Corporate Life

Today I joined the corporate world, which, in London, equate to sweating on the tube.

The tube is London's super efficient subway system--you can literally get anywhere in London in about 30 minutes.  The tube, however, doesn't have air conditioning and is literally packed to the point of people not being able to move during rush the temperature can get a tad bit steamy.  Tube culture consists of silence (engaging in conversation IMMEDIATELY identifies you as an American), paper-reading, and the avoidance of eye contact.  Every ride is a game of balance/get to know your fellow sardines, yet I doubt that you'll encounter more polite people in your life.  I kind of love it.

Fun fact:  it is against the law to transport cattle if it is over 80 degrees, yet as the tube's temperature can get up to about 95 degrees, it transports people in conditions that are inhumane for cattle.  hahaha

Anyway, as I was on my way to my internship interview today, an announcement sounded over the tube's intercom: "Due to a customer falling ill on a train at the London Bridge Station, service of this line has been suspended indefinitely.  Patrons are strongly encouraged to pursue other forms of transportation."  Can you say intern's worst nightmare?  Thankfully, I had a tube map, was stuck at a tube station that offered connecting tube lines, and was able to quickly grab another train from which I could connect to get to my internship site.  When I got on the train, the fun continued.  I glanced up at the train's tube map (for peace of mind that I got on the correct train) and noticed that the station that I needed to get off at was undergoing "major escalator work.  Avoid transferring lines."

...What luck.  After a pretty furious mental debate (define "avoid..."), I ignored the warning, changed lines (without a hitch), and ended up strolling into the office 15 minutes early.  Lessons learned: Always leave early (which I thankfully did), carry maps with you, and have a back up plan.

Considering the commute adventure, the lack of a formal interview was pretty welcome.  Basic introductions, what do you know about the company, do you have any questions, and welcome aboard comprised the entire thing!  So far I'm really pleased with my placement--my supervisor is fantastic (as is the rest of my team), the work that the company does is fascinating, my team's clients are in the grocery and tea businesses (can you think of anything more fitting for me?), and I'll be actively involved in actual projects instead of doing meaningless grunt work.

So far, I've done a few marketing surveys, learned how the surveys were constructed, distributed, calculated, and reported, what subsequent information was gleaned from the results, and most interestingly, the psychology behind the methodology.  I also compiled a few spreadsheets, updated some powerpoint presentations, and started to work on a template for an upcoming presentation.

The office setting in London is really relaxed--the office has an open floor plan, people are free to come and go as they please, calls for "would anyone like some tea" can be heard every hour or so, and the mentality is that so long as the work gets done, you can go about working in any way that you like.  My team has a great sense of humor and is really good about involving me--I really lucked out :)

The location just sweetens the pie--I'm in a beautiful and modern office right on the Thames in between London Bridge and Tower Bridge, there are TONS of healthy, inexpensive, and veggie-friendly restaurants in the area, lots of outdoor seating, and some fantastic walking paths.  It doesn't get much better than this :)


  1. It's amazing how life works out sometimes, isn't it?

    I'm so happy for you, and you've only been there for a week(ish)!


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