Week 8

It’s my last week in London, which means it’s my last week as a market research intern at Hubbub.

My last week brought great success in my crowdfunding campaign for the Malala Fund. With the help of family and friends and my coworkers, I was able to raise $264! I am really excited! That’s almost 9 times what I had originally set out to raise, which was 30 dollars. Thank you so much to everyone that donated!

Since I’ve been wrapping up my research and projects, I don’t really have a lot of updates to tell you, but you can expect a reflection piece from me later in the summer with an overall post on the summer. It’s been great, and I can’t imagine being anywhere else. I have my final meeting with Jon tomorrow, which would normally bring a (!) but really is the sad face emojicon. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Last weekend, we did something I have been looking forward to SINCE FOREVER. (Don’t tell my boss but one of the reasons I took this job was because it was in London. DO YOU KNOW WHAT WAS FILMED IN LONDON? Harry Potter) We went to the studio, which is not actually in London because it’s an hour and a half away and if we were in NYC, we’d be in New Jersey. Distance aside, it was one of the best days I’ve had in London thus far. Harry Potter would be 37 years old now, as his birthday was a day after we visited the studio. I owe so much of who I am to a bushy haired girl named Hermione who never backed away from a challenge, and who valued knowledge over everything else. Going to the studio was a dream come true.

We also went to the Churchill War Rooms, which are surprisingly not as deep underground as I thought they’d be.

And now, pictures!

Week 7

I can’t believe there’s only one week left. It feels like both forever and a blink of an eye have passed since I’ve been here. I’m wrapping things up at my internship and wanted to update you guys since yesterday, when I launched my Malala Fund project. In a little over a day, I’ve raised 91 dollars! The campaign still has 6 days to go, so if you want to donate money, please feel free to!

Otherwise, here at work I’ve been meeting with team members to give them my research and sharing it so they can use it when I’m gone. It’s so weird to not be able to jump onto the next project because I won’t be able to finish it. I’ve been enjoying being in the office.

Last weekend, I went to Buckingham Palace. That trip was one of two planned WAY before I even landed in London, back when I was taking my finals maybe 3 months ago now. The Buckingham Palace is only open 2 months out of the year, and though we were told to only do the state rooms, I couldn’t be in London without doing the whole thing. We did the Royal Day Out, which included access to the stables and the queen’s art collection. I’ve recently had a very hard time choosing between Paris and Venice for study abroad in the Spring, and the queen’s art collection helped me see the city of Venice through an artist’s eye. It didn’t make choosing any easier.

The state rooms took my breath away, because there is so much history within those walls. It was amazing to be able to stand in the dining hall that are the backdrop to so many important meetings between world leaders. Sadly, we couldn’t take photos inside the palace, but I hope to one day be back as an invited palace guest and an American diplomat! We finished our Royal Day Out by going to Afternoon Tea. The scones were my favorite part.

Sunday, we went to Oxford. Although it was a lovely town, and our punting experience was wonderful, I am glad I never finish sending in my Oxbridge application. We had finished the whole town before 5pm, and I was super glad we were going back to London. It was a bit too quiet and a bit too touristy at the same time.

Week 6

It’s been a crazy week, so much so that yesterday I feel asleep right after work and Abbey woke me up because she was worried that I was sleeping so early. Turns out, I was just really exhausted.

Work has been working on bits and pieces of projects, and alternating between research, more research and crowdfunding. I’ve gotten to sit in on meetings where the Hubbub team evaluates their value propositions, and have once again been able to use my research to back up any claims that I make during the meeting.

Since I am now looking into the US Higher education market, it’s been interesting to see how everything ties together. Before I started working at Hubbub, the only giving campaign I knew was Columbia’s. Now, I can tell you which universities are using the same platform, and how I was able to tell that they’re the same. I’ve been in conversation with the US market because that’s where Hubbub wants to go next, and as a product of US higher education, I can see things differently. I think universities have crowdfunding platforms because there are an abundance of student projects that require funding, and having other backers makes it easier to figure out whether or not the project will succeed. From there, universities can see which projects to give funds to.

Crowdfunding has been around since the time of the Statue of Liberty but it’s still an  interesting concept, even to someone who is currently in the process of wrapping up a crowdfunding pitch on Hubbub. I’ve seen what rewards other students and universities give for donating, but had trouble coming up with my own. I thought I knew how I wanted my video to look, before I realized I have very limited video editing skills and a very short time frame. I also didn’t count on how cold it is to film in London in July. All of this is part of one project, but it ties in so many things together.

My other project, which entails understanding the US higher education market, means looking at what American universities are doing. To start, I had to look at the US News rankings, because part of the ranking is determined by participation rates. That’s where I started my research and though I knew that the top ranked schools are some of the most expensive, the numbers kept surprising me because they’re so unbelievably in comparison to the UK higher education market. I had a whole conversation with Jon about why that was and I still doesn’t understand. I don’t think I ever will understand why college is so expensive.

On another note, London just keeps getting better. Since my friends were out of town last weekend, I went exploring by myself, which meant, like the good nerd I am, I ended up at the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum. For the first time in ages, I felt like a little kid going to Disney for the first time. Some of the exhibits took my breath away, and I spent all day in awe, reading and learning and pretending to be a kid again. And then Karen dragged me out at night even though I had spent the whole day walking. We went to Duck and Waffle and watched the London skyline at night. On Sunday, we went to the Tower of London and calculated that we would take 2 hours there. We lied, it took the whole day and we missed the Wimbledon finale but it was super fun. Karen and I had a very interesting conversation about the hype around the Crown Jewels, but they were very nice to look at. I definitely recommend taking the Beefeater tour, it’s worth it.  

I finally got to meet my mentor! She’s super nice and super accomplished and I am already so proud of her. She’s doing two MBAs, one from Columbia and one in London. She travels a lot, which is why it has been so hard to meet, but she’s someone who’s worked very hard and has seen a lot and has very good insight and advice. She’s super encouraging too! I didn’t get a picture because I was so not put together but I will definitely try to get one before I leave.

 

I will upload photos later!

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 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!