My Internship Abroad with King's College Hospital in London
One of the primary reasons I chose to study abroad with CEA CAPA was their international internship component. I figured that having the opportunity to actually intern abroad in a brand-new country, alongside local coworkers, would be a wonderful learning experience and beneficial for me, both as a student and as a professional.
I interned at King’s College Hospital in Denmark Hill, London, with the Quality Improvement (QI) team. King’s is one of the largest and busiest hospitals in London. I’m planning on a career in medicine, so the placement there was perfect—although, initially, I wasn’t thrilled about the team I got placed on. I wasn’t super interested in being on the administrative/quality side of running a hospital, but I decided that I’d be open to a new learning experience.
Part of King's College Hospital.
I’m so grateful I was openminded! My experience with the King’s QI team was wonderful, and I learned so much. Quality Improvement is a huge part of running a successful and welcoming organization, and it touches every person in the hospital—from patients to doctors to other various staff. It was fascinating to learn what QI is, and to see how it’s implemented in a hospital. I gained new skills in Microsoft Suite and data management, and by the end of my six-week internship, I created a massive Quality Improvement database that’ll be implemented and used by QI teams across the UK.
Me in scrubs, about to observe a cardiac surgery!
In addition, my position on this team exposed me to a huge amount of information regarding the NHS. Prior to my placement, I had no real understanding of the NHS—but I can safely say that I gained a lot of knowledge now about it, and about how King’s College Hospital is structured, financed, and run. By being placed in this internship that I never would’ve picked out for myself, I gained an understanding of the crucial behind-the-scenes workload taken on by essential employees of hospitals.
The view of London from the KCH Helipad.
The team itself was also welcoming, helpful, and amenable. They ensured that I got involved in many important projects that interested me, got me into a theater to observe a cardiac bypass operation, and even took me up to the helipad deck on the top of the hospital. They took me out to lunch during my last week, and invited me to a team social during my short time there. The workplace culture in London felt so warm and open, and I relished it.
The QI team out playing a game of darts.
I can’t even begin to express how important it is to go into your study abroad experience with an open mind. I was very nervous about being randomly placed into an internship, and honestly, initially disappointed when it wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for. A Quality Improvement team was never somewhere I would’ve placed myself before this summer abroad, but I truly believe it provided me with experiences and skills that make me a better student, employee, and candidate for future positions, and to sum it up, was so much fun.
Mariam Hassan is an official blogger for Summer ‘23, sharing her story in frequent posts on our blog. A Biology, Society, and Environment major at University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, she's studying and interning abroad in London this semester. All views expressed are her own and may or may not reflect the experiences of other students.
Mariam Hassan is the Content Creator - Blogger.