Adventures in Learning

Time continues to fly while being abroad. Its crazy how long I’ve been here. This semester is going very quickly, yet the days feel so long and it feels as if I’ve been here 6 months. My internship is definitely making time go faster, since the majority of my time is spent there. I love every minute of it and am sad to think it will be ending soon.

As a refresher, I am an events intern at the London Marriott County Hall. I work with guests and help sell and set up events. The start of my internship was a little awkward since my supervisor was out of the office the entire first week. I was a little shy in the beginning, not knowing how to talk to my coworkers and feeling as if I was butting in constantly. I did simple things; watched training videos, organized a filing cabinet, and started to learn about the process of events planning. Everyone was very nice and welcoming. They invited me on sales calls and show arounds with guests. They also gave me tours of the hotel to get a better idea of what I was working with.

My second week was a little better with my supervisor there. I felt I had a purpose in the office and finally had things to do. I had a defined place to sit and logged into the email everyday. What is nice about sales people is that they are very friendly; part of it is part of their jobs. After I got really settled, then people started to show me things, ask me if I wanted to learn how to do things. Those initial interactions helped me feel welcomed in the workplace. I was not afraid to ask people questions or to question what they do to learn. They, my coworkers, also felt comfortable asking for my help once they realized my capabilities. Now, only a few weeks later, I am part of the jokes and banter they make in the office. You could say I am now in with the crowd.

I definitely felt like a burden in the beginning. I was constantly asking questions and asking for help in simple tasks, and I felt as if I was interrupting the flow of things. Those questions I asked and figured out, now made me able to work on more complicated tasks. I was recently recognized for fixing errors in the system, and for the first time in 8 months there were no errors found, because of my part in helping.

If I had any advice for any person going for an internship, home or abroad, is to not be afraid to ask questions. Your company took up an intern. They know what they are getting into in taking you on. Ask questions! You are there to learn about that company and how they function. Hopefully your coworkers are as nice as mine and willing to help if you ask (which most people are). Also, do not be afraid to ask for clarity. There are many people in my office from foreign countries (the majority of them are not from the UK) and I cannot always understand their accent. They (typically) don’t get offended if you ask for them to repeat or to speak slower. Don’t guess. You will probably be wrong. Just ask.

Overall, my internship has been going very smooth. I have most definitely been lucky in my placement. If you say what you want, CAPA will do their best to get you there. This is the experience of a lifetime that not many others can say they have had. Take advantage of it!