UW Business Britain 2015 Pre-Departure

“Pre-Departure” is a bit redundant as I’m writing this from London Heathrow after a ten hour four movie flight, but I’ll lay out some expectations for my time in Europe and the program before it officially begins next week. Very excited to be travelling alone to Athens and to meet with my friends from high school in Bulgaria. It’s still a thing of wonder to me to be able to plan seeing old friends in new places.

The exploration seminar is actually unlikely to be what I expected when I first set out to apply; I thought it would be a mix of the traditional classroom experience coupled with company visits to firms with connections to the Pacific Northwest. As it stands I still can’t say with certainty what I can expect in the coming weeks, but we have a great group of people from UW coming together to represent Seattle to professionals that can add a lot of perspective to our thus-far rose-tinted academic careers. The prospect of networking by day and exploring by night is exciting to think about.

The company briefings should be good to listen to, I’m curious to see the breadth in the type of companies we’re visiting as well as their take on how to operate on the global scale. What really is the “best practice” when it comes to understanding a different culture from a personal perspective and a business standpoint? Will all these companies be similar in the strategies they implement or will they all be different in a big way?

Exploring is also one of my big passions. I could spend days just walking through the streets and looking at the details of the city. What comes to mind are the little things — riding the tube versus walking the streets, going to pubs versus going to clubs, eating the English diet, and taking weekend trips. I can already tell just sitting in the airport that London is such a globalized city. You can hear people as they’re leaving their planes from places like Singapore, the U.S., Russia. Coming back home and going to visit new places, the sense is that everyone here is a world traveler, a dynamic that I don’t think we get much exposure to in Seattle. All in all I’m absolutely ready to tackle our cousin across the pond with as much energy as I can muster in the next few weeks!

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