MIS in Madrid- Should you Intern Abroad?

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Waking up to the sounds of bustling people below, boarding the Metro, walking through the groups of people “taking a coffee and cigarette” as they call it. This is my daily routine as I head to my internship. I always feel a little funny because this is my first internship. Yes, I have had many jobs but nothing ever so specialized to my career. Sometimes I feel like a fraud because how am I here, really doing this? Interning abroad has been the learning experience of a lifetime. Understanding a different work culture and then adapting to it has been a refreshing challenge. My title is Information Systems Assistant for Gerah Real Estate according to my Google Suite signature. When I first saw it, it filled me with joy and a sense of accomplishment. I mean, there’s a difference between taking classes that pertain to your major and actually working in the field that you have chosen. It’s something that I reflect on while I sit on the terrace of my office building and take in the view.

An internship abroad was something that I didn’t really think was an option for me, traditionally study abroad programs are expensive and I just didn’t think this sort of thing would be possible if I was paying out of pocket. I had a decision to make, I could either give up the dream of going or I could roll the dice and apply for every scholarship I could find and just hope that I got them. I miraculously was accepted for enough scholarships, including the awesome Fund for Education Abroad! It is times like this when I am in Spain sitting at work that I am so grateful that I rolled the dice.

Being in a different country to work is helping me grow in so many ways. I have found a new sense of independence. At the beginning of my internship I felt like I was constantly asking a million questions because I was unsure of myself and my place in the company. Now I feel like I am at a place where I am sure of my work and don’t have to rely on my supervisors as much when I am working on various projects. I have become more confident in myself and I can stand on my own two feet. I also feel like I lucked out with my supervisors, they were always so gracious, offering a helping hand when I needed it, answering all of my questions and more, and even focusing on making a personal connection with me. If anyone who is reading this is wondering if they should study abroad or intern abroad, I want to encourage you to take the leap. You will only be this young once. You will grow and change but you will be thankful for the experience and you will return home with a wealth of knowledge and a great story to tell.