I have one more week of my elective classes before I head to Florence, Italy for fall break! That means these last few days have been filled with research papers, exams, and STRESS, but my friends are helping me keep my head above water with their love and support. When I get back to London, I start my internship, and I have beyond ecstatic. Internship placements range from working with non-profit organizations and credit unions to theatres and clothing companies. Mine is in event planning, something I dreamed of doing since early high school.
Last month, I received an email from my internship advisor that my provisional placement is at Ocean Media Group. The organization owns numerous housing, wedding, bridal, and lifestyle brands, and they “create market-leading events and digital information” for their customers. (https://www.oceanmedia.co.uk/) I jumped and screamed with excitement! I immediately ran into the living room to make the announcement to my friends and messaged my family a screenshot of the email. The email stated that I would work on event planning and marketing in their housing, wedding, and bridal markets, my first choice on the internship application. My classmates and I patiently waited for everyone else to receive their provisional placements during the next few weeks.
A week ago, I attended an orientation for my internship. The presenter taught me how to prepare for my interview, about some challenges I might face, and what to expect from the British work culture. I learned to take initiative, ask for what I want, and make the most out of my experience. I anxiously waited to receive my packet with all the information I needed to successfully complete my interview. I felt like I was in Harry Potter waiting to see what house the sorting hat would place me in! When I received my packet, I had to patiently wait again for the day of my interview.
Before I knew it, it was the day!!! I ate a healthy breakfast (an egg spinach bagel sandwich and Greek yogurt with blueberries, granola, and honey) and was pumped. I pieced together an outfit to impress (a white blouse with steel blue dress pants and black heels) and started preparing. I reviewed the organization’s website, their brands, my CV resume, and my personal statement. I felt ready but made sure to keep calm, so I would not sweat through my clothes.
Fast forward a couple hours later, I walked into the office. My supervisor greeted me and offered me water, coffee, and, of course, tea. He did not ask the usual questions I expected at an interview. Rather, he explained what the organization is and what my role will be, so I did not question whether I got the internship or not anymore. I knew right away I was in! My supervisor looked at my outfit mentioned that I can dress casual and wear jeans. He gave me a range of flexible times I could come to work and let me choose my hours. I thought, “This is awesome!”
So far, I learned that the British work culture is relaxed even for an organization that plans the National Wedding Show in England. My supervisor emphasized that the purpose of the internship is for me to gain experience in what I am interested in. He gave me the power to decide my path, so I chose a focus in event planning. Even though I know I will face challenges along the way, I am excited for my first day of work and embark on a new journey!