Tag Archive for: London

Will Maness, London Internship Program–Management Track

Internship doing investment banking for J.P. Morgan’s European, African and Middle Eastern Rates Product Marketing Middle Office, Spring 2013

I Learned: Working at J.P. Morgan and living in London taught me how impactful cultural differences are upon behavior.  I also learned how valuable cultural diversity can be in the work place, especially in Europe.

Comparing/Contrasting My Work Experiences: In my experience, the work place environment in London is more diverse and inviting than similar institutions in the States.  Nevertheless, having worked at this multinational corporation, it was easy to see that the management and tasks were more or less consistent globally.

Hardest and Best Parts: My hardest experience at J.P. Morgan was presenting the culmination of my research and reporting to the New York office. Setting up and executing a meeting with people of significant authority as an intern is a daunting task but also an incredibly gratifying one.  This small success of mine, and the celebration of my leaving with wonderful and supportive co-workers made interning at J.P. Morgan a wonderful experience.


Erica Kurtzman, London Internship Program–Management Track

Internship doing executive recruiting for the finance industry, Spring 2012

I Learned: I learned how to travel. It may seem silly, but when you are on your own in a new city or cities without your parents, it takes trial and error to learn how to make the most of the short time you have in any one location.  Each city has its own unique offerings and I enjoyed learning how to dive into the attractions, arts, and especially cuisine of each one I visited.

I also learned how to manage work and fun.  Although this has been the challenge of my whole college career, studying abroad escalated this.  I knew I only had four months to cram as much of London and the rest of Europe into my Facebook albums, but sometimes I had to stop and remember I was still “studying” abroad.  I  learned when it was time for a new adventure in London and when I had to still write that paper.

Comparing/Contrasting My Work Experiences: My office in London was a lot more relaxed than an office in America.  They were more lenient about lunch breaks and the office was a lot more social.  They often side-tracked and talked about outside work during the work day.  My current office still goes out for happy hour, but we save social interactions for outside work hours. I have not decided if the “European way” is more or less productive, but it is definitely different.

Hardest Part: Never being settled.  Although I loved my dorm and friends, I was constantly packing, unpacking, traveling and doing something new.  I would not change that if I did the program again, but it was hard sometimes never having a week or two of doing “nothing.”

Best Part: London was and always will be the best part of my study abroad in London.  I loved traveling to new cities, but I absolutely fell in love with London while I was there.  The sheer number of attractions there are to take advantage, paired with the culture and history of the city make it the best part of my study abroad.  I still feel that I need to go back just to appreciate the city itself again.

Emmily Hu, London Internship Program—Management Track

Intern in Finance at Venn Group, Spring 2012

Internship: Billings & Account Management and Credit Control Intern at Venn Group (www.venngroup.com)

 I Learned: Concentrating in Accounting and Finance at SMG, I never thought about taking a class on the E.U. All that ever mattered was the American government. Learning about another system really opened my eyes to methods other than “the American way” (similarities, differences, pros and cons, etc). Also, the class trip to Brussels was an amazing experience that introduced me to the E.U facilities and allowed me to listen to first hand accounts on what working in the E.U is like.

Additionally, working with British locals, allowed me to experience the different methods they use to carry out what may be the same tasks as in the States and to get a sense of what they consider humor. (They can be very blunt sometimes. I learned to not take anything too personally or offensively.) Working with the Brits was a blast. (Believe it or not, I started to pick up the British accent!)

Comparing/Contrasting My Work Experiences: The Brits like to take their time and check things over and over again. I feel like when Americans are given tasks, we would like to finish it as quickly as possible, get things done, then move on to whatever comes next. Also, the technology where I worked was not as fast as I experience in the States. (I once had to wait a good ten minutes for a program to start up, only to have it freeze in the middle and have to restart my computer.)

Another thing which I noticed at the office where I interned was the level of friendliness. Everyone was very comfortable with each other and top level managers were not hard to reach or “scary” at all. I met the CEO of the company my first day there, and the CFO sat at his desk 10 feet from where I sat. If someone had a question, he/she would simply ask the question out loud and whoever had the answer would just shout out the answer.

Another unique aspect was the amount of motivation provided by higher level managers to the employees. The last Friday of every month a party would be thrown from 3 to 5pm at the office. At each party, there would be a competition between four groups of employees put together randomly. One competition, which I judged, required each team to invent a mobile device from everyday household items. Whichever team created a device that could travel furthest across the office floor won a free lunch with our CFO and 50 Vennture points, company points that could be redeemed for prizes – movie tickets, weekend trips, etc. Although everyone was very competitive (they bribed me with sweets and coffee), people laughed and mingled throughout the party, which included free cheese and crackers and champagne. Where in the States can you find something like that happening?

