Week 5

It’s been a really long week. I keep thinking I’m forgetting things when I write my blog post but alas, time goes by differently when you’re in London. I keep being reminded of a poem that I read before I got here, something along the lines of how I was going to hate how time flies, because I wanted to stay in the moment so much. I want to stay in these moments – at work, at the flat, at South Bank – so much.

It’s about that time in the summer where we’re all asking ourselves where all the time went. And in retrospect (and looking forward) we’ve done so much, but we haven’t done it all. I guess time really is tricky.

I guess now is where I tell you about work! Work is research right now, moving towards a market that I understand somewhat but not overall. It’s a bit hard because while things at Hubbub in the nonprofit sector are moving forward, I’m still playing catch up in certain aspects. For example, I sat down in a meeting with someone well-versed in nonprofits, and had to learn the different terms between public and private schools in the U.K. Interestingly enough, British public schools are private. Which is fun when grammar schools are usually public. It’s these type of moments where I remember that I am an just an intern, and that the company had a history before me and that I won’t be present for the exciting things that are going to happen in the very near future. I am nowhere near a digital fundraising expert the way Jon is, but I’ve learned quite a bit. And I am excited to help the company expand.

My next project at Hubbub (which I just found out about today) involves using their crowdfunding platform (hubbub.org) to raise funds for a charity of my choice. I’ve chosen the Malala Fund because of their work in furthering girl’s educations around the world. The project is meant to help point out where the platform could be improved and meant to train me in customer support. The idea is that I will be able to use the platform to successfully run a campaign, and in turn, teach others how to run one of their own. The project is obviously smaller scale than the ones that Hubbub traditionally does, but I am excited to carry it through. The Malala Fund is a cause I truly believe in, because I believe every girl should have the opportunities that education has given me. I believe education is a fundamental human right, so with this project, I get to both sponsor a cause I believe in, and help Hubbub. I’ll be working on setting up a “project” in the next week or so and will post it here when it goes live, so keep an eye out for it!

One really cool thing I did this week was look at a competitor and its recent acquisitions. I had to do some digging to find their annual turnovers before I realized companies all have their turnovers on public databases. It’s really interesting to see how the market overall operates, and I’m glad that was a bit of my research this week.

I guess now I can tell you what I did this week.

So to start off, on Thursday, Minh messaged our group asking if anyone wanted rush tickets to Les Mis. As a big fan of cheap seats to very expensive events,I of course agreed to go. Best choice ever. During the weekend, we went to the Victoria & Albert museum (and stumbled upon Pride on the way there), Hyde Park (where the Killers were set to perform at 9pm), Camden Lock Market (before the fire) and the National Gallery. The fire shocked us all on Monday morning when we read the news. And then on Monday, we went to our first pub quiz night, where the first answer was “Despacito” and we probably should have slowed our confidence after that, because we didn’t really know anything past the third category. But it was super fun and I’m looking forward to the next one! On Tuesday night, Hubbub celebrated it’s 6th birthday party at a bowling alley, where I learned that I hold a bowling ball wrong and that bowling lanes in the U.K are shorter (and smaller). I’m still waiting for proof on that though, so I will get back to you. The food was great and it was really cool to hang out with my coworkers outside of work! Happy birthday Hubbub!


Week 4

This week’s update will be very short because the last one was so long!

My presentation went amazing! I was very nervous but like I told one of my coworkers, you fake it until you make it. Of course I knew what I was talking about, but I was super worried I was going to forget a number or the name of a potential partner or what language that market spoke. Thankfully, none of that happened and my coworkers were all very encouraging. And the ones who didn’t get to see have a recording.

My next project is applying that same methodology to a market that isn’t as new but even more valuable: UK and US HE. These are markets Hubbub knows well, but growth is never a bad thing. I am here to look at new possibilities, and I can’t wait to see what my next presentation looks like.

I’lll upload some pictures about what I’ve been doing since Tuesday, but honestly, I’ve just been catching up on sleep and Netflix, so this blog post won’t be as fun as the rest. But, I’ve been here for four weeks, and they’ve been the best four weeks of my life so far!


Week 3

I realize I forgot to update you guys on Thursday, but here is my post.

1 day until my really big presentation, and I had a last-minute run-through with the US branch last Friday.

Prepping for this presentation is very much a big deal at my internship right now. Jon, my supervisor, has been very supportive and answers everything I ask him. But the presentation is all on me. I need to know all the information and be prepared for any questions, but also figure out how to lead a group of people with vast fundraising knowledge through a presentation on a possible new fundraising market. Jon told me to be ready to have the room light up with questions and comments, and to be able at the same time to maintain their attention on my whole presentation as a whole, rather than specific parts.

To that end, the outline of my presentation has changed maybe 10 times by now, with the gold, silver and platinum opportunities all switching places according to what Jon and I feel is most vitale and more importantly, more interesting.

