The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

Friars take London


A report on a pilot international internship experience that might be part of the future for more Malvern students.

Most Friars enjoyed a conventional Easter Break vacation with travel, time spent with family, or college visits for those ambitious upperclassmen. For Brendan Hallinan and myself, Spring Break was completely different. We found ourselves in another country as part of an international work experience that may be the pilot for a future Malvern program.

The two of us embarked on a journey to London, England on a long flight without any adult supervision or very much legroom. We managed to get through the somewhat cramped flight and were able to deboard. Going through immigration was a new experience, and I guess I don’t really get along too well with all the British customs people, but once we made it through those doors, we were in a foreign land. Right away we heard a familiar Philly accent among all the British noise. Luckily the Malvern brotherhood has made its way all the way to the UK, because we were greeted by our host, Mr. Rob Ceribelli MP ‘84.

Hallinan and DiSipio in London

This trip to London and the Malvern connection wasn’t just a spontaneous coincidence. It had in fact been a product of months of careful planning by Mr. Talbot, Mrs. Snyder, our parents, and Mr. Ceribelli. In late autumn Mr. Talbot had contacted Brendan and me to propose this experience to us. We would travel to London, live with the family of a Malvern alum, and go to work with him. We would be the guinea pigs in what may become a new program at Malvern. Brendan and I, both very excited and grateful for the opportunity, accepted the offer and prepared for our week of the intern life.

Once we arrived on Saturday morning – London time – we realized that there was a little sleep loss we were not expecting. The Ceribellis, being experienced travelers back and forth to the States, knew this and tried to keep us awake as long as possible to catch up. We spent all Saturday seeing the sights of London such as Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London, and London Bridge. After a tiring day we returned home to be welcomed by the first of many delicious home-cooked meals by Mrs. Ceribelli.

The meals and sightseeing are only two examples of the immense hospitality shown to us by the entire Ceribelli family, including Michael (age 15), Meredith (age 14) and James (age 9). The Ceribellis relocated to London four years ago, when Mr. Ceribelli was asked to run the UK division of the bank he worked for, De Lage Landen (pronounced Duh Log-Uh Lon-done). The family has lived there ever since and has embraced England as a new home, to which they immediately welcomed us.

Because Monday was a bank holiday, Brendan and I experienced our first day of work in asset financing on Tuesday. De Lage Landen (DLL) specializes in offering financing options when a manufacturer such as John Deere sells its tractors to a dealer or a customer. DLL is the company that works out the payment planning and credit approval. Sometimes it operates as an entity of its customers such as John Deere Financial Services, or as a separate organization as DLL.

Brendan and I spent our days in the office rotating between the core departments such as Customer Service, Sales, Credit, Collections, Legal, and Finance. We learned how the departments work together to succeed. Most of DLL’s work is concentrated in Agriculture, Construction, and Industry, but the firm also works with Healthcare, Technology, and Transportation sectors. We saw the everyday work of business in the office, witnessing sales calls, the writing of contracts, and risk assessment of the deals. We even spent one day out of office with a traveling salesman named Simon. We traveled north to central England on two sales calls and then to a meeting with a DLL sales rep who works right in a tractor manufacturer’s office.

Though we enjoyed our time working and learning in the office, we managed to enjoy all aspects of life in London as the Ceribellis would. At nights we would hang out with Mike, Meredith, and James, who were all on break too. We spent long nights playing board games, FIFA, soccer, and basketball. One night during the week, Brendan and I ventured into the city on our own, taking the Tube to visit Brendan’s sister who studies in Scotland. That night, we saw the Globe and experienced the city through the eyes of a Londoner by walking the streets, being around all types of people, and finding our own way home. On our second-to-last night, Mr. Ceribelli took us to a Tottenham- Basel FC “football” match, where I realized Eagles’ fans are not very harsh at all.

This trip was one of the most enjoyable and rewarding trips either of us have ever taken. We got to experience another country as we might study or work abroad in college without losing the comfort of the Malvern community. We also gained a valuable work experience that offered some insight on our future. Our trip was a success, and we can only hope the program continues for future Malvern students. The world may seem like a vast and intimidating place, but through this experience I learned this year’s theme of connections has a lot of truth to it; you may be thousands of miles from home, but you can always fit in and find someone connected to Malvern.

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