01 Dec What I Learned at my Madrid Public Relations Internship
Kate from Virginia Tech shares her experience after completing a Madrid Public Relations Internship as one of Absolute Internship's Summer 2017 interns.
Why did you decide to do an internship abroad? How did you choose Madrid?
I wanted to do an internship abroad because I had never had an abroad experience. I was a junior in college when I accepted my internship with Absolute. All of my friends were studying abroad and I knew I wanted that same type of experience before I graduated from college. I chose Madrid because I’ve always wanted to explore Spain. I studied Spanish throughout high school and was eager to learn more about the culture I had read about in school.
Why did you choose Absolute Internship?
I chose Absolute Internship because the program offered me not only new work experience but also, the chance to fully immerse myself into a new culture and way of life. Absolute is unique in the way that the program is unlike typical study abroad programs that may seem more sheltered. While the program was extremely well organized, safe, and structured, I felt like I was truly a resident of the city I was living in for a month- going to work every day and fully becoming part of the culture.
What should students know when they apply to a program?
Students should be prepared to open themselves to new experiences. I didn’t meet the people I would be living with for a month until I landed in the airport in Spain.
Being abroad is all about stepping out of your comfort zone and letting yourself learn from others. Additionally, the other students I met that day in the airport wound up being some of my life-long friends that I still keep in touch with today.
Can you tell us about your internship? What did you do?
I am a Public Relations Major and Business Leadership Minor. Based on that information, the Absolute staff had me interview with several employers, until I found the best fit. I wound up interning at a small PR firm that specialized in fashion, luxury, and lifestyle in Madrid, Spain. I learned how to write and edit press releases, developed social media and network outreach skills, and build effective relationships with clients all while adapting to a new culture.
What was your favorite part of your internship?
My favorite part of the internship was being able to explore new cities with a close group of new friends while learning new things about myself.
Do you think you gained skills in intercultural competence?
Although I studied Spanish in high school, my speaking level is still at a beginner stage. At times, I struggled with this but most of the time, felt that being fully immersed in the Spanish culture only forced me to speak Spanish and improved my speaking skills if anything.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while interning in Madrid and how did you overcome it?
I think my biggest challenge I faced in Madrid was getting used to the slower pace of life there. I found myself often getting frustrated that buses did not run on set schedules, meetings always started later than planned, and not everything was at my disposal the second I needed it like in America. I learned to adapt to this slower pace of life and appreciate the culture more. It made me realize that the American pace of life is much to fast and rushed. I had to realize that these things were not inconveniences or people being rude but just a slower and more observant and appreciative way of life.
What advice would you give to future Absolute Interns?
My advice would be to take the risk and just GO! I learned to trust myself, rely on the kindness of others, appreciate a new culture, and meet new people. The Absolute Internship experience is what you make of it. You get as much out of it as much as you put into it and I highly recommend going because it was a truly one of a kind experience.
What are your future plans?
I am currently a senior at Virginia Tech. I will be graduating in Spring 2018. I am currently in the process of applying for full time jobs after graduation and hope to work in either New York City or Philadelphia at a full time job once I graduate. I hope to keep traveling and learning about new cultures while meeting new people.
Want to intern abroad next summer? Apply to the Absolute Internship Program now!