A Blog Abroad: Part 1 of the Series

09/09/13   |  
Julia Pankiewicz

In July of this year, I hopped across the pond to work at PlattForm’s office in Coventry, U.K. (formerly MJD Consultancy). I am beyond excited to finally live out one of my dreams, which was to live abroad and be able to travel the world.

(Side note - Coventry is not to be confused with London. Yes, it is close by, but in the same way, Lenexa is close to Chicago. I don’t live in London, but I appreciate all the people who tell me they are very jealous I live in London now and can see Will, Kate, baby George and the Queen every day.)
I’ve now been in Coventry for over a month, and my time here has been nothing short of amazing. In this time, I managed to break nearly every appliance in my flat and learned how to fix each one, only after a detailed reading of the owner’s manual. I am still not used to traffic moving on the left and resist the urge to scream every time I’m in a car flying down the narrow, windy roads. I began a passionate love affair with British chocolate that lasted until a couple of weeks ago, when I had to break up with it forever. 
For some reason, my colleagues in the U.K. office laugh every time I say the words “yogurt” or “leisure.” I haven’t quite figured out why yet. The oddest thing is that from day one, I felt like a part of the U.K. team. There was very little ”new girl” adjustment. People keep asking me if I feel homesick or if I feel out of sorts. Aside from an insatiable craving for some real Mexican food (a tiny jar of Old El Paso salsa runs about $5), and not being able to see family and friends on a daily basis, Coventry and the PlattForm office here have felt like home from day one. 
Upon reflection, it makes total sense why I feel this way. Working at the U.K. office is like taking a step back in time to relive my first days at the U.S. office in the summer of 2001. Happy hours involve the whole company. Everyone knows each other’s names and can snuggly fit in the office’s conference room. And equally as important, a staff of people committed totally to their client’s success. They not only know about each client’s unique challenges and opportunities but care about the people they work with and are concerned about their well-being.  
Being able to work at the U.K. office is very exciting. PlattForm has very ambitious plans to grow internationally and help educational institutions the world over recruit students from all corners of the globe. In particular, expanding and perfecting the digital media suite of offerings for our clients is a major focus and one I am thrilled to play a part.