It was a whirlwind right when I got to London, and it was a whirlwind coming back. In less than a day I was back in my home, in my room, and able to drive a car. Just as I was overwhelmed in my initial few days in London, I experienced something close to the same upon arriving home to see things were virtually the same. After taking some time to synthesize my experience I can truly see how beneficial the entire experience, whirlwind and all, was to my growth. I was incredibly nervous to fly across the world, knowing no-one, and dive right into working and a new class. Ultimately, the immersive and intense experience pushed me outside my comfort zone and resulted in incredible growth from not only a personal, but also professional and academic perspective.
Professionally, I can now speak to working in an international environment and on multi-cultural teams. Internships are always a prime opportunity to grow in technical skills, but my time in London was too brief to truly learn the ins and outs of the accounting of the firm. The more pertinent skills I gained related to interpersonal and soft skills that can translate into any workplace. With that being said, I could see the growth I made in adapting to the tasks I was given and gaining confidence. By the end of my internship I was much faster and competent in the assignments I was given.
From an academic perspective, the accounting class I was able to take while overseas was an incredible experience. The class was structured around site visits which took us to some of the Big Four accounting firms, as well as having the opportunity to visit institutions that are iconic to London such as Lloyd’s of London. Not only did I gain classroom exposure to different accounting topics, but the ability to then interact with professionals in the industry and visit different businesses helped to ingrain the topics more in my memory. The combination was key in providing a multidimensional and enriched overall experience. Being able to experience the world of academia and its relation to the workplace opened my eyes to new opportunities that my major could lead me into.
Lastly, there was the common thread of personal growth that was prevalent throughout my entire journey. Even in the midst of professional growth, I was growing as a person and learning to relate and build international relationships that extended beyond a simple working co-existence. Every type of growth I was experiencing came back to stretch me as a person. London will forever have a special place in my heart, and truly provided an incredible experience and momentum that will carry me forward for the months and years to come.
For the last time, thanks for reading!