The Realities of Interning in London

CZ Internship 1

I have just finished my first two weeks of working in London. I’m really enjoying my time with The Felix Project and I feel as if I’m really able to help out. My internship placement is a little different since I’m working for a charity even though I’m not doing a service internship. The Felix Project connects charities in need of food with food suppliers in order to reduce the amount of food waste in London. My daily tasks include putting invoices into their accounting software, filing various papers, and adding contacts to their CRM. I also pop into the warehouse when needed to help sort the food so they can be ready for delivery.

CZ Internship 2

I am an accounting major but since I already have a tax internship lined up, I wanted to do something different while I was here. My industries of choice were Fashion, Lifestyle, and Beauty, Ethical Businesses, and Ethical Finance Organizations. I asked for a placement that would get me away from the computer and allow me to interact more with the business.  A major point I want to prepare you for is that your internship is probably not going to be exactly what you want. I know I was a little nervous going in because my placement email basically outlined my worst nightmare: data entry. I was pretty upset for a while because I was confused as to how I got put into an internship that was seemingly everything I asked not to do. But here’s the kicker. Even though I’m doing a lot of what I originally did not want to do, I’m absolutely loving my placement and am learning so much!!  On paper, yes my internship looks pretty dry. But in reality, I’m working in an environment that is so rewarding and caring. Each day I’ve been so excited to come to work because I know I’ll get to interact with so many amazing staff members and volunteers who are the heart of this organization. The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to keep an open mind. The worst thing you can do is go into your internship not giving your best because no matter what, you’re going to get so much out of working in London.

My Daily Schedule For My Workweek (Wednesday-Friday)

  • Leave Manson Place at 8 am and walk to South Kensington Station- take the Piccadilly line towards Uxbridge for about 8 stops where I get off at Park Royal (I have to go out of Zones 1 and 2 but am reimbursed—just keep your receipts from your top-ups!!)
  • Walk about 5 minutes to The Felix Project’s depot and arrive at about 8:35 am (I usually give myself a 15-minute buffer, especially because it can be hard to get a tube to Uxbridge)
  • Work 9 am-4 pm and head back the same way on the Piccadilly

Something else that you need to be prepared for is the reality of the commute time!! The average commute time for Londoners is about 40 minutes. You really need to plan ahead because tube strikes and delays can cause some serious problems. Be prepared to have someone you can communicate with at your internship to let them know if you’re running late because this will inevitably happen. On my interview day, the Piccadilly line was completely held up at South Kensington so even though I left with an extra 50 minutes to spare, I was still 5 minutes late.

This is such an exciting opportunity to branch out and learn more about UK culture. Before this, it is challenging to find such a receptive group of Londoners that you get to interact with often. Ask as many questions as you can because you’ll learn so much extra this way!!


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