“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.
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.
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.
©2014 Joel Gitau