Monday, August 04, 2008

Notes from an Internship - Week 4

London Final Week
On Monday and Tuesday I was stationed in the office. I continued working on the client from the previous week. I liked being in the office because it allowed me to meet more people. On Wednesday I completed the client work in the morning and then took the afternoon off. Later that evening I met up with some interns at a local pub. That night some of us went to Brick Lane which had various clubs and restaurants. The area had a lively atmosphere and it was easy for us to enjoy ourselves without spending a lot of money.

On Thursday and Friday I finished up work and other assignments in the office. I went out to lunch with Xiaomiao and two other associates on Thursday. Throughout lunch, I tried to talk them into doing rotations in the U.S. I think they began considering it by the end of our meal.

Friday was bittersweet, since it was the last day of my rotation in London. While completing my final assignments, I had a conversation with an associate, Fabio, about the cultural differences between the states and the UK. Before I knew it, it was 5:30 p.m. I turned in my laptop, said my last goodbyes and left for my flat. Later that evening I hung out with the other interns for our last social outing.

The next day, my taxi arrived at 5:30 a.m. and a few hours later I was back in Atlanta. Everyone I met in London was really awesome. I wish I had a few more weeks with them. Overall, my global internship experience was incredible. I learned a lot of new skills, most of which were more on the soft side since summer tends to be a slow season for accounting. I was also happy that I was able to apply some of the basic accounting principals that I learned in school, since most of my assignments were straightforward. On a few occasions, I was exposed to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) while working on a client.

After staying in London for a month, I feel more confident in my ability to work and live in a different place. I learned a lot about what it’s like to work in London and how important it is to be flexible and adapt to different cultures. One of the biggest differences I noticed between interning in the UK and U.S. is that in the UK it’s not necessary to study accounting in order to work for an accounting firm. The interns had majors ranging from history to biology. The U.S. definitely gives more technical work since interns are required to study accounting. I like the fact that in the U.S. we can take the certified public accounting (CPA) exam sooner and can hit the ground running.

Living and interning in another country has allowed me to grow professionally, culturally and in so many other ways. It’s so enlightening to just live somewhere else and meet people who have totally different perspectives than the ones at home. I feel I am more aware of how business is conducted on a global level. And most importantly I feel like a door has been opened for me - living and working abroad is something that is a definite possibility, which I might not have considered if it weren’t for my global internship.

So I return to the U.S. with high hopes, stronger business experience, too much luggage and new fondness for Europe. I hope to keep in contact with the other U.S. interns. And I will make sure to use Facebook to the max in order to stay in touch with the British interns. Summer 2008 has definitely been amazing so far.

1 comment:

Mikaela Revon said...

Completing or taking up Internship Programs allows you to explore and gain experiences plus exposure in order to learn more about your chosen field..You'll also experience what it's like to work on business environment thus you're applying what you learn in real situation which will develop your skills and build your confidence..=)