Faces of MIB
Gabrielle Milette - UK - RCI Bank
How was your experience working abroad?
It was better than I could have imagined! My situation was a bit different, it was my first work term and I was not supposed to go work internationally that semester. An opportunity presented itself randomly and I jumped on it! I had no expectations going in, and I came back super happy with everything that it had brought me!
What challenges did you experience? How did you overcome them?
Often being lonely! I did not know anyone in London, and the other interns at RCI Bank were local and went back to their parents house on the weekend. At first, I found it a bit difficult to always be alone, but thankfully my boyfriend, father, and best friend all came to visit me throughout the summer, which gave me something to look forward to. I also I discovered how much I love exploring on my own!
What skills did you develop?
As this was my first work term and first time living on my own, this experience was full of learning!
Life skills: Cooking, organization, how to rely on myself, etc, etc, etc… My mother had always cooked for me, so I had no idea how to cook when I got to London. I started with the basics, and really found a passion for it! I decided the best way to be efficient during the week was to meal prep on Sundays. So every Sunday, I would ride my bike 30mins to the nearest grocery store. Then, I had to ride back with a SUPER heavy bag and would prep my lunches and dinners for the rest of the week.
Budgeting skills: I was running on a tight budget in London! My goal was to not lose money by going on this exchange. This might seem silly because I was going there to work, but when you factor in the cost of flights, visa, and living expenses, it was very tight with what I was going to be making. Learning to budget was super fun, and a very good life lesson!
Work skills: As I mentioned before, it was my first work term, and I had never worked in an office setting before. I got to develop a lot of new skills, learned a lot from the more experiences interns, and made great connections!
What was your most memorable moment?
I have SO many memorable moments in London, but I would have to say the coolest thing I got to do is go watch the Formula 1 race with my dad who flew in just for the weekend! Since I was in the UK to work for RCI Bank, a racing partner of the Renault / Infinity team, I got to take a tour of the paddock. Very unique experience!
What are some tips you wish you knew before going abroad?
I think the best thing to do when going abroad is to be very open minded, and be excited with anything that is different from your normal life! Whenever something negative or difficult happens, take it as a learning opportunity. You are there to learn, soak up as much as you can!