We’re Home!

Greetings! We made it back to the USA yesterday from London, so this will be the last blog for the trip. Monday we visited Edelman and the British-American Business Council. Edelman is a PR firm that puts together commercials, press releases, and other publications for companies such as Taco Bell, Shell, Linkedin, and KFC. Perhaps most impressive was the office space which was an open design with a subsidized restaurant, kitchens, and plenty of collaborative open spaces. The British-American Business Council works with the US Embassy in London and the British Parliament to ensure business policies are passed to protect the interests of American businesses.

Yesterday, we packed up and headed out at 8:00am for a long day of travel. I was certainly sad to leave London, but everyone on the trip seemed to share my excitement for returning to the States and preparing to go back to Denison. I’m including some photos of the group below as a bit of a highlight real. Thanks to everyone who read my blog posts and supported the Global Commerce program! It was truly an incredible experience.

Catching Up with the GC Department

The past two days have been a whirlwind of fun and excitement — so much so, that I am making up for lost time by combining days 5 and 6 in this blog. On Saturday, we had the opportunity to hear from a recent alum about her experience working for the Civil Service in England. Her work regulating nuclear threat reporting was extremely pertinent to recent events and was really interesting. The bulk of the day, however, was spent meeting with President Weinberg and many other Denison alums from around Europe in a networking event. From conversing with a Lord about biosimilar regulation by the United Nations to discussing the value of behavioral economics in predictive models for investments, I know I personally learned a lot from the event.

Saturday night and Sunday were a time to relax and enjoy the city at our leisure. This looked different for everyone, but I am including a few pictures below to illustrate some of the fun we had. I enjoyed tea, a walk in Hyde Park, and touring the Wallace Collection art gallery. Others enjoyed Sky Garden, the Tower of London museum, shopping, and of course we all enjoyed eating good food.

Tomorrow is our last day of meetings and business visits. I am sad to see our time in London drawing to an end, but the trip has made me more excited to jump back into the classroom and a routine back at Denison in a week!

Day 4 Exploring London!

Hello! Today we visited Ernst & Young (EY) where Danya El Zein, a Denison alum from 2008, spoke to us about her role as a senior manager. She helps multinational businesses perform mergers and acquisitions and offered some insights about how to use a liberal arts education in the workplace. This visit was extra special as President Weinberg sat in on our session after arriving in London earlier in the week!

Up next, the group walked over Tower Bridge on our way to BPL Global which is an insurance brokerage. From there we got a tour of Lloyd’s of London where about $100 million worth of insurance and reinsurance claims are negotiated every day. Learning about political risk and political violence risk and how claims are formed around such risks was especially interesting to me. The featured photo above is the sunset coming through the windows of the Lloyd’s of London building.

The formal “business” day ended with a dinner at Balan’s Soho Society where we dined with Emilios Kyriacou, the Managing Director Citi Country Officer for Greece, Cyprus & Malta. He is a Denison alum and enjoyed hearing how the university has changed and remained the same over the years since he graduated.

Stay tuned for tomorrow when the real networking begins! Denison alumni are flying in from around Europe to spend an afternoon together.

Day 3!

Today was yet another busy day! We first visited OpCapita where we spoke to Josh Spoerri, the Managing Director, who graduated from Denison in 1993. The meeting was very insightful as we all learned a lot about private equity and business consulting. Of course, the meeting was conducted over tea and coffee! Up next was the London Stock Exchange where we learned about different market indices and share price auctions. The night concluded with seeing ‘Matilda’ performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Throughout the day we also had some free time to explore. I chose to include a few pictures from my own wanderings below. A few of us walked over the Millennium Bridge, saw St. Paul’s Cathedral, and got some gelato making the day one to remember.

Day Two in London

Hello, again! Today was another fun and educational day. This morning we were visited by Chrystal Denys who is a Commercial Specialist for the US Embassy in London. We learned a lot from her about how Brexit will affect businesses throughout the UK and the world as a whole. We then went to Macfarlanes and had lunch with Kelly Koltes who is a Denison alum. She is the Director of Marketing and Business Development and shared about her experience learning how to market legal services to different markets throughout the world.

After our visit to Macfarlanes concluded, we were free to venture forth into London on our own. A group of us took the opportunity to tour the Churchill War Rooms. These rooms formerly housed Sir Winston Churchill, Clementine Churchill, and other British military leaders and their staff in secrecy during the Blitz in London until the conclusion of the war. The night ended with dinner and an evening walk through downtown London where Westminster Abbey and the London Eye could be spotted.

Thank you to everyone who has been reading this blog, please stay tuned as tomorrow is a full day. We will be visiting OpCapita, the London Stock Exchange, and the theatre to watch the production ‘Matilda’. Please enjoy the photos below!

Landing in London

Hello from London! First, I have to preface this post by saying that I have had about three hours of sleep in the last 36 hours, so this might not make sense to anyone save myself. With that being said, yesterday the group met in Washington, D.C. before flying together to London. We left Dulles at 6:30 pm and arrived in Heathrow around 6:30am with a full day ahead of us. A little groggy, we’ve been having a fun time getting acquainted with the city.

Today we checked into our hotel and then went on a walking tour of the city. We learned how to navigate the Tube and saw a lot of tourist sites. We visited Buckingham Palace and saw the Victoria Memorial adjacent. We then walked through St. James Park and saw the London Eye in the distance. Getting hungry, we stopped for lunch at the Covent Garden Market and saw some street performers playing some fun tunes. As if we were not already exhausted, we marched on to the Imperial War Museum where we toured a World War I exhibit and a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. From there, we gave into our grogginess and returned to our hotel for a much-needed nap. The day ended eating North African cuisine at a restaurant with Denison alumni who had a long career as a lawyer for Sotheby’s.

This has indeed been a long day, but as I sign off for the night I am grateful. It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to visit the Queen of England’s residency, hear British accents in surround sound, and spend time with good friends eating good food. That’s a wrap until tomorrow!