Not Exactly Smooth Sailing

In England by Eller Student

When I imagined living and working in London for two whole months, I imagined myself seamlessly settling in.  This image I conjured up in my head was not that far off, but my transition into the London lifestyle has not exactly been smooth sailing.

To start off, I have never had an office job, nor have I ever worked in fashion.  Like most other girls, I keep up with the latest trends and styles and frequent fashion blogs and magazines.  Knowing that I have a knack for business and an affinity for fashion, what better way to truly expose myself to these combined worlds than to throw myself right in the middle of it?  I came to London ready to learn, and even though I have learned a massive amount about fashion and business from my internship in London, I could arguably state that I have learned even more about the inhabitants of this city.

From day one, I was ready to work and perform as best I could.  Perhaps I was a bit too eager, but the nerves were real as I first stepped foot into the studio of a famous designer.  The perfectionist in me antsy, and I wanted to do everything just right.  What I’m trying to say is this – even though the British obviously work hard at their jobs they never take themselves too seriously.  The five other ladies that work in my studio make tea and coffee every morning, talk about their nights, have a laugh, and get on with their tasks for the day.  It’s a very casual and relaxed environment which is refreshing to be a part of.  Normally, in the states the day would start with making a cup of coffee in a break room where no one makes eye contact, and then everyone would retreat to their own cubicle and stay secluded while working for the rest of the day.  The ladies in my office know how to balance their off-topic conversations while still maintaining a diligent work ethic.  This also is the vibe I get from London as a whole; a city that thrives off of “universalism” and “individualism” in the workplace.  In essence, it seems that the Brits know when to work full steam ahead, and when it’s time to blow off that steam in a pub – something Americans might need a lesson on.