Staff Spotlight: Antonio Pallares

Adelante Abroad Co-Directors in Madrid
Mr. Pallares is a retired Professor of Economics from a post graduate School of Business in Madrid. Part of his curriculum at the Polytechnic University was requiring that his Spanish students participate in external internships. Therefore, he has a deep and diverse list of companies in Madrid that are accustomed to receiving interns from him. During his 10 year long tenure with Adelante, he is constantly growing this list of companies to truly customize each candidate's program. Antonio is a very typical, traditional Madrileno, wearing a suit and tie most days and speaking fast and with lots of colloquialisms! He provides both professional and emotional support as needed, working primarily to ensure that our candidates really engage and enjoy their new life and time with us in Madrid.

What makes interning in Madrid a unique experience for participants?

Adelante Interns!

Antonio: This is the crown jewel of the Adelante Intern Abroad programs, the longest running and with the most participating companies and degree fields represented. Our team is seasoned – I am born and raised in Madrid and have been with Adelante for 10 years, the Director of Programs, for 13 years. What is unique is simple to answer: We treat the candidates with respect, professionalism and care.

What can you tell us about the workplace culture in Madrid?

Antonio: Interns will be given a good orientation to help them assimilate and there are definitely cultural differences! (For example, it is expected that you might arrive late some days, due to traffic or metro issues, and it is also expected that you will stay late some days if a project delays or there is more work to be done by a deadline.) There is a great desire to intern in corporations here as it has been proven that it is a “bridge” to full time work later on.

What level of Spanish proficiency should interns have when considering this internship?

Antonio: For shorter term programs (1 to 3 months): Low intermediate at very minimum, and use the first weeks in the included Intensive Spanish Language module to get to solid intermediate. For longer term programs, (5 to 6 months): A lower level is acceptable since the company knows that as time goes on your level will improve dramatically since you are living and working in Spain, using public transport, shopping, going to the bank, out at night, etc., it is automatic! Prior work experience is not required, however in some fields like engineering or law, that should be what the field of Studies is at university level.

What are some extra-curricular activities participants enjoy while interning in Madrid?

Antonio & Angel: Madrid is the epicenter and heart of Spain, so very easy to get most anywhere now. Viajes a Toledo, Segovia, Ávila y visitas a los museos de Madrid are some examples of included excursions and activities. City tours, tapas tours and the very popular Lunch with your Teacher – all take place during the first two weeks of the program, before the internship starts.

Tapas in Lavapies Madrid

What is one piece of advice you would offer someone considering interning abroad in Spain?

Antonio: That you are demanding of yourself during this time. That you focus your interest on things like punctuality, being a grand observer with questions always ready, that you are willing to do some small jobs to perfection knowing that this will earn your way to bigger projects later on & making an effort to become friends with and part of the team at your work assignment.

Anything else you would like to share?

Antonio & Angel: Madrid welcomes interns! It is a city of many cultures and thought processes, open to new and also loving the old. Interns that are the most successful are those that come to work, not just to vacation, and know the connection between the cost of this to them & their family and the value it can give them, if they do it right, for future work/career prospects.