Alumni Spotlight: Alexandra Smith


I quote movies way too much.

Alexandra Smith interned for Premier during her summer internship in London 2016. She is currently a senior and a screenwriting major attending California State University Northridge and planning on going back to London after she graduates.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because I knew I wanted to go to London to strengthen my experience for my resume and ISA offered the best possibilities. London is one of the leading entertainment cities in the world and what better than to have experienced work in both LA and London.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?\4>

My program provider assisted me with getting accustomed to the tube. They gave all of us interns maps of tube routes, bus routes, and maps and booklets of things to do in London as well. I'm a person who has a very good sense of direction so getting used to where everything was in the city only took me a day or two.

My program provider also had a couple fun trips planned for the interns and students studying abroad in London.

I was only able to go on one of the provided trips due to interference with my internship. The program took us on a day trip to the cliffs of Dover and Canterbury. We got a peek into some interesting historical facts and explore a bit on our own.

Some trips I planned myself were to Brighton, Cambridge, and Dublin, Ireland. I also went on a tour on the last day I was overseas and went to Baths and Stonehenge.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

I really wish I would've started hanging out with my coworkers sooner. I was surrounded by an amazing group of people and my shyness in this new city prevented me from going out to places with them until about halfway through the internship. I still keep in contact with them but I wish I had spent more time with them.

My advice to you is to take advantage within the first week and ask your coworkers to show you around or take you to the cool local places around your work at lunch time or after.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

As an intern an average week was essentially a Monday-Thursday 9:30-6. Sometimes you would need to show up to work earlier for a shoot and sometimes you would leave an hour early because nothing was going on that day. Occasionally, you would be called in on a Friday. Your internship would, of course, let you know in advance because they do want you to travel the city and have fun outside of work as well but you will have traveled there for an internship so that's priority.

After work, going to get a drink from the pub or going to some event such as the Taste of London or the Ice Bar was something to do before the sun went down (9:30pm). On most Fridays and every weekend was the time to explore the city and places around the city. The smartest thing to do is leave the first weekend free to explore the city, maybe go to Camden Market, Portobello Market, really any market. All of the markets are known for different things, whether it's food, flowers, or vintage antiques.

Visiting museums on weekends is a great thing to do as well. There are so many free museums around the city, there's no going wrong. Afternoon tea is a must. I honestly had it everyday. Not only on the weekends. Visit Camden, SoHo, and Shoreditch. Shoreditch has a lot of really cool street art but it also has a fun night scene.Visiting historical sites or taking guided tours around the city is also a perfect thing to do on the weekend, no matter rain or shine.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it and/or how did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear going abroad was not knowing the city well enough. I was originally afraid that if I did somehow get lost at night, I wouldn't know how to get back. However, the transportation system was amazing and no matter how late you stay out, there's always a way back. And it was so easy to figure out! Even someone who is horrible with directions will be able to get around easily.

What are some great local places to go to? Maybe a place where tourists wouldn't know...

By my internship, there was an intersection called the seven dial, where seven streets intersected. Near that, there are a bunch of food places and shops. One of my favorite places to go to was this little nook between the buildings called Neal's Yard. They are colorful buildings with lights all around.

They had a pizza place, coffee, vegetarian food, Italian food, and Moroccan food. I also recommend going to every market you can find. Especially Camden Market. Camden Market has clothes and amazing food options. There even a cereal cafe hidden in the back by the Rave store.