Alumni Spotlight: Brent Bitzan

Brent interned in Madrid during the summer of 2013 and is a St. John’s University alumni. Currently, he's starting his career path as a consultant in Minnesota.

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How has this experience impacted your future?

Brent: This experience has impacted my future in many ways. On a personal level I feel like the experience really opened me up to meeting new people and learning about a new culture. It opened me up to a new way of thinking and made me a global citizen. I was able to make many friends from around the world that I still keep in contacted with a year later. It also made me really interested in the Spanish language and I have continued to take classes to try to become fluent.

On a professional level, I cannot say enough about the benefits of the program. I learned a lot about dealing with ambiguity and working in another culture. I was also really able to grow my network and meet tons of people from around the world who are successful and are great contacts to have. In my internship I was able to learn a lot of valuable things that were great to put on my resume. I was able to pull on many strong examples in future interviews that I feel helped me to land my current job.

What is one piece of advice you'd give future The Intern Group students?

Brent: If I could give one piece of advice to future “Intern Madrid” students -- I would say don't be nervous and just be willing to say "yes!" to any and all experiences. If you are willing to put yourself out there and do something out of your comfort zone you will have so many more rewarding experiences and get that much more out your time abroad.

One way I found to do this was meeting and mingling with locals and coworkers. It is a great way to really get to know Spain and Madrid and learn the language. I feel this opens up tons of opportunities for you to explore and really get a feel for what life is like in a different part of the world.


Describe your favorite must-have food that you tried abroad.

Brent: I love food and trying new cuisine. One of my favorite things to do when travelling is to try and taste as much as I can. Having said that, Spain has a ton of amazing food. It is really hard to pick a favorite. Everywhere you go has new things to try and has their own take on classics.

If I had to choose my favorite is a tie between jamón ibérico and croquetas. The jamón is something unique to Spain and seeing the legs in the cafes and restaurants is cool. Croquetas are small bread crumbed rolls that are fried and filled with a creamy filling and come in many different flavors. The jamón ones were my favorite.

Why did you decide to intern abroad with ​​​The Intern Group?

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Brent: After having studied abroad once in Spain and loving it -- I knew I had to go back. I searched all over the internet on how it could be possible and doing an internship seem like an obvious choice to me. Once I knew that I instantly become overwhelmed with the large number of programs out there. They all seem kind of similar and like good experiences but there was something about “The Intern Group” that just stood out to me.

When searching the internet and planning to go abroad you don’t really know what you are getting into or how trustworthy some things are but I instantly felt safe and confident with The Intern Group. Right on the front page you can see that CNN, Forbes and the Financial Times have done pieces on them. That put my mind at ease and I felt like I would definitely be getting my money’s worth. After my initial interview with the main office I felt like the people were really friendly and genuinely cared about the experience I was going to have.

This was all confirmed when I Skyped with Thalassa in Madrid and I could tell she was going to work really hard to get me the kind of internship I wanted. It was also really nice that they included many different sightseeing and get-togethers. The airport pickup and an included metro pass for the whole time you are there were also really nice perks.