Staff Member Spotlight: Mireia Vila

Title
Program Coordinator

Photos

What is your favorite travel memory?

When I was eighteen years old, I decided to go to the United States of America to pursue one of my life-long dreams. I have always dreamt of playing basketball in the US, and I was fortunate enough to have the chance to attend Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia where I became part of their women’s basketball team.

The journey there lasted 4 years, and I made friendships that are still super valuable to me. During my time there, I was able to travel all over the country and was also able to participate in many community service events that made me appreciate life even more.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I believe I have learned a lot about diversity and about how great humans are.

Seeing different people from very different backgrounds unite for the same cause is something very touching and incredible.

I joined Connect-123 a couple of years ago, and I believe every single student who has come to Barcelona over my time here has taught me something different and very valuable. It made me become a better person.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

Last summer, I was meeting one of our program students for an individual orientation. She was pretty shy and had just started her internship in Barcelona few hours before our meeting. During orientation, she seemed a bit nervous, and insisted about the possibility of going home before her established departure date. I told her to give it some more time, to allow the company to understand her goals, and to let things flow. She seemed a bit hesitant, but ended up loving her time in Barcelona. She even applied to come back the next summer.

The truth is that, at the end, she didn’t come for a second round since she found an internship in New York. It definitely shows how much we can attain if we stay true to our principles, push through hard times, and if we don’t let anything get on the way of our dreams. I felt very proud of her.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I would choose to go to any of the Sports Volunteer Programs that we offer. I have always played basketball, and I believe sports are a great way of life. Everybody should have access to it.

I have been fortunate enough to have had good coaches and teachers by my side, and I would love to see kids picking up some of the passion I have for sports. I believe there are so many positive values attached to any sport, and I would be delighted to have the option to pass them along to those who don’t have enough resources.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

We are unique because every single one of us is passionate about what we do. We are people for others, and we are committed to creating life-long experiences for those who decide to join our program. I believe our capacity to make people feel at home when they are away is what sets us apart from other programs.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I consider team work and true commitment to be keys to success. It is important that everyone is on the same page, working for the same goal and ready to give their best at all times to make things happen. I also think it crucial for everyone considers themselves useful, no matter what task or role they have within the company.