Monthly Archives: August 2014

The swinging city

The swinging city”,  a nickname given to a magnificent city  during the mid 1960s due to the important role it played in the cultural revolution, London, as many of us know the city now, can proudly lay claim to being the most diverse city of our times. It’s 7.2 million residents from all walks of life give the city a rainbow make-up.

London Eye, view of London from Hyde Park and Parliament across River Thames
London Eye, view of London from Hyde Park and Parliament across River Thames

My name is Joel “Mesh” Gitau, born and bred in the “city under the sun”- Nairobi, Kenya. I moved to Finland close to three years back to further my studies and feed my hunger for cultural diversity experience. I took my studies in an international environment with fellow schoolmates coming from all over Europe and beyond. I must admit this was my initial encounter with cultures so different from mine yet were so fascinating. In late May 2014, I packed my bags yet again, my cultural nomadic journey  had taken a new turn, this time my next destination was  England’s capital and the largest city in the whole of United Kingdom, what were my feelings  concerning my forthcoming experience? Well, excitement is an understatement.

Since my arrival in London my life has been a buzz of activities filled with new experiences, from cars driving on the “wrong” side of the road to an elaborate underground rail network which is a work of art, not forgetting the palaces, beautiful green parks which makes one forget they are in the heart of a bustling city, variety in food cuisine,museums and galleries and many more, have all overflown my basket of new experiences. I live and work in west London, in Hayes town. I work in a company known as The British International School which runs language courses and study holiday packages in London, Edinburgh and New York. It prides itself in organizing unique programs all year round, providing individuals, professional students and groups alike with opportunities to benefit from high value language tuition alongside recreational activities and specialized courses. My role in the company is finance controller reporting to the finance manager and on adhoc occasions to the chief executive officer who also owns the enterprise.

My day -to- day tasks have to a large extent enabled me to achieve most of my learning goals as I am directly involved in the financial management of the company finances. In my learning plan I had spelt out my goals among others was to gain experience in my field of study in finance and learn more about the financial aspects of business enterprise, I am confident that my knowledge concerning these aspects has significantly grown during the three months of my internship here.

London nights
London nights

Other than the work life, my social life is on an all-time peak, given the kind of environment that I work in. The company is a hub of young minds from all over the world who are vibrant in all aspects. During weekends and at times on week-nights unwinding with my colleagues in a bar after long days at the office is our usual bonding session, weekend activities include picnics in different parks within London, tours around the capital and sometimes barbecues in one of the colleagues’ backyard, the weather has been quite favourable, but at times the usual London showers keep me indoors. I have had a chance to visit some of the historic tourist’s sites like,Tower of London, London eye, Westminster Abbey, Shakespeare globe, National maritime museum, houses of parliament and big Ben among many more.

The beauty of London is its compact size, packed to bursting point with heritage, culture, amazing cuisine and some of the best attractions in the world that would probably take a lifetime to see everything that this amazing part of the world has to offer.
Now more than ever I am very confident that I made the right choice to get work experience abroad and I couldn’t have chosen a better destination. I look forward to the rest of my journey abroad and my return to Finland late this year packed with experience of varied types.

Greenwich, Brighton Pier and Emirate Cable Car
Greenwich, Brighton Pier and Emirate Cable Car

©2014  Joel Gitau

If countries were named after the words, England would have to be called “Mars on the Earth”

Hello travelers, learners and interns! Current blog article represents my British life in miniature. I’m going to tell you what I’ve done so far, what I’ve seen, whom I’ve met and how do I feel in the “country of rain”. I settle down in Milton Keynes, the cozy paradise in Buckinghamshire, England. “Mars on the Earth”, I mean it. English culture, people, life style, accent, vision is driving crazy everyone from abroad.


First of all, let me introduce my company – Anglo Baltic News. Anglo Baltic News is the media company which was founded in UK 4 years ago. Proudly saying, ABN is the only newspaper for Latvians living in the UK and offers a news portal with availability for readers of Latvian, Russian and English versions. Even though ABN is a relatively new company on the media market, with its potential and successful growth we reached 40000 readers of newspaper, 1500 followers on Facebook and 1600 group members on the social portal draugiem.lv. Currently ABN is progressively becoming a multifunctional business platform with its strategic plans for the forthcoming period.

 

This’s my boss in his glory. Lauris is an outstanding expert in the field of marketing, promotion, sales and public relations which make me absorb new information every day. By a strange quirk of fate, we became close friends and colleagues entirely devoted to ABN. We both stand for success of developing business. We complement each other: years of experience and a fresh view.

I would like to say that Anglo Baltic News is more than just a monthly newspaper and website, ABN has a meaningful message to connect locals, to infuse spirit into beginners and show their potential to our readers and customers. Public relations formulate the foundation of ABN goals.

I play a significant role in this mission. Being a sales and marketing assistant of ABN, I constantly keep in touch with our customers, update Russian news portal, maintain company’s Facebook page, send commercial offers to potential partners, negotiate the price for advertorials on our website and newspaper, compose business plan and future development model, perform simple accounting procedure, create presentations for business meetings etc. I found it extremely applicable for my career path because it’s exactly what I’m planning to do in the future.

Talking about my personal life abroad, it’s pretty much the same as it was before. I have a schedule, I’m doing sports, I’m hanging out with new friends. I’d like to admit that British youngsters seem to be cosmic people, aliens, strangers! British aliens (that’s how I call local youngsters) made me realize that everything is possible and there’re no barriers which can stop me from chasing my dreams. I really enjoy cultural aspects of English people including traditional English breakfast, chip chats before business talks, playing board games when it’s raining, talking about science etc. Their life style, fashion, thinking is some sort of example for imitation.  Their intellectual level is high and interests are multifarious. I’m learning from them a lot on a daily basis.  We’ve got amazing vibes in our team. Well… I still have to travel and learn several new things till the end of my internship, my summer adventure, my British cosmic world…

Yuliya Nesterenko, International Business Programme, TAMK