Global Spotlight – Erica Richardson, HEWI London

Eller PDC Coordinator Student Stories

Erica Richardson is double majoring in Finance and Business Management and will graduate in May 2020. Last summer, Erica interned with Hardly Ever Worn It (HEWI) London in London, UK.

If you worked on a big project during your internship, please describe what you did to help.  Throughout my internship at Hardly Ever Worn It, I worked consistently as an E-Commerce Content Assistant. This title entails that I was in charge of listing their newly arrived stock inventory onto their online platform to be ready for purchase. Instead of a big project, I continually updated their online platform and increased their sales volume through providing details and pricing strategies for their items. I would take each individual item and prepare the adequate information so that higher officials could turn them live on the website. My coworkers relied on me to accurately portray their inventory in the best manner possible to create attraction online and boost overall sales. Through my listings, there were both higher product volumes for sale and an increase in company profits.

What did you find most challenging about your internship? My internship, Hardly Ever Worn It, is a small online platform that is operated in Central London. With less than ten employees spread across three small rooms, I believe the most challenging aspect of my internship relates to the overall lack of structure and professionalism that took place in the workspace. As a lady and her two daughters founded the company, there seems to be no exact structure or organization to the company. In the United States, we are accustomed to very clear, concise, and consistent instructions that allows us to complete our work in the most productive way possible. I found that the lack of specific instructions created a complex work environment that made it a challenge to complete work to the best of my ability. With time, I have slowly been able to get used to this company culture and accept a different style of work.

What advice do you have for other students that are also considering interning abroad? Going into a study abroad experience, it is difficult to fully prepare for what lies ahead. It is important to do your research beforehand and know what to expect, however, that can only get you so far. My biggest piece of advice for students going into an international setting is to be open minded. When entering a country other than your own, it is obvious that you are going to experience a different environment than what you are accustomed to. I advise every student to be eager to learn the unknown, explore every corner of the place you’re in, and embrace every opportunity to do something different. A study abroad experience may only come once in a lifetime, and I advise each student to be open minded and go into every opportunity optimistic and excited to experience the unknown.

How did Eller (or your previous coursework) prepare you for your internship? As I have just completed my first semester Eller in Spring 2017, I believe that Eller adequately prepared me for my international internship experience. I felt as though I have the professionalism, skills, and confidence necessary to excel in my internship. I was able to complete each task to the best of my ability and adapt to each situation that I faced. Through my time in Eller, I learned how to be efficient and productive in which I was able to carry over those hard skills to use them within my internship.