Ethan Meade is a Finance major set to graduate in May 2021. This summer he interned for WeMakeFootballers in London, England.
If you worked on a big project during your internship, please describe what you did to help.
I have assisted my company in reviewing and fact checking the main website, as well as the many individual franchise websites. I found errors (grammatical, scheduling, faulty links, etc.) that were then fixed, which improved both the sites and the overall company image. Another sizeable project that I worked on required me to form spreadsheets calculating the amount of money still owed by customers to specific franchises. I carried out this task, which allowed the company CEO and operations director to set targets based on expected revenue. Although these larger tasks allowed me to feel more valuable, I have been reminded by my coworkers that many of the small tasks I worked on were also helpful and that my presence was of great assistance regardless of the size of the task.
What did you find most challenging about your internship?
My internship has been challenging in ways I did not anticipate. Workplaces in London are different from the United States. My workplace especially was very informal and relaxed in ways I had not experienced in past jobs. It was difficult for me to adjust to some of the methods in which communication took place. For example, when giving me a task, my supervisors would approach me in a laid-back manner that I sometimes incorrectly took to mean that the task they were giving me was not urgent. Another challenge I ran into was working to receive feedback. The vast majority of American bosses will let you know immediately if you have not produced work up to their standard. My company supervisors in London were much less inclined to do so, and at times I noticed my finished work was edited. In order to overcome this, I learned to ask for more direction during the completion of tasks.
What advice do you have for other students that are also considering interning abroad?
If you are considering studying or interning abroad, I really recommend going for it, even if you have doubts. I had never been outside of North America until two months ago, and this entire experience will be something I never forget. Due to the fact that I made the decision to intern in London, I have seen cities and countries that I might never have had the chance to. Yes, I was nervous and there have been some aspects of interning abroad that have required me to venture outside my comfort zone, but I feel stronger as a person and more prepared for my future career.
How did Eller (or your previous coursework) prepare you for your internship?
My previous experiences at the University of Arizona have prepared me to be successful in London. My coursework laid down a good foundation for the work I carried out day to day at my internship. In my opinion, the most important thing when it comes to preparation was an open mind. I felt ready to take on any challenge after going to the Eller meetings for study abroad. This mindset was vital, in that I was not afraid to take on any tasks presented to me and had a genuine desire to learn and succeed. Anyone can learn how to use a company’s system, but not everyone has been taught to desire and seek out all the new experiences that they can.