Q&A: Taylor on Interning in London

Big Ben

Posing with the iconic Big Ben in London

Taylor Gandolfi

Charleston native and rising senior at EIU majoring in Graphic Design, Taylor is currently enrolled in a graphic design internship at a web design firm called Digital Broadcasters in London, England.

Q. How did you decide that London was the right place for you to complete an internship?
A. I decided to do my internship abroad in London because London is a good place to make contacts. Another big reason why I picked London is because since I am working instead of studying I need to be fluent in the language of the country that I am working in, and I don’t know any other languages other than English.

Q. What is your daily workload like as an intern in the UK?
A. At my company, I am working 40 hours a week, from 9:30-5:30 every day. I work along side the Graphic Designer, and the owner of the firm and she gives me projects designing various things such as web lay outs, advertisements, flyers etc while working with Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign.

Q. What has been the most rewarding part of interning abroad?
A. The most rewarding part of interning abroad has been being able to work with other interns from around the world. My office has interns from France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and England, and it has been really interesting to compare cultures and to hang out with people my age from all around the world.

Q. And the most challenging part?
A. Probably one of the most challenging things about interning abroad was figuring out how to use the tube/bus station. Another thing that was really hard to get used to was the time difference, which has also been challenging to talk to people back home, but it isn’t bad once you get used to it. The one complaint that I have is no ranch dressing.

Q. Have you been able to travel? What are some of the highlights?
A. I was in Paris last weekend with one of my room mates and we got this “Paris Pass” that got us into all of the major attractions (Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triumph, Montemarte, and all of the museums). it also got us on a river cruise with amazing views of the whole city and a wine tasting, and all we had to do was show our Paris Pass! Next weekend I will be traveling to Amsterdam while the following weekend I will be traveling to Dublin, and the last weekend I have I will be traveling to Zurich. With my work schedule I am only able to do weekend trips, but my boss has been pretty flexible letting me leave early to get cheaper flights.

Q. Has your time abroad met your expectations? Do you feel well prepared from your time at EIU?
A. My time abroad has far exceeded my expectations. Some of the things that my professors have had me do in class that I thought was a waste of time (for example tracing things in Illustrator) have been very useful in the different tasks given to me. I feel like EIU has prepared me very well with the different programs that I have to use, the one thing that EIU Graphic Design doesn’t really cover is working with clients.

Q. Any advice for others considering a term abroad?
A. When first arriving here I wasn’t sure what to do with my phone, and the easiest, cheapest way has been to get a UK SIM card (which is only 12 pounds a month for unlimited data, and texting, while calls I have 250 minutes) and to talk to people from home using Viber.

Merci beaucoup, Taylor!

Eiffel Tower

A weekend in Paris, seen here at the top of the Arc de Triomphe!

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