Starting a new job is always nerve-wracking, but starting a new job in a completely new country can seem a bit scary to a lot people. So when I decided to partake in the AIFS 9-week internship program in London, I was both excited and very nervous. With only one semester left until graduation, I really needed one final internship on my resume, but also wanted to go abroad while I still had the chance. Essentially, the internship program seemed perfect for me.
As a Sport & Entertainment Management major, I really wanted something in the music industry. Luckily, AIFS had a pre-existing relationship with a company called Academy Music Group, which owns and operates 18 different music venues throughout the UK. I was able to connect with their Digital Marketing Manager and set up a phone interview before I even got to London. After the call, he offered me an internship with their marketing team, and I was lucky enough to able to head to London with my internship already secured.
Our company’s office was located in one of our four London venues: the beautiful and historic O2 Academy Brixton. It was quite exciting having the office in the venue and being able to hear a band’s sound check going on as we worked during a show day. I also really enjoyed all the work I did, which was mainly writing copy for the company’s many digital platforms. A lot of the writing that I did about our upcoming shows is now on the company’s website and social media pages, which means hundreds of thousands of people are reading things that I wrote – something not many interns can say! Through my internship, I was able to learn so much about the music industry in the UK and how it’s different/similar to the industry in America. I also learned a lot about British working culture. Most of my co-workers were in their late 20s, so I got on really well with all of them. We went to lunches together, concerts together, and they even rented out a bowling alley for a work social.
Not only was the work I was doing enjoyable, but there were also so many fun perks. I could go to any show at any of our venues, got tickets to other concerts around London through my co-workers, and even got to attend a big festival in London with everyone in my office (we all got free VIP wristbands!). When I wasn’t at work or taking advantage of my work perks, I did so many other fun things with my time in London. I went to another amazing music festival in the countryside and spent the weekend in a typical English cottage, checked out Brighton for a day, took a weekend trip to Dublin, and really explored all the little things about London that make it such a wonderful city.
By doing an internship abroad, I learned so much more about British culture and about what it’s like living as a true Londoner. I spent a lot of my summer with British people that I met there, which allowed me to see local places that a tourist may not normally get to see. When my parents visited, I was able to show them places and neighborhoods in London that they’d never heard of, even though they had both been to London several times before. I picked up on slang, got familiar with my way around, made some great friends, and tried a ton of new things. I genuinely got to live like a real Londoner this summer, which is what helped make my experience so incredible.
After my internship, I’m now hoping to go back to London to work and live full-time after graduation. My summer with AIFS was truly an indescribable and invaluable experience, and I wish I could’ve stayed longer. So my advice for anyone who’s hesitant about interning in another country – do it! It’s the perfect way to truly immerse yourself in the country’s culture and see all the amazing things it has to offer.