Editor’s note: Lilly our amazing intern was here for 3 months and we loved every second! She’s talented, hard working, has a sunny easygoing disposition and works efficiently and effectively. She fits in with all of our TLD Values! Over to Lilly:
What an adventure these three months have been!
London is approximately 3, 953 miles away from Cincinnati, Ohio (which is where I’m from!).
Though across an ocean, I felt reassured coming to the UK by nature of it being a predominantly English speaking country. Cultural differences can be scary—anything new can be, especially in the workplace.
Though uneasy at times, this momentary discomfort allowed me to grow. Exploring and learning the cultural differences turned out to be my favorite defining experiences in London. So, here’s a list of those little things I’ve loved learning.
My name is Lilly Stein. I attend the University of Cincinnati in the U.S. As part of my academic program, I spend every other semester in the cooperatively learning in the workplace. These internships are called Co-Ops. So I had completed 4 different internships before arriving at my favourite!
For my final Co-Op semester, I had the pleasure of working with the incredible team here at Top Left Design in London.
An American in London’s take on…
Drinking (and making) Tea
It’s no lie that people in London love (love, love, love, LOVE) tea. I had never considered adding milk (as silly as that sounds) but let me just say… game changer! I’ve spent the semester trying to swap my usual three cups of coffee for tea and stay appropriately caffeinated. Upon arrival to London, I thought my eyes were deceiving me when I went to a local store looking to by a coffee pot and all I saw were tea kettles for miles. I can now honestly say I’ve grown to love tea. High Tea with an abundance of miniature sandwiches, clotted cream, pastries, and Prosecco—count me in. (Milk n’ sugar please!)
Day trip to Brighton Palace Pier!
Minding the Gap
I’ve found my morning routine is 50% sweating, 40% sweating profusely, and 10% moderately comfortable. The London Underground (the Tube) is a lovely monster. You and your closest 4.8 million friends snuggle up each day during morning and evening commutes. In all seriousness, it’s incredibly convenient to get around the city, and I am loving that aspect so far—just make sure you mind the gap. Fun fact: The Tube’s iconic logo is known as “the roundel” and is one of the oldest of its kind.
The Spectacular Vernacular
Though I’ve experienced many cultural differences, as one would expect, I found the vernacular to be my favorite. It felt like I was learning a new language—all new and exciting, clever terms for things that had become so ordinary and familiar in my brain. Initially, language felt like a cultural difference that still had the element of comfort and familiarity. It turned out to be a much more drastic difference, but one I looked forward to exploring each day. I genuinely enjoy learning the little nuances in our versions of English, even when that involves telling our fearless TLD leader, Keren, that I liked her pants, intending to compliment her trousers. I learned the hard way that I actually referred to her underwear—oops!
London Cocktail Fest 2017
The Metric System…A4 paper…
Designing in London has proven to be an adventure, and not just working with the lovely clients! I’ve found I need to pay much more caution when setting up files. As it turns out, 200 inches is much different than 200 centimeters, and letter sized paper is an anomaly in comparison to its A4 cousin. I’ve had to quickly reprogram my brain to remember to include extra Us and Es into words, and swapping my American Zs for Ss in client work and emails.
These wonderful cultural differences have been apparent in little bits—ordering coffee, learning slang, navigating the underground, crossing the street (without getting hit by a cab, bus, or biker), and eating baked beans for breakfast. I think having 3 months here allows for little moments of learning to ease the transition process—I’ve loved every second!
My favorite meal: Pie and Mash at the Coach and Horses pub in Greenwich