So, last Monday I started an internship in the Department for Work and Pensions, in the Civil Service. The internship is part of the Government Social Research Placement Scheme and, since I am planning to apply for the Analytical Fast Stream (Social Research track) this autumn, it seems to be the most logical step in preparing myself for the long and tedious FS application process. As you can imagine, I am super, extra, mega, too excited to have this opportunity! The internship is also based in London, at the heart of the government and in the city that I have irrecoverably fallen in love with a couple of years ago, when I visited it for the first time.
But there are good and bad things about being an intern in London. So for all of you who are thinking about taking up an internship or who are already experiencing this (just to tell you ‘hang in there, you are not alone!’), here are 3 things that you can expect as an intern in London.
1. Your accommodation will not be great.
London is notorious for its ridiculously high prices, especially when it comes to housing. So if you are an intern looking for a place in London, particularly if you are looking at zones 1-2, you might want to consider living somewhere outside and commuting to work. If you would rather not live far away from work, then don’t be surprised if you will be paying 300-400 pounds per month for a shared room. As a student, you will probably want to save some money, so don’t expect the place you will be living in to be the nicest one. The important thing is to at least have somewhere to stay.
2. You will most likely have to commute.
Even if you manage to find something relatively close to your work, in 90% of the cases you will have to commute. Commuting might take the form of a short tube journey, a slightly longer train or bus journey or a long walk, or a combination of these, but I can assure you that, in some form or another, it will be part of your daily routine.
3. Everything will be fast-paced.
In the Civil Service, everything moves so fast, that it is sometimes so overwhelming to try to take everything on board. And whilst the Civil Service, in particular, might be like this because of the nature and complexity of the work that it involves, other internships can be just as fast-paced. As an intern, you want to get the most of your time in that particular company/organisation, so your time will probably be split between a set of activities that are proposed to you by your manager and colleagues, the activities that you, in particular, want to get involved in, and a continuous learning process. And it’s not just work that can be very fast-paced, but your life, in general, too. In a city like London everyone is heading somewhere, everyone has work to do, all the places and streets are so crowded. So be ready to keep up with it!
Anyone else interning in London this summer? 🙂