What Past Participants Say
I worked for Solace Women's Aid, a charity that does work for domestically abused women and children. I was placed in the central office to help with the business side of the charity. I did financial forecasting for contracts, researched demographics of areas of potential contracts, finance procedures and financial management for a conference Solace Women's Aid was running and research and started a child care voucher scheme for staff members with young children.
I think the best part of combining an abroad experience with an internship is the cultural experience you gain. You meet many more types of people by working in London. There are people from all over the world in London and many people from different backgrounds in your office space. You get to feel more like a local as well. You commute every day and work every day which makes you feel more like a Londoner. You do not feel like such a tourist and get to experience more of what London has to offer. You are able to feel more comfortable with the city and it does not seem as big. By combining the two, you not only get the education part but you also get a better understanding of the culture in London.
The most valuable aspect of this experience was being able to break out of my shyness. For the longest time, I have always been shy and not outgoing, but this experience forces you to speak up and say what you feel, especially in the work environment. There is not someone there telling you what to do every step of the way; it is up to you to ask for work and find things to do in order to get the most out of the experience. Once you start asking for work and proving yourself to your employer, they will start to give you bigger and more important tasks. Also, this experience gave me a better understanding of what I might want to do for a living/what I do not want to do for a living.
Living and working abroad taught me so much more. I was able to gain a firsthand experience of what it is like to be living on your own and working in an unfamiliar place. At Iowa, they can teach you all they want but you never really know what you learn until you can apply it to real life. This experience enabled me to apply everything I have learned at Iowa to real life and further develop that knowledge. This experience will be very beneficial when looking for jobs in the future. I know now I am able to take what I learn and apply it to the work I need to do.