I experienced beautiful landscapes, historical cities, humorous people and a new work environment during my stay in England from early June to mid-August 2013.
Working life in England
I spent 10 weeks working at SMA UK Ltd as part of my vocational training to become a management assistant in wholesale and foreign trade. The subsidiary is located in Milton Keynes, about 72 km northwest of London.
Milton Keynes may be an industrial city, but it has one of England’s largest shopping centers, an indoor ski slope and an excellent theater, where I saw the musical Cats. And of course, the city is dotted with roundabouts that make driving on the “wrong” side of the road even more of a challenge.
Variety at work
I worked in the Marketing department during my time abroad, including researching the competition, market research, analyzing the SMA websites, handling marketing inquiries, and helping launch a partner program for installers. I was able to use my experience with the Sunny PRO Club to create detailed process descriptions, a database and more when we launched the partner program. Translating German documents into English to facilitate my colleagues’ work was one of my responsibilities.
All of my colleagues were very nice and helpful. Lots of funny things happened at work. Everyone there could say at least a few words or sentences in German, Spanish, French or Polish, therefore, conversations were always very international. Sometimes I went out with my colleagues to a pub or the movies.
Sightseeing and other experiences
I used my free time to explore the country as much as I could. I was able to visit many sights in Cambridge, London, Windsor, Bath and Stratford-upon-Avon, and more, either with my Bulgarian roommate or with visitors from Germany (a number of my relatives took the opportunity to visit me).
Cambridge was a favorite
Visiting Cambridge was one of my favorite parts of the entire stay. The university town is simply breathtaking, and punting on the River Cam was a particular highlight.
In my free time I also took masters swimming lessons at the City of Milton Keynes Swimming Club, which were exhausting but also extremely fun.
How was the weather? Not too bad
Overall, the weather was not as bad as I had expected. In fact it was quite the opposite. Temperatures generally ranged from 23 to 30°C and the newspapers even said that it was the hottest summer in years.
In short: The ten weeks went by far too quickly, and I really look forward to visiting England and SMA UK Ltd again.
If you haven’t been to England, you should do something about that as soon as possible.
Kathrin Becker (guest author)
Kathrin is a management assistant in wholesale and foreign trade trainee.