Hardest Part: Being so far away from home for such a long period of time. At the beginning, I would listen to my roommates complain about how homesick they were, and I would not understand why they would want to go home when they just got to London. By my 3rd month there, I couldn’t wait to come back to the States. Although I Skyped with my family once a week, I still missed them greatly. I still do not regret going abroad for a semester. It was an experience of a lifetime!

Best Part: Getting a chance to explore not only London but also some of the amazing cities in neighboring countries as well. I traveled to Brussels in Belgium, Paris in France, Barcelona in Spain, and Rome, Florence, and Pisa in Italy. Seeing and experiencing the different cultures and historical aspects in all locations was priceless. Going to all these places while studying abroad was only a taste. It made me promise myself that I would definitely go back to experience all the other things which I did not have a chance to due to time limitations.

Tianfeng Sun, London Internship Program—Econ & Finance Track

This is how, where and when you fall in love with London.

Intern in Finance at Omerta Group, Summer 2012

Internship: In London, I did my internship in the Omerta Group. As an intern, I had several tasks during my tenure including researching candidates, looking up information online and on Bloomberg, answering phones, creating organizational charts, attending candidate meetings and assisting with projects.

I Learned: The first of the two important things I learned from studying abroad is that being humorous is very important in the office, at least in the company that I worked for. Seriously, you should occasionally tell jokes to make people laugh in the office; otherwise, your co-workers will get mad at you. (No, that’s not true, just kidding.) The second thing I learned from work is that initiative and creativity are more important than I thought. Before I did the internship, I thought that as an intern, I just needed to listen to my boss and do my jobs as directed. The truth proved that it was a very wrong assumption. The projects my boss asked me to do required a lot of my imagination. For example, one project was to organize foreign exchange candidates. Since there weren’t pre-established models to analyze the data, my boss asked me to create some straightforward and effective templates that were useful for foreign exchange candidates.

Comparing/Contrasting to Other Work Experiences: I used to work for a real estate company in China and the biggest difference between these two companies was the environment of the office. There was less tension in the English office. In contrast, the staff had more restrictions and rules in the office in China.

Hardest Part: The hardest part of my experience was holding conversations with people from different backgrounds.

Best Part: The best part of my experience was having a drink with my co-workers after work and talking about everyone’s stories. In the end, it is really awesome to walk on a central London Street with a hot Shiwama in your hand at midnight. You have to try it once!

Zhen Zhu, London Internship Program—Management Track


Zhen’s View of the Tate Modern

Intern in Finance at Barclays, Spring 2012

Internship: I worked at Barclays under their Wealth and Investment Management sector.  I was part of the Operational Risk team and spent a majority of my time creating supporting documents such as the Principal Risk Assessment and Key Risk Assessment for the team.

I Learned: In America, people acknowledge diversity and different ideas, but in London, it is truly a melting pot. Though I am from New York City, it was more evident in London that not only do Londoners acknowledge other races and cultures but also they have grown to live with different types of ethnicities to a greater extent. There are people from all over Europe in London, and it was amazing how everyone meshed so well together. The other thing I learned was about the English lifestyle.  I love their polite entrances, afternoon tea, and emphasis on holidays.  It was quite a breath of fresh air and a new type of pace that you cannot find in large metropolitan cities like New York.

Comparing/Contrasting to Other Work Experiences: The main difference that I saw was that the business at Barclays was much more relaxed.  People took more time to finish projects and definitely took more vacations.  While Americans are very hasty in the way they do work, rushing to finish all the work at once, Londoners definitely do take a step back to find more of a balance between life and work.  Additionally, London businesses are more diverse.  I quite enjoy workplaces that are not dominated by white males all the time.

Challenges: The most difficult part of my experience was my homesickness.  I didn’t know anyone prior to the program so I constantly missed my best friends and family.  During a vacation early in the semester to Germany, I remember wishing that they were the ones I was enjoying my time with.  However, after a few weeks, I made some really close friends and am very glad that I was able to share my abroad experience with them.

Best Part: This is a very difficult question because I had so many great experiences.  I met a lot of great people, and some of them I know will be lifetime friends.  I had an awesome experience at Barclays because I had such a genuine and caring supervisor and the funniest team. I also loved traveling around Europe on the weekends and sightseeing.  It was so cheap and convenient to go anywhere especially to places I have been reading about in my history textbooks.