Skill Development in London

April is here, which means it’s my third and final month studying abroad in London. I feel that being part of this new environment has accelerated my professional development. Whether it be with my remote internship at Lumen Research, or simply in the classroom, I find myself leaning into skills I’ve developed throughout the program.

One of the soft skills I’ve seen myself develop in the past few months was my time management. As I’ve mentioned before, time management has never been one of my strong suits. Ever since high school, I would find myself waiting until the very last day to work on an assignment. However, my time in London has improved this lack of time management tremendously. I have to work a total of twenty hours a week for my internship, as well as go to class and get homework done. I learned very quickly that if I wasted time, either my performance at work or the quality of my assignments would go down as a result. The added schedule pressure has improved my ability to manage my time immensely. Another soft skill that I improved in London was my ability to problem-solve. The tasks given to me in my internship weren’t laid out step by step; however, they gave me the framework to solve them. I needed to work my way through them to see them to completion. This way of structuring tasks allowed me to not only think more for myself but find new efficient ways that I employ to solve problems.

On the flip side, I’ve also obtained new hard skills within my internship. The most impactful one was learning how to operate excel at a database-focused level. Many of my classes utilized excel, and I wasn’t a stranger to how it worked. However, there are just so many tools in the program that I never needed to complete the work given to me. For example, I’ve had to learn how to use Power Query in excel to create repeatable transformations across multiple datasets. Even if I do not utilize this new hard skill in my next professional environment, I see it as another tool I can add to my ever-expanding professional toolkit.

I’m incredibly grateful for my time so far in London. I was able to develop soft skills that I can lean on for the rest of my life, as well as some practical hard skills that will give me a leg up in the workforce.