In this week's post, Maya tells us about her internship with The Food Intelligence in Sant Cugat, Spain, just an easy train ride from Barcelona!
One thing about my study abroad experience that differs from others is my internship. Because the Barcelona program consisted of a smaller group of students, I decided to do an internship so that I would be more immersed into the culture, and meet more locals. I am getting all of this and more at my internship placement! I am working under Jose M. Cobo at The Food Intelligence located in Sant Cugat, Spain.
The beginning stages of my internship were just like applying for a real job. I had to send in my resume and a cover letter to my CAPA advisor, and preference of the type of internship placement I would like to receive. My major is entrepreneurship, and I am very interested in the food industry so they placed me in a company that focuses on just that! One of the main things my supervisor does is consult with small company owners to help them create a business plan that will help their company flourish.
My internship office...yes that is grass on the floor!
His clients are all small businesses that have to do with food and gastronomy. One of his clients is a gastronomy company focused on the science of food and 3D printing edible and nutritious meals. My supervisor, Mr. Cobo is who they called to help them create a business strategy, since they originally did not have one. He is also helping them go through some of the major hiccups in their company to prevent any major issues in the future.
The college my internship office is located, Esade Business School Barcelona
The work culture in Spain is a lot different than that of America, people here are a lot more laid back. Business meetings are more casual and punctuality is not as crucial as it would be in the US. For example, last week we had a meeting scheduled for noon and it did not actually start until about an hour later! They also take lunch time very seriously, that is a time to eat and relax NOT to do work. You will very rarely see someone having lunch at their desk or a laptop in the dining room, when it is time for lunch it is time to put work aside and enjoy food with friends.
The train I take to my internship.
Even though my internship is English speaking, I am of course surrounded by Spanish anytime I am there since many people in the office do not speak English. Some clients only speak Spanish as well so it is a great opportunity for me to practice the language. Unlike in Boston, it is rare that you will find someone driving to work, or really anywhere. Even distinguished people with lots of money take public transportation. Parking garages are expensive and many times inconvenient, so people take the metro (if you work within Barcelona) or the train (if you work outside of the city like I do). It is really interesting seeing the working world and how different the same field of work can be based on the country it is in!
Maya Crawford is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Business Administration major at University of Massachusetts Lowell, she is studying abroad in Barcelona this semester.
Maya's journey continues every Thursday so stay tuned.