Each morning, Diane Leija, ’12 business administration, walks 15 minutes from the Tower Bridge near London’s financial district to a train station, where she hitches a ride to the London borough of Enfield.
“[In London], everyone walks fast, so don’t be surprised to see people wearing walking shoes with slacks and business attire,” Leija said. “You literally hit the ground running when you get here.”
Leija is one of four students participating this winter in the Thompson Global Internship Program, designed to offer College of Business students the opportunity to live abroad while working on a project for Crown Worldwide Group, founded by alumnus Jim Thompson, ’62 aeronautical engineering.
This winter’s group brings to 43 the total number of students who have participated in this unique program since its inception in late 2009.
As a marketing research intern, Leija is applying her two-semester experience in the College of Business Gary J. Sbona Honors Program to complete research for Thompson Global entitled “Market and Competitive Analysis for the Records Management Industry.”
“I get to access the threats and strengths of competitors and look at the different angles of dissecting a company,” Leija said.
Besides learning to work in the real world with real companies that have real problems, Leija has appreciated working with people from different cultures and seeing how they interact.
“The world is in London. There are people form Africa, Asia and other parts of Europe,” Leija said. “If you think Silicon Valley is diverse, you should see this!”
The 13-day internship concludes next week, but Leija plans to extend her trip to visit Paris and Rome. She is a Hollister native and first-generation college graduate.
A business major with a concentration in corporate financial management, Leija also accepted a position at Ernst & Young and plans to pursue CPA certification this year.