A Blog Abroad Part 2: Stateside

12/18/13   |  
Julia Pankiewicz

Greetings from this side of the pond! While I am still managing SEO and PPC campaigns for PlattForm’s clients and loving it, I am currently back in the United States, waiting  for the UK to approve my visa. And just in case the UK Border Agency is reading this, I would like to emphasize that I am still being paid by my U.S. company, healthy, paying taxes, and of excellent moral character.

The last several months have been a blur. While in the UK this past September, I was lucky enough to attend my first European conferences. PlattForm UK was represented at the CASE conference in Manchester UK, and at EAIE in Istanbul, Turkey. At both conferences, PlattForm was able to meet dozens of universities throughout the world and talk to them about their needs and how we can help. We also got to touch base face-to-face with our existing clients. At the Istanbul conference, Client Relationship Director Emma Ward chaired a panel with a packed audience about the impact of rising tuition fees on student recruitment. Seeing several familiar faces was nice, and stories were exchanged throughout the conference about the beauty of the Grand Bazaar and Blue Mosque, as well as the presence of rioters and tear gas in Taksim Square and the insanity of Turkish cab drivers.

Julia at the Hagia Sophia            Julia inside the Hagia Sophia         

I was back in the UK more recently for a week in October to volunteer at one of the UK office’s biggest events, The Student World fairs in London and Manchester. The Student World hosts fairs throughout the UK, pairing students who are interested in studying abroad with various universities from across the world. The London fair was held at the world famous Emirates Stadium, where the football (soccer) club Arsenal plays. The sheer size of the stadium was quite breath taking, as was all the professionally preserved memorabilia hanging in every corner. For eight hours straight, students came streaming through the doors to learn more about studying abroad. Parents were there as well, including one in particular who heard my American accent and asked if I could help get her son into MIT.

The lease on my apartment in Kansas City ran out at the end of October, and I am back in my hometown of St. Joseph, MO camping out at my parent’s house while waiting for my visa to be approved. While I miss the UK’s chocolate bars and jacket potatoes, I am getting my fill of Mexican food and letting my mom spoil me with fresh coffee refills while I work. If all goes well, I will arrive back in the UK in February 2014. I am very anxious to see all my co-workers in the UK and can’t wait to be a part of PlattForm UK’s growing process!