08 Nov My Experience Interning in London
Alexander from Virginia Tech shares his experience working in finance, actuarial and operations management while interning in London with Absolute Internship.
Back in my senior year of high school, I took a trip to the UK with my class, and it turned out to be one of the greatest experiences of my life. I have wanted to go back ever since. Imagine my excitement when I saw an opportunity to work in London as an intern! The opportunity came about through Absolute Internship, a program that brings together students from various nations to work in major cities across the globe.
My experience working in London
I sent in my resume and had an interview with the COO of a young and rapidly growing insurance company based in London that has already taken up much of the market share due to the innovation of its platform. By integrating a highly cohesive team of people with a system designed to make the process of being insured more convenient, the company I interned at has created a way to best serve it's clients, while also maintaining a high standard of performance. This has enabled it to take huge chunks out of the biggest players in the field who have failed to adapt to the times.
While there I got to work on a variety of projects, from software testing and adviser correspondence, to data collection and analytics. I got a comprehensive overview of the entire system, and hands on experience in finance, actuarial, and operations management. Every member of the team was accommodating and willing to help out with any of my questions. It truly helped to make the experience one of the best I've ever had.
The value of working abroad
Why intern abroad, you might ask? Well, one of the greatest benefits derives from the same reason why studying abroad is such a good idea. It allows you to get truly immersed in cultures other than your own.
I not only spent time in London, I also traveled on the weekends to Brussels, Cambridge, and Paris along with my fellow interns. In doing so I made some of the greatest memories of my life, and got to experience and learn about cultures different from my own - an essential quality for future leaders.
According to the most recent IES Abroad survey, 90% of students who go abroad get a job out of college within 6 months, whereas only 49% of other students land a job within 12 months of graduation. Students who go abroad are also expected to make an average of $7,000 more than those who don't, and are much more likely to go into graduate programs. Interning abroad brings about these benefits while also giving you what is arguably the most valuable aspect of any successful entry: relevant experience.
Increasingly, employers are starting to look for graduates who have international experience. It's important to know that a candidate can adapt to new situations (especially in countries using different languages from your own), for resourcefulness and flexibility are invaluable skills to possess. This sort of travel will teach you to live outside your comfort zone, and it most certainly improves all aspects of your communication skills. The insight acquired from such ventures is essential for those looking to rise to the top in an increasingly globalized world.
College is one of the greatest times to experience the world before getting sucked into a full-time career. For me, interning abroad wasn't just a great way to gain work experience and travel, it also helped me to find myself. I highly encourage anyone looking to gain job and world-travel experience to look into applying for positions outside of your own country. It will be just what you need to truly discover yourself and obtain the experience necessary to emerge as a leader in an increasingly interconnected world.
Want to intern abroad? Apply to Absolute Internship now!