Please Mind the Gap

Having about a 45 minute commute to both school and work means that I hear “Please Mind the Gap” at least ten times per day. However, much like the noisiness of traffic and skateboarders outside my window, or the strong winds in the tube stations, this is yet another new stimulus to which I am slowly adapting. After finishing my first full week of classes and interning, however, I am happy to say that I am finding my groove and feeling more comfortable in my new “home”.

Monday was day one of my internship at Clic Sargent. Clic Sargent is a non-profit that provides support to families with children fighting cancer. They provide Homes from Home, similar to Ronald McDonald Houses, as well as social worker services and care grants. I am required to work 20 hours per week, which I initially spaced out from Monday to Thursday around my class schedule. However, this week I worked extra hours in order to pre-emptively make up the hours that will be missed due to the bank holiday on Monday. Working all week meant that I got to meet almost all of my coworkers and learn many tasks and procedures already.

So far, I really enjoy my internship. It’s in a nice area, Hammersmith, and the people are quite friendly. I was even invited out to the pub for drinks with my new coworkers after work on my first day! This made me feel welcome and even more excited to be working in the finance department of Clic Sargent.

My first lecture was on Tuesday of this past week as well. I am taking “Shakespeare in London” while abroad in order to fulfill my literature general education requirement. This class is going to be an immense amount of work, as we have to read ten plays in the course of just six weeks. In fact, our homework that was assigned for the following day (Wednesday) was to read the entirety of Romeo & Juliet. Although looking at the syllabus and the amount of work gives me anxiety, I am excited for the progression of the class. We go to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre to watch the performance of three plays, which is a fantastic way to really learn the material and experience it the way Shakespeare intended. Ultimately, it will be a hefty bit of work, but moreover, an enriching experience.

Wednesday was day two of my Shakespeare lecture and day one of the Global Internship Program lecture. This class meets once a week for 1.5 hours, as opposed to 9+ hours per week for Shakespeare. I was slightly discouraged to find out that this supplemental lecture had large, time consuming assignments as well. I understand the importance of being able to articulate the experience that I am gaining through my internship, but I worry that the additional course load will hinder those experiences. My biggest challenge at this point is striking a balance between my commute, interning, school work, and the cultural exploration of studying abroad. However, I trust that I will manage just fine and will appreciate the challenge in the end.

In order to end on a slightly more exciting note, I spent much of Friday crossing some sites off of my To-See/Do list. I worked until noon and then took the tube to meet one of my roommates at the London Eye. The view was amazing, as it was a clear enough day to see quite far. After our ride on the London Eye, we walked along the pier to the Tate Modern Museum, stopping to watch some street performers along the way. The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering from room to room and floor to floor of the Tate Modern. We took our time making our way through the museum and stopping to participate in the interactive/performance art bits. It was quite nice with a ton of variety!

I am looking forward to the weekend after having my first full week, and I can’t wait to experience more places and attractions around London. I will be posting another blog soon after this one that serves as a reflection on my commute, as that is one of my required PittBusiness blogs (the rest so far have just been for fun and to keep everyone updated!). I appreciate you keeping up with my journey and I love sharing it with you!