After finishing up an exciting International Business Development assignment in El Salvador, and heading home for a few days to do laundry, I boarded a plane once again and headed off to London for my summer internship. As someone who has always done work centered around emerging markets with no prior experience in Europe, I didn’t know quite what to expect when joining the general leadership/corporate strategy summer program at British Telecommunications (BT). As it turns out, my work was far more international than I could have expected. In fact, during the first few weeks, I had a difficult time keeping my colleagues’ countries straight: the Russian going to school at INSEAD in Singapore, the HBS Israeli paired on a project with the American at IESE in Spain, the Indian at Chicago GSB or the Spaniard at Stanford. Not only were the 21 summer interns incredibly diverse, but the full-time team was as well.
This made for an incredibly interesting work environment as this team of diverse MBAs tackled many of the problems that BT faces from its legacy as a company (and previously a government institution) that has been around for over one hundred years. Although the work was intense, I didn’t miss the opportunity to hang out with this global group in a less formal setting. In fact, my favorite Friday tradition in London became traveling with my coworkers to the far extremes of the city (Whitechapel, Eastham, Westham, Southall) to sample some of the finest Indian food I have ever had.
London itself is an incredible city that is both an exciting place to live, and an international travel hub. The cuisine, the museum art, the cultural shows, and the diversity of its people have all contributed to London’s identity as a truly global city. How appropriate that on one of my last tube journeys I should see the following advertisement that so aptly describes my summer: “see the world – visit london”