After a few weeks here in London, I can extrapolate further in a better way how this experience has affected me. I came in with many expectations. Some have been adhered to and others have been proven wrong.
Academically, everything has been what I expected and my class has given me exactly the access to the knowledge I wanted to learn. It has been great to learn about accounting and business in a global context.
Professionally through my internship experience, my expectation has been different from reality. I was expecting to learn more about the decision-making process in business and specifically in accounting. However, I am learning a lot more about information systems. I am not unhappy about this at all. Even though I wanted to learn more leadership and management skills, I suppose the backbone of all that is having fluency in a company’s information system. I also did not expect there to be such a cultural difference between me and my co-workers. We may speak the same mother tongue but every day I become aware that the brits attack situations differently than us Americans. I can certainly see my cultural fluency increasing. The biggest challenge I face at work is gaining fluency in navigating their systems. Sometimes I can be completely confused, but my colleagues are very open to questions and have helped me a lot. For anyone looking to do an internship abroad, come in with a willingness to do what they need you to do because what you expect might not be what you get.
Personally, I expected to really grow as a person. I believe I have! As stated above my cultural fluency is growing. As well walking and sitting in the park has simply put me in a peaceful setting to think. I will often sit in the park and journal. This has helped me discover more about myself and why I think this experience has been a good personal experience. Also, the commute on the tube is the perfect place to read, so when I am on public transportation I will read a good book. Already finished one, and I am on my second.
To conclude, I would like to talk about what I am taking away from this experience. My first take away would be that six weeks is a great amount of time to spend abroad yet it feels like so little. These first three weeks have passed so fast, and it really inspires me to try to use the best of my time. My second take away is that I have been challenged by my work and academics. Apart from it being a good amount of work, tackling it all in a foreign context is a new challenge in itself. I have been rewarded in doing so. Lastly, I did not expect to miss home as much as I do. More so I wish that my friends and family could be here to experience this with me. I have felt home sick in this way a few times. I have learned there really is no place like home.
Cheers, until next time!