Van Le is an intern abroad in London at E2Exchange with colleagues from all around the world. Let her tell you more about her research work and daily responsibilities, working across cultures, and being a stone's throw away from some of London's historic area.
Working in a company where colleagues are from different countries and cultures has always been my dream. Thanks to CAPA’s Global Internship Program, my dream has come true this semester. I am a Research Intern at E2Exchange where my colleagues come from Vietnam, Iran, the Netherlands, the Philippines, the US, the UK, India, Spain, and Singapore. This has become a truly international experience for me and has even given me opportunities to learn some Spanish and Chinese along the way.
Caption: A view from my personal office space!
My supervisor is the Chief Innovation Officer of E2Exchange, but I work more closely with the company’s data analyst who assigns me new tasks every week. My tasks involve data entry and research. To be specific, I am responsible for researching the leaders (founder, owner, chairman, and C-level officers) of leading companies in the UK and finding out information such as their email addresses and biographies. All the data collected will be shared with the marketing and investment team so that they can match their clients (who are entrepreneurs seeking investors and advice) with potential investors.
E2Exchange’s working environment is relaxed, but every single member of the team has their own KPI (Key Performance Indicator) like its vision “Don’t stop until you are proud.” We do have team social drinks and dinner on the first Thursday of every month. I always bring my lunch with me and have it in the shared kitchen with my colleagues. We also chit-chat during work to get to know each other better. The working hours are also flexible—I can work longer for one day and shorter the next day as long as I complete 20 hours per week as required by CAPA.
Caption: I have buns for lunch!
My work is not complicated but it requires an eye for detail because it involves doing a lot of research. To improve the accuracy of my research, I use reliable sources such as LinkedIn or the company website. Another tactic I’ve found helpful is to perform Google searches using quotes around the words or phrases I’m searching for to find an exact match.
I also attend team meetings on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to learn more about the vision of E2E and their plan for each week. I am amazed by how specific my colleagues set their goals for each day, and I definitely try to follow suit.
Caption: Our office is a part of a big building!
Our office is on the fifth floor of a financial district near Buckingham Palace and the Victoria Station, so it is easy for me to take a short walk after or during work to see some historic buildings in London. Some of our colleagues work in the office but some work from home, even very far away—from India and the Philippines. In my Global Internship Class, we learned about Cultural Intelligence (CQ) which is the ability to effectively work across cultures. I believe that CQ is an important characteristic that recruiters are looking for nowadays. That’s why I really appreciate this internship which absolutely looks good on my resume.
Besides our team dinner, I occasionally hang out with other interns after work for a drink. Fortunately, I have found my best mate in London who not only lives near me but also works at E2E as an intern. We often take the bus or train home together from Victoria Station, then have dinner after work and share what we have learned at work as well.
Caption: My best friend from E2E and I have dinner in Chinatown.
Overall, my CAPA Global Internship at E2E is an incredible opportunity for me to learn about the working culture in the UK and collaborate with students from other universities worldwide, colleagues from different parts of the world to create positive changes in the entrepreneurship community. I’m glad that I could improve my hard skills such as research and Excel, as well as my soft skills including communication, teamwork, and navigating a global city as well.
Van Le is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2022, sharing her story in frequent posts on CAPA World. A mathematics and applied economics major at Hollins University, she is eager to be studying and interning abroad in London this semester.
Van's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.