Why did you decide to intern abroad with Sol Internships in Spain?
Andrew: My school, Clemson University, requires all Spanish & International Trade majors to study abroad and to work at an internship with an international company. I was very excited to study abroad but the internship requirement worried me. I am a beach lifeguard during the summer and I did not want to give up that summer job to work an international internship. I explored my options and I realized that I could do my internship while I studied abroad in order to keep my summers free. I had always wanted to study abroad in Sevilla, Spain so I looked for programs that would fit my needs. I wound up with Sol Internships by chance. To be honest, I was dreading the fact that I had to do an internship during my time in Sevilla. I thought that it would take away from my experience abroad and be a burden in my day-to-day life. However, I was completely wrong and I quickly found my internship to be one of my favorite parts of the day.
What made this internship experience unique and special?
Andrew: I worked in a small office. On average, I worked 2.5 hours a day/4 days a week, for a total of 10 hours per week. My schedule was designed to fit my schedule of classes and it was very flexible. I was strongly encouraged to travel. If my travels caused me to miss work, I could make up time whenever I had the chance. While everyone spoke English in the office, I was the only native speaker. This made me the resident expert on all things English. We always spoke Spanish, however, because they all wanted to help me practice. I really enjoyed my time at work, mainly because I was the only intern. I could focus on my work and on speaking Spanish without any distractions. My internship obviously helped me learn a lot of business vocabulary; however, one of the most unique parts of my internship happened outside of the office. Oftentimes, I would go down the street for a coffee with my boss and a client or friend. This would be our form of a business meeting. It put me in different situations outside of the office (my comfort zone) and helped me to learn more about the Spanish language and culture.
How has this experience impacted your future?
Andrew: My internship was obviously a great opportunity to work on speaking Spanish. It involved the usage of vocabulary that is specific in a business setting. It also gave me valuable marketing experience unlike any job I've had before. This will help me in the future even if I never speak a word of Spanish again. I learned all about web design, practical marketing techniques, and search engine optimization. One of our main goals was to give our website a prime position on Google. This is one of the most important factors for any company in any sector. All of these skills, in addition to my fluency in Spanish, gives me a great professional advantage over other job candidates.
What is one piece of advice you would offer something considering interning abroad in Spain?
Andrew: Do it. Even if it is not something required by your school, it is extremely worth it. It opened up many options for me to travel and meet many local people. It is a unique experience that you will always remember. My biggest fear was that it would take away from my study abroad experience but instead, it enhanced it greatly. I am very grateful for my time with Sol Internships and I want to spread the word to other students similar to me.