There are endless reasons to love London, from the nightlife in Shoreditch to the liveliness of Southbank. For me, my favourite part of my London study abroad experience was interning with the Cravenhill Publishing team in Clapham North.
Aside from the benefits of gaining working experience abroad, I decided to pursue an internship in London because I wanted to try my hand at communications in one of world’s biggest media hubs. Having previously majored in architecture, I had little knowledge of the industry though I knew I wanted to use my writing skills to contribute in some way. I had little writing experience aside from academia, but I was keen on pushing myself to become a better writer. This was a huge learning curve for me in terms of writing journalistically and I had to get used to the British way of spelling things (e.g. ‘realisation’ instead of ‘realization,’ and ‘favour’ instead of favor’).
Luckily, my team was aware of this and gave me plenty of assignments to bring me up to speed. I started off writing news articles for the company’s two magazines: Transform and Communicate, which focus on branding and corporate communications. My first published article was on JFK Terminal 4’s rebrand for Transform magazine, which I found interesting from the get-go as a NYC native. Writing for Communicate magazine was slightly more challenging but rewarding as well, as I found myself adapting to different writing styles. I’m grateful that Cravenhill Publishing gave me the opportunity to publish my own articles for both magazines, both on the websites and in print. A semester ago I would have never imagined being in this position!
In hindsight, being part of a London-based team definitely helped me adjust to living abroad in the UK. It gave me a support network aside from the university’s, and the opportunity to connect with people who knew the ins-and-outs of London. I was also encouraged to go to events I probably would not have found on my own; such Tetra’s pop-up aquarium exhibit in the Old Street station and Social Media Week’s conference at BFI Southbank. From discussing the elections to attending the company’s awards nights and using a UK water boiler for the first time in the office, there are so many memories with the team I’ll never forget.
On a weekend hiking trip to Lulworth Cove, a fellow hiker told me some interns create more work for companies than they contribute: as long as you’re providing some kind of value for the company, you’re doing a great job. I wholeheartedly agree with her. From my experience, bringing a positive attitude to the workplace is one of the best things an intern can offer, if not a wide range of experience. With that said, I hope that I gave back as much as I gained from this experience. The weekly internship class with Olivia Compton and Meghan Callahan was also incredibly helpful with keeping everyone on pace, and allowed students to meet successful UK professionals. For anyone who is considering doing an internship in London: do it. It is worth the effort to get a Tier 4 visa for this unique opportunity of a lifetime.
Written by student Michelle Guo
Photo Credit: Cravenhill Publishing