Looking back on my Experiences (this post didn’t post back in July)

Looking back on the past seven weeks I feel like I’ve experienced an immense number of new things. Starting off with the tours of W&L alumni’s work I got to get an inside look into a variety of careers that I previously hadn’t looked at which peaked my interest. The two most appealing fields to me were the industries of investment real estate at Blackstone and specialist insurance/ reinsurance at the Channel Syndicate. Both required in-depth study and understanding of a market before making decisions and that really interested me. After the first week, I started working at my internship at a property management company which taught me a variety of things. First and foremost I was able to experience the British work culture which is almost entirely different to the United States in the idea that being a workaholic is frowned upon and that there always seems to be a light amount of humor in the office. This lighthearted attitude in the work environment leads to people really becoming friends with their coworkers and often going out on the weekends or after work to grab a pint or just blow off steam. It was a nice change of pace from the business culture that I had experienced back in the U.S. I also received an inside perspective into the property management/ student accommodation industry in London thanks to my job. This insight really highlighted a variety of qualities that made sites more desirable than others. Since it was a real estate driven industry location was key but my job also taught me how much customer service matters in that industry, how many menial tasks are needed to keep a building up and running, and that if anything can go wrong chances are it will when it comes to college students .Other than work I got to experience life in England and I noticed that the English people love to use sarcasm or talk about the weather. They also passionately care about their privacy and enjoy pronouncing words in ways that don’t correspond to how they are spelled (Leicester being the most baffling for me). The brits tended to keep to themselves but were almost always a fun bunch to interact with especially at the pubs after a few pints or when they asked me questions about America. During my time I also got to experience life in London which taught me how to use public transportation like a champ, how to both save and spend pounds at an alarming rate, that markets tend to have the best food for the cheapest price, and how to function in a large city without getting hit by a bus. The program also gave me some awesome opportunities to explore Europe through both the program itself as well as the free weekends that we had to ourselves. During my time I was able to visit the French Riviera, Budapest, Edinburgh, Oxford, Bath, and Wells which all gave me a variety of wonderful experiences in a number of different cultures. All in all the last seven weeks of my summer were fantastic and were a great opportunity to experience things that I might not have experienced without the program.

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