My name is Amanda and I’m a Global Communications student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee studying in Sevilla, Spain for the Fall 2017 semester. I’ve always had an interest in the entertainment industry and in particular, media like film and television. CEA helped me to secure the internship of a lifetime and I'm so grateful.
My internship was at an audiovisual production company in Sevilla, Indalo y Media, and it has turned out to be an invaluable experience for me. Indalo y Media partners with Canal Sur to produce well-known Spanish TV shows such as “La Tarde Aqui y Ahora”, the one that I primarily work on. My colleagues were all very sweet and loved to joke around and laugh with each other, even in a high stakes setting like filming a live production. It wasn't a highly formal work environment, though there were levels of hierarchy and everyone knew one another’s role, it felt like a tight-knit community.
As an intern there, I mainly assisted with the production crew and my duties change according to the daily production needs. What remained constant, however, is that I helped move set pieces when needed during live filming, arrange the set, assist in creating gifts for the audience and invited guests, help unload donated food, and made sure to provide the audience and crew members with water.
Overall, I feel that I have learned so many valuable skills from this international internship experience that I will be able to carry with me wherever I go and will serve me in any context. After living outside of my comfort zone for four months in a foreign country and foreign workplace, my confidence has grown immensely. I know that I have what it takes to adapt, learn, be humble, ask questions, and thrive in an unfamiliar setting. I didn’t quit when I faced challenges or when things got difficult – I persevered. I know that I have a lot of offer and feel confident in my ability to meet and surpass expectations in a future internship in the United States.
Through my internship I have learned to be flexible, adaptable, think in a globally-minded manner, improve my Spanish comprehension and oral skills, to be prepared to work in a multicultural setting, and to embrace and represent company values. I have learned the importance of taking initiative and finding my own sense of internal motivation. It was a big challenge to see other Spanish interns be able to understand and perform at a higher level than me, building trust faster, developing relationships, handling tasks with more proficiency. It was hard on my self-esteem at first, but then I remembered that it was I who had put myself in another culture, willing to challenge my sense of comfort and sense of humility. I know that if they had come to the United States to do what I do, they would be struggling just as much if not more.
I built a stronger sense of self-confidence, the ability to achieve consensus with a group of people, tolerance for ambiguity, a deeper sense empathy for second language learners and those travel to foreign countries to live and work, communicative awareness, and higher respect for others. Despite cultural differences, potential language barriers and geographical distance, I have learned that people all around the world are generally the same – we all experience the same emotions, fears, insecurities, and sense of belonging. With the little exposure to foreign elements and people that many of my coworkers had, they welcomed me with open arms and warm hearts and I am very grateful.
None of this would've been possible without the help of Caro, the Internship Coordinator, and all the other staff at CEA.