Having been in London for two weeks, I feel that it is necessary to now explain my purpose for being here. As fun as it is to explore new countries and new cities as I discussed in my last post (see, London: Crossing the Pond/Settling In), Ole Miss unfortunately does not offer a study abroad program where you walk around a foreign city for two months. Plus, I am sure that my parents (who will likely read this) would like to have confirmation that I am doing something meaningful this summer.
Why am I here?
I am technically not doing a study abroad program, but rather an internship abroad program. Aside from a supplemental online course which is not too demanding, I am doing all of my learning through a business internship for a company in London. I would strongly recommend this course of action to anyone who would like to spend their summer abroad. Without the burden of studying and homework in the evenings and on weekends, I have much more time and freedom to explore my host city and the surrounding areas. I am gaining valuable and useful knowledge daily on the job and earning credit through the online course that is merely a reflection of what I learned on the job
The Company: Weengs
I am working for a startup company called Weengs located in the Kings Cross area of London. Weengs is a third-party logistics service that was started in 2015 and is currently operating in London. Their model is that they collect products from e-commerce businesses based in London, bring them back to their warehouse where they custom package each product, and then label and ship the products to the original business’s customers all around the world. They are essentially the middle-man between the business, carriers (UPS), and the ultimate customer. They gain an advantage from similar businesses through their low, flat-rate prices to the businesses for collecting, packaging, and shipping their products. The employees at Weengs work extremely hard and have built the business from the ground and are continuing to grow every day, but the culture around the company is very laid-back and healthy. My coworkers and supervisors have been extremely welcoming and helpful during my first few weeks and a pleasure to work with and to spend time with even outside of work.
Where I fit in
I am working in the administrative offices of the company that are separate from the warehouse. I am working directly under one of the three co-founders. My tasks have varied, but a majority of my time so far has been spent researching and analyzing the product, salaries, and compensation plans. In addition to this, I have served as an extra hand around the office for routine accounting tasks. My role is somewhat flexible which allows me to gain a lot of knowledge and experience from varied aspects of the business.
(The picture on the right was taken during lunch. I promise that I am not the only person who works at this business)
One of my favorite parts of living in London has been the commutes to and from work . I plan to write about my neighborhood in a later blog, but it is a great residential area that is buzzing with other people on their own commutes when I am traveling to and from work. The commute from my neighborhood of Clerkenwell to Weengs takes anywhere from 25-40 minutes. I take the London underground (think NYC subway) from a station very near to my flat one stop down to Kings Cross station and then take a double-decker bus (slightly different from the novelty ones that you see roaming around Oxford, MS) 6 stops down and then walk the rest of the way to the office. The commute to me is very effortless and less stressful than driving to and from work every day. I really get to feel the city come alive while traveling to and from work which is always a great way to kickstart my day.