“The Old Smoke”
It has been one week since I arrived at my internship in London and the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about my view on this city is diversity. Diversity in the sense that every area has its own story to be unfolded; diversity in the incorporation of different cultures within its own; diversity in its uniqueness to any other city I have ever been to.
After my overnight flight into London, I noticed upon my arrival the beautiful combination of historic buildings incorporated with the modern world, while being driven to my accommodation in a ‘typical London black cab’. The amazing architecture that surrounds me as I walk the streets of this city is something that I have yet to get used to (as well as walking on the other side of the road…).
It was only my second day here and I attended my first activity organized by The Intern Group; the High Tea event at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair! Having downloaded the handy Citymapper app on my cell phone earlier that day and making sure I left my house promptly, I was determined to arrive on time and try to enjoy the event without feeling too jet lagged. What a surprise it was to learn that there were two Millennium Hotels in London and I had obviously gone to the wrong one! Long story short, I arrive two hours late. However, as I got seated at the only available chair in the area, little did I know that I would be making friends with the people at my table so quickly! We ended the day at the roof top bar at Aqua Spirit with a beautiful view of Soho – a great way to officially introduce me to London!
When I went the next day to my first day as an Operations and Programmes Intern at the Democratic Progress Institute, I was determined to be on time and not make the same mistake I made the day before by trusting the irregular bus schedule (a commonly know fact to all Londoners). After having gone through my first morning rush hour in the tube station with the bustle of busy business men and tourists into Central London, I finally made it to my destination and was officially introduced as the newest intern to the organization!
My main work with this NGO is to assist in the operational areas of work for the organization. All of the staff members were so friendly and patient in helping me out and giving me tips on the functions of the office. On the Programmes aspect of my position here, I was given an opportunity to do some research and write a research brief on a topic of my choice related to the organization’s work. I have yet to make a final decision on the area I would like to research – there are too many interesting areas that I am fascinated with and would like to inform myself on; although I’m sure I’ll be able to narrow my choices down soon enough. I am so grateful and excited to be working here, and even though I have only been working in this organization for a short amount of time, I am definitely able to see myself working in an NGO or a similar environment in the future!
This week has taught me so much about the beauty that is a big metropolitan city like London, a glimpse at the intricacies of London’s architectural landscape and the active work environment in this wonderful city. I am only excited to explore and see what else is in store for my first UK adventures!
Photo 1, 2, 3, & 4. by Véronique Lahaie Luna