I presented my run-through to a digital fundraising specialist based in the United States who’s missing my presentation because of one of the few American bank holidays, the Fourth of July. According to Jon, he was very impressed.

It’s nerve wracking that there will be 15 people present for my presentation, and that some will call in. Not only do I have to worry about the people in the room, but also the people who can’t see me. I’m excited to see how it’s going to go! It’s really cool to have this opportunity as an intern because it makes me a valuable part of the team and of the company as it goes forward and expands. And though I know Jon is excited to see how it all comes together, I’m excited to see how it comes together and what (if hopefully) it affects within the company.

I’ve also been doing some social media work and shadowing the marketing team, as well as talking to the business development team to see how they bring all the ongoing projects together and recruit (or acquire) new ones.

During this week, the interns all got together for dinner! It was very fun and the food was amazing.

Scariest thing thus far though was getting evacuated from King’s Cross, but life moves on. I missed my meeting with my mentor and now she’s out of the country but I’m looking forward to meeting her next week. I also forgot to mention we went to Stonehenge and Bath. Bath was super nice, Stonehenge was very underwhelming. 

Last weekend, I decided to leave London. Abbey and I went to Paris for a grand total of maybe 28 hours, but we saw everything we could and slept very little. With two years of Columbia french under my belt, I was able to get us free museum admissions to the Louvre and the Holy Chapel, which meant that we had more money to spend on crepes, macaroons and croissants.

Paris has been a dream for so long that seeing it in person somehow still feels like a dream. I’m still waiting to wake up one day back in Miami and realized that I’ve dreamt up this whole experience. I can’t put into words how wonderful Paris was, even as we were running around all day in the rain. There are songs that speak to how “belle” Paris is, how romantic the city is. Let me tell you, Paris is all of that and so much more. I can’t wait to go. Honestly, there is nothing like midnight in Paris.

I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed my trip.

Now, it’s time to prepare for my presentation! Wish me luck!


Week 2

First full week of work is done. I wanted to save the second blog post for talking about what I’m doing at Hubbub, which provides digital fundraising solutions for non profit organizations and universities. It’s the company in charge of running Giving Day campaigns for universities and hosts a crowdfunding platform for projects. Just look at what they did for SOAS and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

It’s been an eventful full first week since my last blog post.

I am a Market Research intern, which means I get to look at viable markets that Hubbub could one day potentially expand into. This is not as easy as it sounds, for there are hundreds of markets, each doing their own individual thing. My task for the week has been to look at these potential markets and evaluate whether or not Hubbub should target them. That means coming up with Business models, which are interesting to fill out.

I wish I could tell you everything that’s been going on in this office. After a big surprise on Monday, I started my second week with a better idea of how a startup works. The startup culture means Jon, the CEO, wears a shirt making fun of covefe and asks his interns if Trump really is an American president. And though he sits right across from me, and smiles when something funny happens, he’s intently running a company. And Joshua, the financial director, is right next to him working. It’s really cool to see the CEO as someone I can interupt when I have a question.

Jon challenged me with this research, but has also allowed me to venture away from it. I got to sit in on marketing meetings, learning about the state of the UK higher education market and future projects. Though my research in the first week meant a lot of external research – emailing potential customers and finding out what they are currently using – this week, there’s been a turn on the internal side. I have to ask the people on the Hubbub team to put what they know to the test to help me create a new business model. It’s been interesting to see the different responses and also to see how willing people are to help me. I’m learning about value propositions from people who have done this time of things before. Sometime next week I’ll present my findings to the company, so I’ll keep you updated!

And in other news, London has taken my breath away. I hope you enjoy the folllowing photos as much as I enjoyed taking them!

Week 1

I keep thinking that I’m not actually here. That it’s all a dream and I’ll wake up really soon and be back home, wondering how I could have dreamt this up.

But here I am. In London, living and working for the summer.

A while back, I got two job offers from companies in London. I didn’t think it’d actually happen – there were was a visa and a flight to consider, and looking towards the summer when I hadn’t even taken finals was a lot.

But it’s been probably the craziest week of my life thus far, and I wouldn’t change it for anything else.

And it started with this:

Vlad, Karen and I after very long flights, waiting for an Uber that was driving on the wrong side of the road.

As part of the CEO London program, all the interns – and there are 9 of us – live near each other, some in the same flat. That means that you should expect more pictures like this:

Dinner at a Pub with the CEO interns

And though I was jet lagged and tired, I think I could have stayed at dinner laughing with the other interns. But the next morning had more in store for me.

Tiffany and I decided to go to the British Museum.

And the next day we did something I’ve been dreaming of forever:

We closed the weekend with the Columbia Alumni Network




And my first day of work with Hubbub was amazing! Here’s the CEO, my supervisor, enjoying a late birthday cake:

I did ask to take this photo, and my desk is across his!

Finally, we played tribute to one of my favorite childhood memories.