Miranda Martinez is a Business Management and Entrepreneurship double major set to graduate in May 2020. This summer she interned for Gasol Foundation in Barcelona, Spain.
If you worked on a big project during your internship, please describe what you did to help.
One big project I worked on during my internship was a crowd sourced fundraising campaign through an online platform called Global Giving. For this project, I was tasked with creating a campaign using the website to be approved for the fundraising platform. This required me to do extensive research on the work of the foundation to effectively communicate our mission to raise funds. Ultimately, this was a very educational and rewarding experience!
What did you find most challenging about your internship?
The most challenging aspect of my internship was learning to adapt to the cultural differences. The main cultural difference that posed a challenge was the use of different languages in the office. Despite my advanced understanding of Spanish, Catalan was the dominant language used in the office, which often left me feeling confused because I did not understand the language. Further, many of my coworkers had a limited understanding of English, which at times made it difficult to communicate my message.
What advice do you have for other students that are also considering interning abroad?
For any students who are hesitant about doing an internship abroad, my best advice is to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and do it! I too was hesitant and nervous about living and working in a foreign country for two months, but it was one of the best experiences of my entire life and a summer I will remember forever. Not only did I grow professionally, but I also matured personally and culturally. Professionally, I learned the importance of intercultural communication and teamwork in the workplace. Not only did this include verbal communication through a significant language barrier, but also entailed learning to understand how different cultures impact the workplace. Personally, I met new friends and had the opportunity to participate in an extremely experiential, rewarding, and unique program.
How did Eller (or your previous coursework) prepare you for your internship?
My previous coursework throughout Eller prepared me for success in my internship by teaching me the importance of professionalism, teamwork, and interpersonal communication. Firstly, though many Spanish companies are far more relaxed than those in the United States, my company appreciated the professionalism in my attitude, dress, and work. Teamwork and interpersonal communication were important aspects of my global internship because they were required to complete most tasks. Many of my projects included producing work in English, Spanish, and Catalan, which required me to collaborate with my coworkers to ensure high quality and correct work was produced. This also forced me to be an effective communicator to ensure were all on the same page, despite working with a language barrier.