Want to know the secrets to having a successful internship? Grace gathers advice from her fellow CAPA Barcelona interns and shares what you need to know about socializing with your coworkers, staying on top of your work, and being proactive.
P.S. Feel free to pass this along to your friends who plan on interning too!
Taking part in an internship abroad can be a new and exciting experience for most. It can also be stressful and nerve-wracking for many. Whether you’ve participated in an internship before or not, working abroad can be challenging, especially in Spain. As our time abroad winds down, everyone is ready to move on to their next adventure, but not without helping those who come after us first. In this post I’ve compiled tips from some of CAPA’s summer Barcelona interns designed to help you make the most out of your internship.
Socializing with coworkers during a trip to Tossa de Mar.
Ariana, The Nanny Line
“Get to know your coworkers and hang out with them outside work.”
Starting anything new can be scary, especially when you don’t know anyone. On the first day of your internship make sure to introduce yourself and get to know everyone’s names. In Spain, coworkers will often go out for lunch or cocktails after work. Make sure you tag along! While it’s not mandatory you’ll be able to learn something about the people you work with and possibly meet some lifelong friends!
Locals surfing during lunch on a Tuesday.
Maddy, Play The Game
“Be proactive and don’t be afraid to ask questions!! This seriously saved me with my internship. I dreaded going the first two weeks but now throwing myself out there and into the conversations of my coworkers I’m sad to leave!”
Never be afraid to ask questions. Working in a new place and with new people can be intimidating, but if you ask questions you’ll be able to figure out what’s happening early on. If you ever have any questions, make sure you ask someone. Asking questions will also show your coworkers and coordinators that you are excited to be there and want to know about how they operate.
Amber's internship with Women Ambition.
Amber, Women Ambition
“Show up ready to work!”
Spain has a reputation for being laid back. Often you’ll here locals using the phrase, “Trabajamos para vivir, no vivimos para trabajar” while translates to “We work to live, not live to work.” Spaniards are known for arriving late, taking a long lunch, and leaving early. However, while Spain tends to be more relaxed about their work culture, when at work, you are expected to be productive. By arriving ready to get things done, you’ll be able to work efficiently and not have to stress about meeting deadlines.
Getting lunch with coworkers.
And of course, some advice from me!
I interned with the Barcelona Human Rights Film Festival which was an amazing experience. However, one tip I would give any intern is always stay on top of your work. I was fortunate enough to work at home half of the time, but I often found myself putting cultural experiences ahead of my internship work. While you are in a new city and I’m sure you’ll want to explore every crevice of Barcelona, always remember that your internship is important and should always take precedence. Make the most out of your internship and get out of your comfort zone. You’ll never know where you end up!
Wherever you end up, partaking in an internship in Barcelona will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life!
Grace Pyron is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2019, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Global Studies major at Arizona State University, she is studying abroad in Barcelona this semester.
Grace's journey continues all semester long.