My uni encouraged everyone in my year to get an internship or work experience placement over the summer. It could be however long we choose but we just had to gain some form of experience within industry.
Ugh. I love love love the idea of work experience or an internship in my dream industry but there was just one problem. My SPD. It wasn’t so much as a problem it was more of a really big obstacle. I found a few internship opportunities and applied for them online. I had a couple of interviews which were super dooper scary but quite interesting and I accepted an offer of an internship. All sounds fine and dandy at the moment doesn’t it? The only small (actually massive) problem was that this internship was based in London. This would involve navigating to and from London each day completely SOLO.
So I set about trying to learn a route to and from Central London everyday. Just to add – neither my uni friends or internship employers know about my difficulties (except that I’m dyslexic). It took me 2 hours to get to and from the office I was working in everyday and I was there for a month. It was kind of difficult at first not knowing anybodies name and I had to keep moving desks as there weren’t enough. I did however get to know some quirky and very lovely people, which I wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t given it a go.
In short I SURVIVED.
Through my internship, I’ve learnt to have more of a YOLO (you only live once) attitude. If I hadn’t done my internship I wouldn’t know how to navigate London, how to get the tube, how to read a train timetable, etc. My escalator skills have improved too! Im quite unaware of where my legs and arms go so I always bash into tables and sides of things, so you can imagine a moving staircase is a slight nightmare for me 🙂 Its also taught me that I really only do live the once and should make the most of my life
I will leave you with some interview tips and a list of the travel apps I used that were helpful for navigating my way round London.
- Keep eye contact. Difficult I know but definitely important, its okay to glance away every now and then.
- Wear something you are comfortable in. I get irritated by scratchy labels, certain fabrics, etc. Just make sure you are smart but happy in what you are wearing.
- Always think of one question to ask at the end. Every interviewer I’ve had has always asked me if I had any questions for them. It also shows you are interested in working for them and inquisitive about the company.
- Just be yourself. Be honest, and if you are happy to try and explain if you are dyslexic, have other learning difficulties or disabilities. It will save you worrying in the long-run.
Travelling apps I used:
- Tube map app – Search for this on your phones app store, it’s a great little application. You pop in your current location, e.g London Waterloo, and then your destination, e.g Baker Street, and it will show you how to get there, on what named / coloured line you need to take and any changes you need to make.
- Citymapper app – This app works in cities worldwide and gives you a variety of transport modes in order to get across you city.
- Google maps app – This is great if you are lost or like me needed to buy somewhere to buy food for lunch. It gave me walking directions to the nearest supermarket super easy.
- Tube map London underground app – This is also a great app, which you can pinch to zoom in and out of, essentially its the london tube map in your pocket
- The Trainline app – great for booking tickets to pick up at train stations like I did early in the morning. You book online or via the Trainline app and you avoid having to mess around at ticket machines or asking for a ticket – I always get too muddled in loud environments and can never hear the attendant!