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UK Work Exchange Experience

I was part of a four-week exchange program with another accounting firm (Page Kirk) that was based in Nottingham, U.K. I met a lot of really great people on the trip and had some neat experiences immersing myself in another country’s culture. Between the work, the social events, the exploring, and sampling the local pubs, the four weeks flew by in the blink of an eye.



The time of my trip (December) wasn’t during a peak audit season for Page Kirk, where I worked on some tax assignments, accounts testing, and preliminary audit assistance. While this didn’t exactly line up with my typical jobs at Wegner, the underlying accounting was pretty similar with a few tweaks here and there between U.S. and U.K. accounting guidance. I really enjoyed the workplace culture at Page Kirk where nearly everyone came into the office. You could tell that everyone knew everyone in the office and had strong relationships in and outside of work. Another aspect I really appreciated was that most employees were consistent in sticking to a 40-hour work week which isn’t always easy to do in public accounting. They also really valued their lunchtime and took a true “lunch hour” each day. I am guilty of eating at my desk while I work where it was nice to be forced to take a break during the day at Page Kirk. This is something I want to be more intentional trying to do back in the States.



If I was planning a trip to Europe, I probably wouldn’t have pictured the U.K. as being my first choice for a destination but I actually really enjoyed Nottingham. The city had Madison vibes (300K+ population) lots of great local eateries and a fun downtown. It is hard to pinpoint a favorite meal, but what I liked the most in general was going to the local pubs and trying the different brews and appetizers (I did miss my Wisconsin cheese curds though). There was even one pub I went to that was built into the walls of an old cave. Not having a vehicle, something I really appreciated about Nottingham was how convenient the public transit was. I was easily able to get by via tram, bus, or walking and was never more than a few minutes to the nearest stop. The city was well decorated for the holidays and even had a Christmas market right in the center. Whether it was out at a pub, at the market, or just walking around, there were always lots of people out and about similar to what you’d expect in downtown Madison.


Social Events and People

Page Kirk kept me busy with a lot of employee-organized activities while I was in Nottingham. Among my activities were a hockey game, a rugby match, a poetry reading, a cave tour, and more. I was also super fortunate to be able to attend a Premier League football (soccer) match for Nottingham’s team, the Forest. I never watched much soccer in the States, but as a sports fanatic, it was really neat to be able to see the country’s top league in person. I thought people in the States took their sports seriously, but soccer fans in the U.K. took it to a whole new level. It was an amazing atmosphere. Something I thought I would miss while in the U.K. was the NFL, but it was actually more popular overseas than I had thought. A lot of the co-workers I got along with all had an NFL team that they’d root for. Everyone at Page Kirk was so welcoming and willing to show me a good time. I hope I can keep those connections as the years go on because I definitely plan to return to Nottingham at some point.



There was a weekend that Page Kirk left open on my schedule so that I could travel the county a bit. It worked out for my girlfriend to come visit for the last week of my stay and on my free weekend, we took a train to London. London was an amazing city and extremely busy. Once midday came around, the sidewalks were packed. We only had a couple of days in London so we checked off as many of the stereotypical tourist boxes as we could including a double-decker bus tour, Big Ben, the London Eye, and Buckingham Palace. For both of us, the highlight of the London trip was afternoon tea. We went to a hotel that offered an afternoon tea package on their menu and we got to sample a bunch of teas along with delicious finger foods and desserts.


Heading Home and Takeaways

It was tough to say goodbye, but all good things must come to an end. I had an amazing experience and felt like I learned a lot from the trip that I can apply to my job at Wegner and took a lot away from the U.K. culture. Something that has stuck with me so far is the love of tea. I had never really drunk it before the trip but now I am hooked. Thank you to Wegner for the opportunity to go on the trip and thanks to everyone at Page Kirk for making it such a memorable experience.

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