I’ve met, in passing or on purpose have had amazing stories to share; from a man who was once homeless but is now working on a new startup to a random lady on the tube who shared with me terror stories about her son. Kiss them on the cheek, give them a tight hug, give them a piece of your Cadbury bar (ok, maybe not the last part). These stories and people taught me to make deeper connections, learn their names, find out where they’re from, where they’re going, where they want to go, who they want to be.

Lesson #3: Let the journey change you

Most people who go abroad decide to do so for the journey of becoming a different person. I, no doubt, was one of those people. From the beginning I kept searching for situations that could change who I am and make me a better person, more understanding, more gentle, more kind — the person I’ve always wanted to be. I distinctly remember climbing the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral thinking, “I’m a changed person, this just changed me.” What I didn’t realize for the first 11 weeks of my experience was that I didn’t need to find an experience or monument to change me, I didn’t need to force myself to change, I just needed to let the journey change me. From start to finish it changed me, whether I knew it or not. And I only hope for the better.

Lesson #4: When you’re there be really, really there

I wouldn’t make the argument that I’ve been sleeping through the past 21 years of my life, but I definitely have been daydreaming through it. In Yoga and Bharatha Natyam, we’re taught to have drishti or focus. It’s a technique you use to first focus your eyes and then your mind. Being abroad has taught me the full meaning of drishti. When you’re somewhere beautiful, say touring Buckingham Palace, you’re physically there but if your mind isn’t, being there is completely pointless. If your mind has oneness with your body, what you discover is far beyond the physical — but moments.

Lesson #5: Make good memories

As a taxi driver/poet in Athens told me, “Make good memories.” Three months is a long time and I can’t necessarily remember every moment of everyday. But, the memories I will always cherish are those that were the most ridiculous, the most unlike myself, the ones that made my experience. Thirty years from now I won’t necessarily remember what the significance of the Tower Bridge is but I will remember the incredibly long three-hour journey that took us there — hail storms, wrong trains and all. Or a two-hour debate with my token British friend about the ups and downs of college and our youth. These will be the memories I’ll always keep.

Five lessons aren’t enough to summarize everything I’ve learned, seen or experienced in London. Nonetheless I am incredibly grateful and blessed to have been able to experience such an amazing country. Although I’ve probably experienced the best weather possible, I hope my journey ends up back here one day and my lessons continue. A huge thank you to everyone in London, my friends (TOFTB), my token British friend Iftikhar for taking me to Regency, my professors, guides, and boss/inspiration CBM. And last but not least my loving parents for giving me the opportunity to come here and truly experience what they’ve always taught me, “everything happens for a reason.”

I’ll see you soon London.




  Aisha Rawji in Lessons Learned

Rachel Kerrigan, London Internship–Management Track

Interned in Marketing with yoomi, a small start-up company, Spring 2013

Internship: I interned for yoomi, a small start-up that created a self-warming baby bottle. Yes, you read that correctly. I was a marketing intern but was able to get involved in a lot of different projects since the company was very small. For my first project, I researched and created a list of independent stores and boutiques in the UK that the company could potentially sell to. This project helped the company prepare for a trade show.

I also worked on the new support page that was launching on their website. The support page is intended to be a resource for new parents with helpful advice. I was given a list of topics, then researched and wrote the articles for the page. I really enjoyed the chance to be able to work on a project that involved more creativity. I learned the importance of maintaining a concise marketing message.

The internship was one of my favorite parts of the entire abroad experience. I learned a lot and was able to get to know my co-workers.

I Learned: I learned that it’s really easy to stick to your American ways even in Europe, but that doesn’t mean you should. It’s possible to get around without knowing a word of another language. There are McDonalds and Starbucks in most cities. You can only truly experience another culture if you make an active effort to go outside your comfort zone.

Comparing/Contrasting My Work Experiences: The biggest difference I noticed is that British people are not as straightforward. I was accustomed to supervisors directly telling me what to do or what not to do. When giving instructions, my co-workers at yoomi were much less direct, often asking, “Could you do this when you get the chance?” or, “You could work on this project, if you don’t mind.” I think this says a lot about the differences between American and British culture.

I don’t know if this is true of all British offices, but my co-workers were much less rigid with time than people I’ve worked with in the US. Meetings were often pushed back or scheduled at the last minute, which meant I had to throw away my type-A tendencies and be a little more flexible.

I would say that British people have a similar work ethic to Americans. Though some aspects of my work environment were more laid-back, my co-workers definitely put a lot into their work.

