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London Calling: And Away We Go

This post was written by Stephanie Uriostegui, a Sophomore Communications Studies Major at Northwestern University attending the School of Communication’s Global Media & Communications Seminar in London.

It’s been a long finals week fueled by coffee and visions of London, which have helped me stay motivated in writing multiple 8-page papers. Now after almost three months of anticipation, the Global Media and Communication Seminar trip to London is finally here! It’s been a while since I’ve visited London and I am so excited to spend an entire week exploring the city and meeting alumni from the London School of Economics and global communication and media companies.

Last week, the School of Communication’s EPICS Office gave us a pre-departure orientation meeting where we discussed the logistics of the trip and were handed the long awaited itinerary. My classmates and I had a great time getting to know each other and mentally preparing ourselves for the trip in our quarter-long seminar taught by Professor Dilip Gaonkar. In this class, we’ve studied a broad range of topics including global flows, the new dynamics of production and marketing, the new geography of jobs and economic inequality, and the cultural economy. We explored and discussed the complexity of outsourcing trends in globalization and the impact of labor arbitrage. Through an in-depth analysis of successful companies like Amazon and Walmart, we were able to see shifts in the business models of the retail industry. Finally, we wrapped up the quarter by discussing the impact of the freelance or “gig” economy through emerging markets inspired by the Uber business model. Overall, it was fascinating learning about globalization models and trends applied to familiar and useful companies and services we use everyday like Uber, Amazon, and Apple.

Some of the highlights of the itinerary that I can’t wait to experience are the site visits to Google, LinkedIn, and Deloitte, scheduled visits to the Black History Walk and a showing of play Dreamgirls, as well as our lectures at the London School of Economics.

Until then, I will be spending my last night before the trip researching where I can get the best blueberry scones and afternoon tea near my hotel. Now I just hope I will be able to sleep on the plane ride there, but I probably won’t because of feelings of excitement for London and partly from of slight my fear of flying.