Paola is from San Juan, Puerto Rico, but she earned her bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Assumption College in Worcester, MA.Interviewed on - 4 August 2015
Why did you decide to apply for an international program?
I decided to apply for an international program because I love traveling. I love being in new places and meeting new people. I've always wanted to work or apply for an internship abroad in London. When I started my research, I decided to do it with The Intern Group.
The reason I chose The Intern Group was because after researching other companies, I liked what they offer and the cost for the program is worth it. You see where your money is going to. They also have a great internship placement.
I had the opportunity to work for Karisma Kidz and they recently moved their office to BBC Worldwide. It's an honor to be able to come every day to work at the BBC offices. It's a great environment, there is always something going on, and the people have been nothing but friendly to me.
What surprised me the most about London was how nice and helping the people are. There have been numerous times where I've been lost or don't know what bus to take and it really surprised me when asking for help how helping people are. I did not expect that.
What makes this program unique is that the staff from The Intern Group are always there to help. They check on you, make sure that you are doing fine, and any questions or concerns that I've had they are always there to help. This something I consider very important, especially if you are in a different country because you are not alone and you know you can rely on them for anything you need.
The staff at The Intern Group has been amazing! From the beginning, they were super friendly, answered all my questions, and helped with my visa application. I will forever be grateful to them because without their help I would have struggled and they made the applying process relatively easy for me.
Honestly, I wouldn't change anything I've done.
My day starts with my commute. I take one bus and two trains. It's not as bad as it sounds. I get to the office, I read my emails, get in contact with my supervisor, and get to work. After work, my friends and I make plans (whether eating, biking, walking around). I always try to do something different every day because this is a new city.
I had the opportunity to go to Brighton, such a lovely city. You can go to the beach, walk around the streets, and go to their shops. If you love doughnuts, I recommend you try them, because they are delicious!
I had a shared house with other interns and students who were studying abroad as well. I like the area I stayed at; it was very quiet, had easy access to the bus, and was safe.
I think that one of the hardest parts of interning abroad was the commute and the change of currency. I am not used to commuting everyday to work, so it was an adjustment getting around the city and knowing what bus and tube line to take, especially at night when it switches to night buses. Administering the money in London is hard because it is an expensive city and the currency change adds up to your expenses.
One thing I wish I would have known is to have taken more money with me. Like I said, London is a very expensive city and it has been hard to adjust to the cost of lifestyle. I wish I would have known this, because that way I would have saved more money for my expenses.
1. Bring your most comfortable sneakers. For the first week you will be walking...A LOT. This is in part because you are bound to get lost and you will walk more than you have to.
2. Umbrella or parka. It's London, it rains here. Not as much in the summer but bring it with you.
3. A small backpack. There will be times that you get out of work late and you are meeting with friends afterwards and you won't have time to go back home and change. Bring a change of clothes or shoes with you. This will save you time!
4. Water bottle. you will get dehydrated, especially on the tube. It's hot down there, no matter what time of the year.
The biggest benefit of interning abroad is everything! Honestly, I've gained so much work experience in the past few weeks than I ever did back home. Not only does this give me confidence but I also get the chance to live in a new city as well. This way it's not just all about work but I also have fun exploring what the city has to offer.
Going abroad really changes your perspective of life. This program really helped me understand what I like and don't like about my major and what direction I should head next.
100 percent yes I would recommend The Intern Group to future interns. It's a good price for the program, good housing accommodations, oyster card is included, and events are planned by The Intern Group during the week. The staff is great and very friendly.
If I could intern abroad again, I would like to intern in Amsterdam, since it's the next city I want to visit.