Kevin Kim, BSBA ’19, is focusing on marketing in his studies and minoring in design. He wrote this post about his trip to London and his internship as a recipient of the Avram A. & Jill Glazer Global Learning Program scholarship.
I was fortunate enough to participate in Olin’s study abroad program in the vibrant city of London. Even before applying to the programs, I’ve always wanted to experience life in a European city. I have imagined living abroad and assimilating myself to a new culture. With the opportunity to live and work in London, I think I’ve made one of the best decisions of my life.
As this was a full semester program, we spent half of our program attending school and half the time at our internships. This already was very different from attending classes in the campus. To get to the class, we usually took the bus or the tube (subway). After passing about four stations, we would walk to a building that does not look like a school at all. It was a house before it turned to a commercial space.
As our courses were only taken by fellow WashU students, it was natural to get to know them and spend time with people who you would not probably meet in St. Louis. I think that was one of the advantages, getting to meet and hang out with other students of all sorts backgrounds from WashU.
We didn’t have classes every day or throughout the whole day, which meant we had time to rest and roam the city. In addition, the school had travel programs that allowed us to travel to different parts of the UK and London. This past semester will be one of the highlights of my college years.
Scoring one for his internship
As for the internship, I was very fortunate to work in Manchester United Football Club’s London office (even though I support Chelsea!). I am a huge football (soccer) fan and I think it’s every football fan’s dream to work for a club like Manchester United. Having an opportunity to work for one of the biggest sports teams in the world was amazing.
The office was very close to our dormitories, which was convenient. Before going in, I had no expectations because I did not know what kind of work I could do for Manchester United and what they were expecting of me. But the office clearly briefed about the work and the supervisors were very clear on what I would do every day.
Our supervisors were younger than I expected, and our colleagues were two or three years older than us. Our supervisors were easy to talk to and they were really polite about everything. But because it’s Manchester United, our supervisors were always caught up with work and their agenda was stacked with meetings and deadlines.
This resulted in limited amounts of time to talk about career goals, but they still made time to talk to us and keep communicating, which I really appreciated. I was in the market research department where my role was to research companies, industries, and executives for possible partnerships with Manchester United.
I’ve learned so much about market research and the organization skills required in an office setting. Although it was more corporate-like than I expected, the office was a young, vibrant, and enjoyable place to work. All in all, having an opportunity to intern at Manchester United will definitely set a strong foundation to my career.
Well suited to see the world
I chose the London internship program because I believed that the program had everything I wanted. After attending school tirelessly for five semesters, I wanted something different and wanted to take a rest to replenish myself. The London program provided the chance to explore London and Europe and also experience internship in London.
I could not have made a better decision. While attending school, we had plenty of time to rest and tour the city. On the weekends, we could book a flight to somewhere in Europe and explore the world because we were so centrally located. Even during the internship, our weekend getaways to Budapest or Nice were more than enough to replenish and reenergize.
Through this program, I think that I was able to break out of my comfort zone and learn to adapt to life in a totally different city. Before entering into the real world, I think having an experience to live and work at a totally different city will be an advantage because it makes me more flexible to go abroad.
In the end, London internship program didn’t just provide a chance to live and work in London. It widened my perspective about living abroad and I was able to break away from my bubble. I learned so much about life skills and getting myself around to anywhere in the world and have some time to myself and think about my future.
In addition, I made friends I might not have made in St. Louis because we came from such a different backgrounds and interests. I think my experience was pretty similar to any other student who participated in London program and I’m still missing the days that I’ve spent in London.