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American Invasion: British Internships Sharpen Students' Career Goals

Written by Maura Gladys '11, Mykal Urbina '11, Zachary Tomanelli '11
1/5/2010

It’s easy to assume that spending a semester in London is all about sipping tea, sightseeing, and soaking up the local culture, but each year some 75 London Center students get a jump on their careers with exciting internships in and around the city. Here are just a few of the valuable real-world experiences students have had lately.

Sports Reporting with the Times of London

By Maura Gladys '11

My biggest passion is soccer and I took full advantage of being in a “football-mad” country, attending several matches, including four Premier League matches and two international matches featuring the English National Team at Wembley Stadium.

Maura Gladys '11 at the Manchester Derby between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford. Gladys attended the match courtesy of Ithaca alum and owner of Manchester United, Malcolm Glazer. Photo courtesy of Maura Gladys '11

Maura Gladys '11 at the Manchester Derby between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford. Gladys attended the match courtesy of Ithaca alum and owner of Manchester United, Malcolm Glazer. Photo courtesy of Maura Gladys '11


My internship at the Times of London made my study abroad experience especially memorable. I interned with the sports department where I wrote stories for the Times’ website, wrote photo captions and formatted articles to be published online.

I was also given the opportunity to shadow reporters in the field as they covered press conferences and did interviews.

Some of my favorite moments are shadowing staff writer Patrick Kidd when he interviewed Charlotte Edwards (the captain of the English National Women’s Cricket Team) and helping staff writer Russel Kempson cover a press conference at the Arsenal Football Club training ground. I even covered a professional game by myself, which was both scary and exciting at the same time.

Being a part of one of the world’s most historic and successful papers is an unbelievable experience. Every day I walked to work feeling so lucky to work alongside some of the country’s most talented journalists.

I soaked up as much information and insight as I could by sitting in on sports staff meetings, picking my coworkers brains and reading up on unfamiliar sports such as cricket and rugby.

I not only learned a lot about London, sports, and journalism, but I also met amazing people and made friendships that will carry on into the future.

Being in London afforded me an amount of freedom that I had never known before. I got the opportunity to live in a big city with my friends and travel around England and Europe. Although it was stressful at times, the overall experience was incredible and something that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Creating Online Homes for London Plays

By Mykal Urbina '11

From the overwhelming culture shock of the first day to the bittersweet goodbye to an amazing city on the last night before my flight home to the States, my four months in London provided me with some of the greatest challenges and most exciting and memorable experiences of my life.

Meg Malone '11, Karla Berberich '11, and Mykal Urbina '11 at the Tower Bridge. Photo courtesy of Mykal Urbina '11

Meg Malone '11, Karla Berberich '11, and Mykal Urbina '11 at the Tower Bridge. Photo courtesy of Mykal Urbina '11


My classes at the London Center allowed me to truly immerse myself in multiple aspects of British culture. I enjoyed my British Pop class where we studied the history of British music and attended gigs of such bands as the Rifles, Richard Swift, and the Prodigy.

My Sports Marketing class gave me new insight into my integrated marketing communications major as I studied the psychology of sport in the U.K., visited prominent London sports marketing agencies, and even attended a cricket match at the Oval.

I especially loved my Victorian Art and Society class, which exposed me to the true beauty of London through visits to the V&A, the National Gallery, Charles Dickens’s home, and the Tate Britain among others.

While abroad, I interned two full days a week at AKA UK, a London-based theater-marketing agency.

From the very beginning of my work at AKA, I was immersed in London’s theater culture and was given a great deal of responsibility. I especially loved that my work at my internship combined my IMC major and my irrecoverable addiction to Facebook.

My supervisor gave me complete rein to launch and maintain social networking campaigns for the major West End productions of Jersey Boys, Legally Blonde, and Three Days of Rain. I loved filling such an integral role in the agency and using my knowledge to produce significant results for AKA: a successful and lasting online presence for some incredible productions.

I took full advantage of my time in London, joining my ICLC friends and peers on school trips to see the ancient Roman baths in Bath, a production of Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale in Stratford-upon-Avon, and ride along on the Magical Mystery Tour in Liverpool -- home of the Beatles.

I spent many weekends and my spring break filling my passport with stamps from the nearby countries of Italy, Greece, France, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic.

While in central London, I saw upwards of 15 West End shows, spent many afternoons relaxing in Hyde Park, attended London’s Fashion Weekend, shopped in Piccadilly Circus and the many outdoor markets, and saw most (if not all) of the city’s major landmarks.

My semester in London was one of the most eye-opening, unforgettable experiences of my life. I am reminded daily of the amazing opportunities I had at the ICLC every time I say hello to one of my spring '09 London Center peers, hear one of Queen’s greatest hits, or have a serious craving for a chocolate-covered hobnob.

Parliamentary Procedures

By Zachary Tomanelli '11

Thanks to the London Center, I secured a first rate internship with parliamentary candidate Kevin Bonavia, who was tapped by the Labour Party to run against the Tory Party M.P. now representing the constituency of Rochford and Southend East.

From left: Parliamentary candidate Kevin Bonavia joins intern Zach Tomanelli ’11 and two campaign supporters outside Cliffs Pavilion Theatre in Southend-on-Sea, England, to promote the Labour Party’s free theater ticket program. Photo courtesy of Zach Tomanelli '11

From left: Parliamentary candidate Kevin Bonavia joins intern Zach Tomanelli ’11 and two campaign supporters outside Cliffs Pavilion Theatre in Southend-on-Sea, England, to promote the Labour Party’s free theater ticket program. Photo courtesy of Zach Tomanelli '11


I was able to meet members of Parliament and take a private tour of the House of Parliament, also known as the Palace of Westminster.

I learned the intricacies of the British political system. I wrote press releases and organized events for Bonavia. Perhaps most interesting were the weekends I spent on the doorsteps of ordinary British citizens, listening to them air their concerns and share their stories.

I talked to one gentleman who had just returned from Iraq. I spoke with an elderly woman who wanted to know what could be done to get a bus stop closer to her home so she did not have to walk to her doctor’s appointments.

These conversations enabled me to experience Britain on a more personal level and gave me a unique perspective into British culture. The only thing I am left to wonder is how long it will be until I can return.



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