During my wonderful time abroad I was able to grow as a person, as a student, and as a traveler. I hit a couple learning curves, including the loss of my cell phone, but I would do it all over again if it meant I would meet all of my new friends and experience life in Spain the way I did. The program was very accommodating to their students and we were able to go on trips and explore the city with them as well. Some of the other students in my program have become some of my best friends and we have already planned a reunion soon. They inspired me to continue to travel as often as I can.
Within the residence I stayed at, Spanish students were finishing up their semesters and we got to be with them for their stressful finals. Specifically my friend Elena, who taught me how different our universities were. I got to experience her home life as well as meeting all of her friends. This reassured me that I will always have a place to stay and people to see in Barcelona when I choose to visit again.
When it came to my internship, it was a mostly remote position that focused on the social media management of La Casa Del Alcalde, a clothing agency. When I was able to visit the office I could see the aesthetic I was trying to portray online. The showroom is located in the residence of the Mayor of Barcelona, Bosch i Alsina, at the end of the 19th century. To say it was beautiful would be an understatement. Plaça de Catalunya is a big square in central Barcelona that is often regarded as the city’s heart and the meeting point of the historic capital and the 19th-century Eixample. It also has the best clothing stores, high end restaurants, and beautiful buildings. My boss, Cali, often travels around Europe in search of the best brands to bring to Spain. It is a thorough selection process and I helped by finding the stores on social media. My supervisor was able to create a schedule that allowed for me to see what I had to do every day. I had to turn in an Excel spreadsheet every day that helped her see what social media followers she has in common with other clothing agencies. We also had a schedule for what we posted on the Instagram page, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. These days I had to design Instagram stories that went along with the three posts I published. I tended to do these a week ahead. My supervisor’s main goal was for the people that she follows to follow her back. This allows for her followers to grow in the correct way. The followers gained are either future clients or brands that would help further the company.
Overall, my experience abroad was life changing. I learned so much about myself and my future career as well. I believe that after my graduation I will try to not limit my job search in the United States and will expand to Barcelona.
Malena Martinez is majoring in Communication and spent Summer 2021 interning in Barcelona, Spain through CIEE. Malena had the following to say about study abroad, “Life is not meant to be lived in one place. The experiences you learn from travelling are unmatched and will always make you a more interesting person. Making connections worldwide will help you succeed in your career but more importantly it will help you succeed as a person.”
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