In high school, I went to Spain for my junior spring break. I absolutely fell in love with traveling and seeing new places. I loved the culture and meeting new people. I promised myself I would find a way to get back to Europe once I was in college. In fall 2015, I studied abroad for four months in Nantes, France with the Bowling Green State University College of Business. My love and passion for traveling continued and a chance to intern in London found its way to me.
Why did you choose the Intern in London program with We Find Group?
I was living in Nantes, France and I happened to get an email from BGSU's Career Accelerator Office about an internship for summer 2016 in London or Madrid. I emailed We Find Group to find out more and applied. I was in France when the 2015 Paris attacks happened and at this point, I had not committed to the internship program yet. The CEO, Carlota, personally emailed me to see how I was doing. The rest of the team also reached out to me. In that moment, I knew I was in good hands and wanted to be a part of such an amazing organization.
What was your favorite part about London?
I loved the uniqueness of London. There is so much to do and it's easy to travel around from there. You will always find something new to explore in London!
What made your experience abroad unique?
The people. I didn't know anyone when I went on the trip. I made such great friends out of this and everyone got along really well! I loved my coworkers too! They made the experience so much more meaningful for me.
How did local staff support you throughout your program?
We had a program director who lived in our accommodation with us, and another director who lived in the city. We had bi-weekly, if not weekly meetings with our in-house director. She was always willing to answer questions and talk whenever needed.
What's one thing you wish you would have done differently?
I wish I could have seen more of London! Some days after work, I would stay in and I should have been out walking around and really taking in London for everything that it is.
Describe a typical day in the life of your program.
I had to be at work by 9 a.m. so my coworkers and I would take the underground (tube) at 8:15 a.m. Work went from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., then I would take the tube home. Some nights we would go out for drinks or to dinner, or I would head to the store to pick up groceries. I even got adventurous and went and visited some London sights.
What did you enjoy doing in your free time?
Traveling! I am someone who loves to see new places.
What was your accommodation like? What did you like best about it?
I loved the location. We were less than a five-minute walk from a tube station, which had access to the some of the airports. We were near a lot of restaurants, pubs, stores etc. the accommodation was safe and had amazing view of the city from the sky bar.
What is one thing every participant should know before participating in your program?
Don't be afraid to take a chance like this. This is a great way to make friends, see the world and gain valuable knowledge!
What was the hardest part about interning abroad?
I had learn to take public transportation to and from work. Having the public transportation is awesome, but at times can be frustrating, especially when the underground line is down for a long period of time and you have to find another way to get to work.
What surprised you most about London?
How friendly people were. It's a big city and there's a lot of diversity, but people will talk to you and help you if you ask. Also, how easy it is to get around. There are a lot of airports and train stations in London, which makes traveling so easy.
What is one thing you wish you would have known before interning abroad in the United Kingdom?
How easy it was to travel around the United Kingdom. Two or four hours by train can get you pretty far, so you’re able to see a lot of cool places.
If you could intern abroad again, where would you go?
I would love to go back to London, but I think Edinburgh would be fun!
What do you feel the biggest benefit of interning abroad is?
Getting to work with a diversity of people. I worked with people from all over the world, which made me realize how small my world at home is. Also, independence. You have to learn to go places by yourself, because you don’t know many people, and someone can't always go to the grocery store or go to a museum with you.
Do you have any packing tips for individuals headed to London?
It really does rain a lot in London. Pack a raincoat and an umbrella. Rain boots are heavy, so if you can find a nice pair of leather boots, that's the way to go. It also doesn't get very warm, highs of 70 degrees Fahrenheit, except for maybe one week in summer, when it gets extremely warm.
Now that you're home, how has your program abroad impacted your life?
I have gone to a few interviews and when I mention I interned in London, the recruiters always ask me so many more questions.
Interning abroad has really helped get me noticed!
Would you recommend We Find Group to others? Why?
Absolutely! They make sure you have everything that you need and don't just send you to fend for yourself. They care about your wellbeing and make sure you get exactly what you want out of the program!
Kelly Kilpatrick is a senior accounting major at Bowling Green State University. She has lived in Nantes, France, for four months and in London, England, for two months. She loves everything pink and sparkly, as well as tacos. Kelly interned for We Find Group in the field of Global Business. She is a Sigma Kappa Sorority Alumna.