When I first received my internship placement at the Langham, London, a five-star hotel chain around the world, I was beyond excited. Googling the pictures of the spectacular building and the beautiful rooms put me in a state giddiness as I waited to begin my placement. In person the building was just as gorgeous as I anticipated, and I caught a glimpse of the fancy Palm Court Restaurant on the first floor before heading downstairs to meet the Human Resources and Finance teams before heading to the place I was stationed: the receiving office.
The receiving office has a vastly different feel to it than the rest of the office. The office is not very well kempt, and everyone is much less formal being so far from the guests and other parts of the building. There were only three of us in the food and beverage receiving office: Damir, head of the department, and Simeon, my supervisor. Simeon and I have been able to develop a relationship, as he is tasked with teaching me the ins and outs of the job. Damir, on the other hand, left the company just a week after I started. With his leaving happening to coincide with the month end, a pivotal time in a finance office, our department has been in turmoil ever since. This has been by far the biggest challenge through the first three weeks of my study abroad experience. I only work 20 hours per week and there is simply too much coming in and out of the office for just the two of us to handle, forcing people from other departments to come join.
This has given me a chance to network and communicate with those members, however, making it worthwhile and rewarding despite being daunting and stressful. The work I am doing is not particularly difficult, as it is just inputting and closing invoices along with updating the occasional spreadsheet, but there is so much of it that the entire day is a never-ending pile of paperwork. Being able to talk to and bond with the members of my office allows the day to go by much faster and give me more experience with the British culture.
Thus far the internship experience has been so rewarding and I would recommend it to anyone thinking about going on the GBI London program to take the internship. You will have much less free time but the people you’ll meet and the experiences you gain will be invaluable in the long run.