As I am now getting ready to move back to Pittsburgh in a few weeks, I am reflecting back on the most eventful and beneficial 6 weeks I just spent in London. I don’t think I realized how much I was going to grow and how much I was growing while being there, until I came back home. I went to London having close to no idea on what to expect regarding classes, work, and the culture in general. Just reflecting back on those aspects, I realized that I adapted to the culture in ways I could not even think about before going there. Although it took about a week and a half for me to get adjusted there, London really started to feel like a city I had been living in for a while after the first few weeks. The nerves of feeling like a foreigner were gone, and the anxiety of not knowing the city or how to get around it, turned into a feeling of excitement to discover and learn about London. Additionally, being an intern and working 5 days a week was extremely beneficial to my professional growth. I learned how to work with people from all over the world with different ideas and techniques. I was exposed to different areas of accounting and many softwares, I was able to see their day to day tasks and work with them to help them with clients and accounts they needed to verify. Although it seemed a little overwhelming at first to be the only American intern in the workplace, I quickly realized that they enjoyed learning about my culture as much as I was intrigued to learn about theirs. This internship experience gave me confidence that I would be able to work in an unfamiliar setting while adapting to many other things at the same time.
Taking a course that was extremely beneficial to me academically, also helped me develop time management skills. I was overwhelmed during the first week thinking about the classes I had to attend and the internship hours I also had to get in, I felt like I would have no time to explore the city. But reflecting back, I realized that it only took a few days for me to create a schedule for myself and to find the time to see and explore everything I wanted, while also being able to travel to nearby cities and countries.
This trip was the first time I had traveled overseas by myself. From applying for a student visa, to creating my own itinerary when traveling to different cities, I was surprised to see how independent I could be. I now will be able to bring this trait home with me and apply it to everything I do at Pitt, at home and in my future career.
Overall, I grew and learned more than I ever thought I would through this study abroad experience in London, and I am excited to see how I can use these skills in the classroom and at future internships!