Hardest Part: The hardest part for me was being so far away from my family and friends. I learned that I could no longer just call up my mom on a whim (unless if I wanted to spend a fortune on minutes). Skype is a beautiful thing.

Best Part: I loved being able to travel all around Europe, experiencing language barriers and cultures that are vastly different. This was my first time abroad, which made it all the more exciting!

Erin Lam, London Internship–Management Track

Interned in Information Systems and Marketing at Whizz-Kidz, Spring 2013

Internship: I interned at Whizz-Kidz, a non-profit organization that raises funds to provide mobility equipment for physically and/or mentally disabled children throughout the United Kingdom. My primary responsibilities involved the Children Services Department, where I collected and analyzed client information through a central database and then relayed the information to improve their overall business processes. In addition, I assisted in creating marketing strategies and preparing for the charity’s participation in the London Marathon.

I Learned: My internship experience gave me an intriguing insight into alternative health care policies. It is well known that there is a free health care system throughout Britain. Thus, in comparison the United States systems, this indicates very different responsibilities for health professionals, technology, insurance companies, and sponsors in Britain.

I also learned how cultural and/or overall environmental differences can impact businesses and the way in which managerial procedures are run. Amongst the scope of politics, technology, and other environmental factors, business managers must be cognizant of the discrepancies between domestic and foreign markets then adjust their strategies when managing operations elsewhere. I did not realize how important cultural understanding was until it affected me in my workplace.

Comparing/Contrasting My Work Experiences: A major similarity I noticed between my work experiences in the U.S. and the U.K. is the high degree of working in teams. Both experiences encouraged team work in completion of a project as well as introduced me to people with unique cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

An intriguing activity that I experienced in London was weekly “afternoon tea” where different departments would bring food, snacks, and tea to celebrate the end of each week. This enhances office cohesion and introduces people from different departments to each other who would not have met each otherwise. It was unlike anything I have ever experienced before in the work place.

Hardest Part: Working under culturally different ethics and adhering to them was a major challenge for me. I realized that the way in which problems were resolved was very different in my London internship than my previous work experiences in the U.S. I once worked at a technology consultant group in the U.S. where compromising with the client was the ideal approach to settling a dispute. Meanwhile, at my internship in London, most of their work practices seemed more focused on finding the most effective solution to a conflict. This was especially difficult when working in teams because I was often tempted to make a compromise while my teammates were more focused on figuring out which of the options was the “right solution.” Finding the balance between ‘compromising’ and ‘directly solving’ was incredibly satisfying and led to impressive results.

Best Part: Meeting and making British friends! It was strange to be considered as ‘the visitor from America,’ but they taught me so much about their culture and took me to places I would not have gone to otherwise.


Taylor Stein, London Internship Program–Advertising & Marketing

Interned as a Marketing Assistant at a Mahiki-Island-themed bar and nightclub, Spring 2013

I Learned: Academically, I discovered how to connect what I learned in International Marketing (MK467) to real life experiences. I also learned how work culture varies depending on which country you are located and how the local population responds to different media and marketing tactics.

Personally, I learned  how to budget my time and money efficiently, how to navigate a foreign city, how to survive without 3G, the importance of respecting and understanding different local cultures, and how diversity truly enriches your life experiences.

Comparing/Contrasting My Work Experiences: The UK workplace is extremely relaxed. Deadlines, e-mails, and language are all casual and everyone in the office place seems to be on the same page. British people take work seriously, but they seem to work to live as opposed to the American culture in which people seem to live to work.

Hardest Part: The hardest part was initially adapting to the surroundings, getting acquainted with the public transportation and neighborhood.

Best Part: The best part was travelling around Europe: exploring the differences in food, nightlife, language, and social norms. I also enjoyed working with truly talented, fun, and interesting people who not only wanted me to learn from the internship but also to enjoy it.


Brent Donenfeld, London Internship Program–Management Track

Interned as a Governance and Control Analyst at Barclays, Spring 2013

I Learned: From my experience at Barclays, I learned to deal with cultural barriers that exist in diverse workplaces and grew to find cultural differences as competitive advantages.  Additionally, I learned to balance a myriad of professional commitments, as I was enrolled in studies, traveling around Europe and working nearly full-time.

Comparing/Contrasting My Work Experiences: The major difference that I noticed while working abroad was the large amount of diversity that existed in the workplace. I worked with people of different ethnicities, professional backgrounds, and countries of origin which really enhanced my learning experience in the workplace.

Hardest Part: Overcoming cultural differences that existed between the US and UK office place.

Best Part: Meeting life-long friends, traveling around Europe, and refining my professional interests as I look to enter the full-time job market.