Charley Thiel is a recent UGA graduate and former member of the UGA Equestrian team. She had the opportunity to study abroad and participate in an internship in London, England.
This past summer, I was I was hired as an intern at Alton-‐Brooke©, a textile distributor, in the heart of London, England. This program was facilitated though American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS) while running concurrently with UGA’s London Study Abroad Program. I was fortunate enough to be able earn course credit towards my degree, furnishings and Interiors, while also completing my internship, all on this six week trip to Europe. I worked at my internship Monday and Tuesday, because the other five days of the week were reserved for British culture classes and sightseeing.
I was an assistant sales associate at the prestigious Chelsea Harbour Design Centre and joined a well renowned Textile Firm. This tight knit group of employees included three men and one other woman that ran an internationally successful design business. My duties included, carefully selecting and selling and high-‐end fabric, rugs, and wall coverings, stacking and organizing shelves and maintaining the showroom. I promoted online sales and expanded their career network by updating their social media (Instagram & Facebook) and working directly with high profile clients and interior designers.
My dress code was business casual-‐jacket required, which I became very fond of. I began to understand the importance of looking sharp and professional at all times. During my internship, I became “an asset” to the small team and was asked to come back and continue working full time at the completion of the internship. I learned an incredible amount about the business side of Interior Design and earned excellent reviews from my colleagues.
I thoroughly enjoyed going to work each day and I am forever grateful to UGA Athletics, The Georgia Way and Leigh Futch for allowing me to earn scholarships from the Leadership Grant program for my internship as well as my study abroad. The knowledge and experience that I gained from this opportunity is invaluable and I feel more prepared than ever to enter into the professional workplace, thanks to this program.