If any students are looking for a great internship experience this summer they should follow the example of West Liberty student Jessica Crighton.
Through the Washington Program, Crighton was able to spend her summer in London where she not only gained work experience through a hands-on internship, but she was also able to travel and see the sights of Europe.
The Washington Program is an organization for college students that help them find interactive internships in their areas of study. Some of the cities the program sends students are Washington D.C, London, and Sydney, Australia. Not only do the students get work experience through their internships, but they also get class credit and the experience of spending time learning about the culture of a large (sometimes international) city.
Crighton first heard about the program through her older sister who got an internship through the Washington Program working for XM Sirius radio. Crighton jumped at the chance to spend her summer in London. She began her application process with the help of Beverly Burke, West Liberty’s campus liaison for the Washington Program.
Crighton said, “Bev Burke was a huge help in making the experience happen. She answered all of my questions.”
After spending two weeks in Washington D.C. for orientation Crighton flew out to London where she spent the rest of her summer.
In London, Crighton interned at the Metropolis Group, which is Europe’s largest independent recording company. Metropolis has worked with artists such as Rhianna, Prince, and Alice Cooper.
As a digital media design major, Jessica did a lot of design work while working for Metropolis. She even helped with a cover to a Beatles anthology LP for iTunes and concert posters for new artists.
In addition, she worked with the marketing digital media sales manager, and sometimes she worked in the reception. Once, while answering the phone in reception she surprisingly found that Prince was on the line.
“My coworkers were really great, and they taught me a lot about graphic design. I learned a lot about what clients want and a lot of in-depth information about the music industry. It opened my eyes to a lot of things not offered through classes.”
Crighton’s computer skills were also very helpful during her time at the Metropolis Group. She was already familiar with Adobe programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator, which she used in her daily work, and this impressed her coworkers.
“They love American interns in London because they have great computer and customer service skills,” Crighton said.
Besides interning with the Metropolis Group, Crighton spent much of her time in London taking in the culture of the city and traveling around Europe. The Washington Program housed her in Spittlefield, which is on the East Side of London.
The facility was brand new and she had a view of St. Paul’s Cathedral from her window. Spittlefield is the Indian quarter of London so there were many little shops to tour and delicious Indian food to try. Spittlefield used to be the immigrant quarters of England and there was a lot of multiculturalism in the area.
Crighton said she loved learning about the British culture, and England was her favorite country that she experienced while in Europe.
“The English country side was beautiful. My second favorite country was Scotland because I really liked the castles.” She also traveled to Whales and Paris, France.
“I regret not seeing Jim Morrison’s grave or the catacombs. I am definitely not finished with Paris. I will have to go back.”
While in London, Jessica also was able to attend the premier of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two.” At the movie premier she saw J.K. Rowling, Daniel Ratcliff, Emma Roberts and other stars. As a child who grew up loving Harry Potter she said it was one of the best parts of her trip.
At the end of her summer, the head of digital media at the Metropolis Group told her to keep in touch for employment opportunities in her future. Crighton said she would definitely recommend this experience to any West Liberty student.
Anyone interested in doing an internship through the Washington Program or wants to learn more should contact Beverly Burke at [email protected]