SMU-in-London

48 communication students from SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts are studying international media, advertising, British cinema and nonprofit communications.

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First Impressions

After hearing the night before that it takes 10 different encounters to change a first impression, I can???t say that I was calm riding the tube to my internship today. I was very nervous and scared about that first impression and the overall impact I would leave on this organization. I was wondering whether they would take me seriously because of my age, so I knew that first impression had to be a really good one.

This summer I would be working for Peace Direct, a London based nonprofit organization supporting grassroots peacebuilding by funding, promoting and learning from local peacebuilders in conflict areas. My supervisor Chris greeted me in the lobby of the building and led me to the office: a large room with about 9 computers and only 3 people in it. He was very much ready for me. He had a packet prepared letting me know about the organization and outlining my ???mission.??? It made me nervous because at the bottom it said that this my chance to make my ???mark??? on Peace Direct. A challenge, but I???m definitely up for it.

After orientation, I was on my own to begin my mission (i.e. computer research). One thing, I did notice was how silent it was in that room. Chris had warned me, but I didn???t know it was going to be that quiet. In my office back home, everyone is always joking around and talkative, rare moments of silence in between. This was really different. I dove into my research for the rest of the afternoon a bit confused on where to start, but glad to be trusted with the project.

During the rest of the time, I spoke with a lady who worked there about the organization, then came up with questions for Chris to answer at the end of the day. Overall it was a very good day: my supervisor seems nice, the rest of the people seem nice, and I actually have something to do. Now all I had to worry about was the ride home.

I was by myself, not that I???ve never been by myself before, but I was by myself in a country overseas in a city that I am not familiar with and in a tube station that I was not comfortable with yet. It was all great though; I made it back safely for dinner and a chat with my professor and the girls. I learned more about independence and saw something different about British culture.
Looking forward to the next few weeks.

-Esmeralda

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