Working it – abroad

Having been at my internship in a top global PR agency for a little over a month I’d like to quickly share some of the things I’ve noticed about working in the UK-

Tea is a big deal

I guess I had assumed that was a stereotype about English people, but drinking tea is serious business over here. A few times a day someone in my pod (grouping of desks) stands up and asks if anyone would like a cup of tea. The professor who taught my British PR class this semester compared this ritual to primates picking bugs out of each others hair – it’s how the Brits show they care.

They’re very affectionate, darling

In the US pet names are often considered annoying, condescending, or inappropriate but here you hear them all the time! It’s no big deal when someone refers to you as love, babe, darling, or my personal favorite: chicken. I remember hearing one of my colleagues pick up the phone the other day, “Hello darling,” she said. I assumed she was speaking to someone she knew well, maybe a friend, but after a brief pause, letting the person on the other end speak, she squeeled, “Oh it’s you!” My coworker didn’t even know who she was talking to, but still answered the phone with a term of endearment! It’s also very common to sign off on emails with a simple x or two if you’re feeling it.

Swearing is ok

While I don’t have enough experience working in an office to build this opinion myself, from what I’ve been told, cursing at the work place is much more common here that it is in the US. After dropping a few expletives the man who I sit next to turned to me, “They don’t speak like that in the US do they?” he said, smiling. I’m fairly confident they don’t, partially because some of the words he used haven’t quite caught on in states yet.

Well, that’s all I can think to share at the moment. I’m off to Budapest this weekend! You can look forward to a blog post about that sometime next week.

Cheers! x

News to Me

It’s easy to loose track of the world studying abroad. Spending a semester in London can feel more like I’m on vacation than in college, but since I came to London I actually feel like I’ve been more tapped in to what is going on in the world. Every morning at my internship people gather to read the newspapers searching for stories that may effect our clients. On my way home from my internship I pick up an Evening Standard, a free evening newspaper available right outside of the tube. My commute home give me just enough time to brush up on the state of the world. With so much going on in the world from “Occupy Wall Street” to the state of the Euro it feels more important than ever to know what is going on. I hope that when I return to the US I make a point to stay just as up to date.

Made in the USA

Since arriving in London I’ve been trying to immerse myself in the culture as much as possible. One way I’ve been doing this is by watching more and more British TV. My newest TV obsession is a show called Made in Chelsea. It’s a reality show based in London that combines all of the best elements of Laguna Beach and Gossip Girl. The show follows a group of posh super privileged socialites through all of their break ups, make ups, hook ups, and fights. It’s amazing! Here’s the preview if you’re interested in checking it out:

I had my interview this morning for my internship. Everything went really well and I’m excited to announce I’ll be working with Rogers & Cowan/Weber Shandwick. They are two PR agencies that work closely together to provide the best experience for their clients. I’ll have the opportunity to work with both agencies and gain insight into what they both do. Rogers & Cowan deals mainly with entertainment public relations and I’ll have the opportunity to work in product placement. Weber Shandwick is a full PR agency with many more departments. I will be working in the consumer marketing department of Weber Shandwick. As I was leaving the interview the woman I had been speaking with, Kate, was nice enough to give me some pointers on how to take the tube home. I told her I lived in South Kensington, which is in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. “I’m familiar with the area,” she replied, “I love Chelsea.” I mentioned my new obsession with Made in Chelsea. It turns out Kate just worked out a product placement deal for one of her luxury car clients for the next season! Needless to say I was pretty impressed. It looks like my internship is going to be an amazing experience and I’ll have the opportunity to get involved with a lot of really interesting projects and learn a lot! Who knows, maybe I’ll even get a car out of this whole thing! (is that not how product placement works?)

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