Hello all. I had the opportunity to travel to London for my 10-week internship. While I was there, I learned so much about my profession, the city and myself. Here are 10 things my internship in London taught me.
1. Take risks.
Going abroad is a risk in itself and the outcome is so much greater than I could have ever imagined. It may seem scary to hop on a plane to fly over the Atlantic Ocean to an unfamiliar place. It’s even more scary knowing that you won’t see anyone you know for the duration of your trip. But let me tell you that it is totally worth the risk.
2. Don’t fall in love with your first copy.
Coming from the intern who did a lot of layout/design work, I can assure you not to get too attached to your work. Being an intern, everything you do has to go back through your supervisor. There were times that I loved what I was designing and thought it was so pleasing to my eye but turns out mostly everything needed to be changed.
3. Do anything and everything at your internship.
This is a huge learning experience for your future profession. If you want to try something new, just ask! Worst thing they will say is ‘no.’ Asking questions is a huge way to learn. If you want to know why they chose a certain pattern or called that journalist, just ask! Even if you don’t want to do something, do it. As an intern you have to be ready to be thrown the busy or boring work – it’s nothing personal! There is always the chance of getting a good recommendation, especially if you are doing things you don’t want to do.
4. Step out of your comfort zone.
Not only just going abroad but while you are abroad, do things you wouldn’t normally do. For instance, traveling around Europe or exploring alone are the ways I stepped out of my comfort zone and it lead me to huge growth.
5. Crises do happen and you must move quickly.
Studying public relations in school, I always knew a crisis was bound to happen in my future job. Not that huge crises happened at my internship but I was able to see what is needed to do when things went wrong. It is important to move quickly and stay calm! As an intern, step back and wait to see if they need anything done from you. Don’t get in the way.
6. Do as the British do.
It’s so easy to go abroad but do everything you would normally do including the foods you eat, stuff you bought and things you do. It’s important to do as the British do during your stay in order to fully experience the culture. Whether it be ordering bangers and mash or going to different museums these are ways to fully immerse into the culture.
7. It’s okay to get lost.
And I mean both literally and mentally. There were plenty of times where I got lost in the city, by myself. I used the app Citymapper for my entire 10-week stay, but there were times I missed a turn or put in the wrong location. Times I got lost were some of the most exhilarating experiences, just being able to see the city in a different way. And I felt so accomplished when I made it to my desired destination. It is also okay to get lost figuratively, too. There were definitely times at the end of my trip where I was confused, sad, unhappy, disheveled, lost. And that’s okay.
8. There will be long days/nights in public relations.
I always heard in school that PR professionals stayed at the office late and pulled all-nighters. I got to experience this first hand and I loved it. The company I interned for had a press show. It was in a different part of London, closer to where I lived. Unfortunately, a tube strike started at 6 p.m. the day of set up and I stayed at the venue until 10:30 p.m. That was when everyone told me I better leave to get home safely. I didn’t end up getting home until 2 a.m. Each bus stop was packed and same with the buses. This is definitely a story I will always remember!
9. Stay in touch.
It is vital to stay in touch with the people you meet while you are abroad. You shared memories with them that no one else will understand. You will be able to shoot them a text saying “remember this” or tag them in pictures online and relive the memories together.
10. Document everything.
There will be a time when your trip is long gone and you are back in the real world. All you want to do is relive those memories. I wrote a blog while I was there to document my experiences and travels. A journal, pictures or videos will do as well. If you are extra detailed in your writing, it’s better because you will remember those little details. Plus, it’s fun annoying friends and family with your pictures for the millionth time.
To learn more about Emma’s experience in London, check out her blog. You can also follow Emma’s current adventures on twitter at: @emmalavengood.
Photo 2. based on “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharial Nehru, by Kate Ter Haar, CC-by-2.0
Photo 3. based on Sunset Over the London Aquarium, by The Narratographer, CC-by-2.0