Lessons and goals from London
I am officially more than half way done with my internship at Movimientos and time in London, and I’m realizing how bittersweet that is. I have gained a wealth of knowledge and experiences, but I feel I still have a lot left I would like to accomplish. For this post I thought I would share the most important things I have learned from my internship and time in London along with goals I have for my last several weeks.
What I’ve learned from my internship
- Internships teach you so much more than classroom learning alone.
The first week here I learned so many skills that I had never picked up in the classroom it was almost unbelievable. Practical skills and things I had been told about but never put into practice; it was almost surreal. I’m sure part of it is because I’m doing promotions, specifically music promotions, which I have never really done before. I think I was given at great education at UW-Stevens Point, but there are just some things that can’t be shown to you in a classroom. I would highly recommend everyone do an internship in his or her field before graduation from university.
- Finding the balance of specialization and general skills can be challenging.
Over the last several years I was very worried about not being specialized enough, but now I’m afraid I might be too specialized. I didn’t want to major in something broad like business administration, so I choose economics and Spanish in effort to specialize. Now I’m interning at a Latin American music record label and events promoter and I’m afraid I won’t be able to find a job like this in the United States. I know I’m gaining skills here that I will be able to put to use at a future job, but not everything I’m learning will apply to other industries. I am conflicted with finding this balance of working in a niche placement, and trying to apply that to a more broad industry.
- London is probably over-preparing me for city life.
After living in the small city of Stevens Point for the last four years, I knew spending a summer in London would be a dramatic change for me. I can’t even begin to explain to someone from who hasn’t been to a city bigger than one in Wisconsin just how big London is. It’s almost like it’s own country and each borough being a city in itself. I love it because there is always something to do, but then it makes me wonder if it’s accurately preparing me for a position in promotions. I don’t want to say it’s easy to do promotions in London, but in a city of over 8 million people you’re bound to have people who want to attend your events. In Madison, Wisconsin, the population is just over 250,000, so working in promotions might be a totally different ball game.
My goals for the rest of my stay here
- See more aspects of the company.
I work primarily in the promotions part of the company, but my organization is very small. I usually work with only two other people but there are some people that work behind the scenes in coordinating the actual events. I have been able to see a lot, considering I work right next to my supervisor, the founder of the company, my supervisor, everyday. However, I would like to see other sides to the company and see more of the big picture of what all goes into events planning in a broader sense.
- Do another interview.
A couple weeks ago I was able to interview a Venezuelan diplomat who runs the cultural center out of their embassy. We discussed the various events that the hall puts on and the history of the Venezuelan embassy in London. I was able to then take that interview and write a blog post for the website. I really enjoyed that conversation and I hope I have the opportunity to do something like that again.
- Learn more about women’s rights in the UK/London
This may seem a bit off topic but I have this deep passion for women’s rights and studying women’s rights movements around the world. I have written several papers about it, including my international studies capstone research project on how the glass ceiling in Spain has been effecting their recession. For my British life and culture class that I am taking while in London I am required to write a research paper on the topic of my choosing, as long as it relates to British life and culture obviously. I am choosing to write about women’s rights in the UK and I have just begun doing my research. I am very excited to get started on this paper, and will definitely update everyone as to how it is going.
So there you have it. Some of my insights and goals I have for my time in London. I have very much enjoyed my time here so far and can’t wait for my last month. I hope all is well in Stevens Point and everyone is enjoying their summer!
Alexia Szabo, a senior majoring in economics, Spanish and international studies at UW-Stevens Point, is blogging about her study abroad experience in London.