Read all about Courtney's digital internship with an agency in London! Follow along as she goes through her daily routine and journey to work, as well as the many different projects she's worked on.
Over the past few weeks, I have been fortunate enough to intern at Westminster Digital. Westminster Digital is a communications agency that specializes in content creation, data analysis, and strategic planning for a variety of political and corporate clients. Essentially, the company helps people and corporations enhance and manage their PR and social media presence. Some of the clients include members of Parliament and large corporations like Netflix and Disney. I’m going to take you through what a day in my life looks like as an intern at Westminster Digital!
Caption: Westminster Digital.
I work 20 hours per week at Westminster Digital. My schedule is as follows: Mondays and Wednesdays from 10am to 6pm and Fridays from 10am to 2pm. On a work day, I typically wake up around 7:45am. I make myself a cup of coffee and slurp it down within about five minutes to try and convince myself I’m not dreadfully tired. I do my makeup, pick out an outfit, make breakfast, and pack my lunch before heading to Warwick Avenue tube station at 9:15am. It’s a five-minute walk from my flat and it’s nice to put on headphones and enjoy the fresh morning air (of course, there is the occasional bird poop incident, but that’s a story for another time…).
Caption: Warwick Avenue Tube Station.
From there, I take the Bakerloo Tube line for 9 stops to Embankment. It’s nice because I don’t have to switch lines, which takes entirely too much brain power that, frankly, I just don’t have that early in the morning. The ride takes about 20 minutes and I typically bring a book to read to avoid staring into the abyss of the dark tube tunnels and falling back asleep. Now, if you have ever been on the tube, you know it’s not the most glamorous experience in the entire world, with the crowds and humidity and lights flickering on and off every few seconds while a piercing noise coming from who knows where drowns out any attempt of listening to music or taking a pre-work nap. But, it gets you where you need to go. And sometimes, if you’re lucky, it’s rather empty and you can have a little pre-work photoshoot to fill the void.
Caption: Me taking advantage of being on the tube all alone one day.
After I get off the Tube, it’s a five-minute walk from Embankment station to the Westminster Digital office. I get to walk through this amazing park called Whitehall Gardens. From there, you can see all of the Southbank, including the London Eye. Then, I exit the park onto Horse Guards Avenue, where a lot of the government buildings are situated (the Houses of Parliament are two blocks up the road). My building is right across from the Ministry of Defense. I literally feel like I am in a movie each time I walk to work.
Caption: Whitehall Gardens, located right outside of Westminster Digital.
I normally get to work about 10 minutes early to allow myself time to settle in and make a cup of tea (which I would say is the most British behavior I have developed since being here). At 10am, we have our company-wide meeting. We have a team of about eight people, and a lot of them still work from home because of COVID precautions, so the meeting is normally over Zoom. Here, we discuss our goals for the day and the tasks that need to be completed in order to reach these goals.
Caption: A typical morning meeting.
My internship involves shadowing the managing director/CEO of the company, Tom Dixon, so my day essentially consists of whatever he does. Some days we are in the office working on pitches for potential clients and some days we are out of the office trying to sell old videography equipment to camera shops. I never really know what to expect when I come in, but I like it that way.
From meeting with multiple members of Parliament, to designing banners for a company press conference, to meeting with authors and discussing social media strategy to publicize their newest book launch, to writing copy for the company’s new website, I have had the opportunity to do all sorts of things here. I've done a little bit of everything in the strategic planning and communications field, which is exactly the experience I wanted coming into it.
The coolest thing I’ve done to date is going on a video shoot for Tom Pursglove, a member of Parliament and Assistant Government Whip to the Prime Minister. He was filming a social media video to talk to his constituents about his current goals for the month. We recorded right outside of the Houses of Parliament and it was absolutely unreal to see. I loved watching the behind the scenes making of it and how much goes into these short one-minute videos that we see on Instagram and Twitter. Also, my double major is Political Science, so this was right up my alley!
Caption: Social media video shoot for Member of Parliament, Tom Pursglove.
I’ve also learned a lot about working in a professional work environment, and furthermore, an international work environment. Up until this internship, my workspace was mostly classrooms, libraries, and the counter at the Walgreens pharmacy where I work (we all have to pay rent somehow). But now, I work in this palatial building in the heart of London. I’ve learned what it’s like to share a space with motivated and like-minded people and experience the highs (and of course some lows) of the career that I am going into. I’ve gotten to experience a different way of living and working, which I’ve been able to compare to the only way of life I’ve ever known in America. Who knows, I may even end up permanently working and living here one day!
That’s my day in the life of a Westminster Digital Intern! I’ve loved every minute here and I absolutely recommend interning abroad if you can.
Courtney Risner is an official CAPA London blogger for summer 2021, sharing her story in frequent posts on CAPA World. A Journalism and Political Science major from the University of Missouri, she is studying abroad in London this summer.
Courtney's journey continues all summer so stay tuned.