It’s official! My time in London has come to an end. I started my blogs with some professional goals for this summer, and I will be ending my blogs with these goals and accomplishments. My goals surrounded professional development. Specifically, I included communication, cultural awareness, time management, and independence.
This experience has broadened my accounting knowledge and business IQ. Most notably, I have noticed I am able to complete conversations regarding UK accountancy/business terminology. Just Monday, I was able to articulate some of the items I have learned to my peers in the Global Internship Course, such as VAT returns, who HMRC and Companies House are, and what the unique identifiers for a tax-paying citizen here are. In a broader context, this experience has opened my eyes to the global world around me and what this means. Rather than just hearing the definition of global competency, I now feel what this means. I am confident that my communication skills have grown alongside this. Everyone in the business world refers to accounting as the language of business. Having gained experience and knowledge in this area abroad has contributed extreme value in my professional development.
In terms of transferable skills, I have used several softwares for a variety of things since I arrived. I primarily used excel as a means of data entry for my internship. However, I was given the opportunity to access the company’s QuickBooks. This allowed me to earn a certificate in QuickBooks as well as view some client’s portfolios. In addition, I helped compose a client list that will be used in their new software. I also became familiar with Dext, a software used to capture receipts for VAT returns. Overall, I learned a lot of different softwares. On the other hand, I believe I have also developed strong communication skills. Any time I was struggling or misunderstanding something, I asked my supervisor for help. I also would compare things here in the UK to similar things back home. This allowed me to build a repertoire with my supervisor and made formal conversations more comfortable.
While those listed above were focused on professional development, I found that my time management and independence growth were more personal. A year ago, I never would have thought I’d be where I am now. I am proud of all of the growth I have made. From being too nervous to have a meal alone in Oakland, to now, where I could happily take the tube to a pub anywhere by myself and enjoy a meal, I have seen a lot of growth. Although there were some rough patches and days I didn’t really want to be alone, I have learned more about independence and responsibility in my six weeks here than in my first two years of college.
Time management was a bit of a struggle here, but I believe I have grown a lot in this area as well. Despite most of my blogs focusing on my travels and fun while in London, most of my time was spent working or commuting to my internship. This was something I wasn’t really expecting before I arrived. What I didn’t know before is that although my internship is only 20 hours a week, having 5 hours of class and a 2 hour daily commute to and from work can be very hectic. Most things in London that I wanted to do or see closed before I was even off of work every day! This was very frustrating the first half of the program. However, by the second half, I mastered the power of time management and flexibility with my schedule. I learned how to create more of a balance by adjusting my work hours with the guidance of my supervisor.
Overall, I couldn’t be more grateful for the experiences I had in London and all the new strengths it has given me. Earlier this week, I described the feeling that my cup of tea is now full; I have accomplished all of my goals and feel fulfilled. A huge shout out to my parents for raising me to be the adult I am today, to my family for their encouraging words to make the jump here, and lastly to London for pushing me out of my comfort zone and finding a new home across the pond.