London has been an excellent way to grow myself professionally and develop transferable skills that I am eager to bring back to the U.S when I return. These skills have progressed, not just from being in the classroom, but those classes extending into the city, as well as being a witness to London’s work culture. From these elements, I have become better at asking meaningful questions, quick thinking, and most importantly becoming a critical thinker.
The critical thinking aspect has primarily come from my Analyzing and Exploring the Global City course, where we dissect what it means to be a global city this day in age? Has London done that? And has it been successful? To fully understand this, we venture to a variety of neighborhoods, as I discussed in a previous post. Through these field studies, I have been better able to ask questions about things that appear fine to the surface, but perhaps have problems underneath. Particularly in the subject of gentrification versus regeneration in local neighborhoods. However, I believe this is a vital component to the business field when it comes to practicing ethical business management, as my certificate in Leadership & Ethics has demonstrated to me. When it comes to marketing to specific target audiences or deciding on appropriate campaigns and products for different locations, I will have the foresight to successfully determine whether that feature will help or harm its designated audience.
Furthermore, this experience has thrown me into multiple unfamiliar scenarios, where I do not always have the right answers, or clear understanding of what’s expected of me. For the last 3 years I have learned about the importance of asking questions and asking the “right” questions but living and studying in a new environment has shown me how crucial that can be. It has taught me not to be afraid of asking for help, and that it is always better to ask more questions to feel fully prepared than guess and get it wrong. That is a reality I have experienced in internships, and now a skill I have corrected for future professional opportunities.
Lastly, all those entities have pushed me to also become a quick thinker, who must develop solutions under pressure. Whether that be figuring out what train to take in a matter of seconds to get to our class field trip location on time or creating a life story for a character based off a picture and a series of questions in my Writing the City class, I have become more comfortable with being uncomfortable and answering questions without having all the information. That was one of my biggest weaknesses prior to this program, and it my proudest accomplishment to have improved upon it. I am so grateful to be able to develop on these skills and more, while having fun on this stint abroad.