by Tori Burk
Since the start of my planning, a frequent question from friends and colleagues in the U.S. was, ‘Why overseas? Why so far?’ The short version of my response: Why not?
Advantages to working abroad are highlighted in 2014 Time magazine article entitled, How Studying or Working Abroad Makes You Smarter- where research indicated that international experience increases the creativity, flexibility, and creativity of our thinking. When it came to deciding to go abroad, this sort of growth was something I knew that I wanted. Additionally, I knew that I wanted to be in London. The city’s global connectedness, prevalence of international business, strong job market in my career field of interest (PR/Marketing), and the buzzing, diverse local community were all big selling points. My main priority for this experience was professional development, so I figured the absence of a language barrier was also a plus.
During the job search, I was drawn by several things upon encountering Flame PR. Alongside the highly international team and a client list which included tech companies that largely suited my interests, I sensed a strong devotion to details when it came to performance and delivery. After securing the internship and receiving my work visa, the time came to make my big move across the pond. I said cheerio to Texas, and 9 hours later I was here, in London – using my excitement to power through the jet lag, move in, and begin my internship at Flame PR a day and a half later.
Once it really sunk in that I had moved, by myself, to a foreign city- I was reminded of another persistent question I heard in the States before leaving: ‘You’re going completely alone?! Aren’t you worried about not knowing anyone? ’
Truthfully, I wasn’t worried. The idea of starting a completely new chapter and having the chance to really learn and do as the locals was appealing to me. I knew I would be uncomfortable at times, but I liked that. Both personal and professional growth seemed inevitable- and this reality provided the type of comfort I felt I needed, instead of that which would come from having an American friend by my side.
In the Time magazine article referenced above, one research finding in particular was personally favourable for me to read. Quieting any doubts concerning an international internship as a career move (as if there ever even were any) the section states, ‘What’s more, we found that people with this international experience are more likely to create new businesses and products, and to be promoted’ (Paul, 2014). …I’ll take it!
On that note, I greatly look forward to the coming months at Flame PR, gaining knowledge of the public relations industry and strengthening my skillset surrounding the business, and am confident that my time interning in London will be both enriching and memorable.