I am best known in my group of friends for having the travel bug. My desire to work abroad started last summer with living and working in Tel Aviv, Israel. As incredible as the experience was for me, this summer, I wanted to work in a particular field that I believed was one that could be my future career. Upon attaining a position as a Marketing Intern at IgnitionOne, the idea was to get me overseas again to create another international experience. This time, I hoped to go to the brilliant and witty city of London. After receiving a large scholarship that would fund my internship in London, I immediately bought my plane ticket, booked my housing, and budgeted for my food and other personal expenses. It was truly a dream come true. I could not have asked for a better opportunity to get me into the world of international business. I spent two weeks living at home and working at IgnitionOne’s New York City headquarters, receiving training from the Marketing Director, Joseph LaSala, and learning about the product. I then took what I call a “short (six hour) flight” to the UK (I have only ever done eleven hours to Israel).
I arrived on a Sunday and started my first day at the London office on Monday. I had never experienced jet lag as bad as I did my first week here. The office was consumed by large country flags from around the world hung up against the windows. Vibrant music was playing in the background and employees were laughing over their cups of tea. The atmosphere was relaxed and I felt very comfortable as I got accustomed. It is a much smaller office than in NYC, but quite pleasant. I was introduced to each of the company’s divisions through multiple meetings. The company thrilled me. I was learning so much about IgnitionOne and all that their platform offers in the digital marketing world. In addition, the people in the office are probably the most wonderful employees I have ever worked with. The work culture is very different in the UK compared to the US, enhanced with a European attitude and casualness. There is so much enthusiasm in the work they do, but a seriousness of getting it all done properly. The London office is smaller than New York’s, which had two terraces that overlook beautiful Manhattan. There were so many people in the New York office that it was hard to get to know everyone in the short two weeks that I was there, but after the first week of my internship in the UK, I already knew everyone’s name. The smaller amount of people make for a more intimate working environment, which is very refreshing.
Overall, the London office has an extremely strong work ethic. Although everyone is very serious about the work they do, they also know how to stay engaged, laughing in their discussions, getting upset about England’s results in the World Cup, and continuously changing the playlist of music in the office to keep things interesting. It is the atmosphere which I have grown so fond of, finding myself able to work much more efficiently. The hours in the day go by and the work happily gets done.
As I adapt to the culture of London, I am finding there are things I will never master, such as the Tube. Talking to people who have lived here all their life, they are still not accustomed to how packed, hot, and crazy the underground system is. I am also still getting used to everything being packaged in plastic bags (including fruit), the eccentric pub life, and the wonderful accents. A couple of the phrases the English use have been quite confusing, but nothing I see myself getting too hung up on during my time here.
For now, I will say my experience so far has been bloody wonderful! Cheers!