Madrid Internships

Born in Costa Rica, but 99% Nicaraguan, I am a twenty-seven years old girl that came to Madrid nine months ago to study a Master Degree in Marketing and Commercial Management at a business school. There was always something inside my head that insisted that I had to go and study abroad, I don’t know if I would call it "a dream", but it was more of a goal. My two siblings have studied and worked in other countries, I have seen how much they have enjoyed the experience and how they have grown both in their personal and professional lives.

Theodore Whal from Metropolitan State University shares his experience as an intern hero in Madrid, Spain while completing an Entrepreneurship internship

After my Papa died in March, I thought it would be a good time to get away and make him proud. I chose to intern in Madrid because I felt an internship in an English-speaking country would not be challenging enough and I had some previous knowledge on different Spanish speaking countries and the language from school. As an Intern Hero, my internship was my number one priority every day before, during and after Madrid.  However, I can’t say the adventure travel mindset wasn’t hitting the priority list either; because it most definitely was.  I knew that my internship was going to shape my career and help me dive into this idea of international business, and additionally, how I see a future for myself in the field.

Vimbai Mufunde from the University of Essex shares her experiences from her Madrid summer internship working in the non-profit industry as one of Absolute's Intern Heroes

This internship is nothing like any other job I've had before. The atmosphere is super relaxed, calm and supportive. I've swapped an office for workshops, formal office wear for summer dresses, proper shoes for chanclas and I'm loving every moment of it.

Vimbai Mufunde from the University of Essex shares her first of impressions of her Madrid summer internship as one of Absolute's Intern Heroes

I have never experienced love at first sight before but with Madrid, it was different. As a South London girl, I'm no stranger to a big city but the spirit of the Madrileños is unique to Madrid alone. Although I approached Madrid with some skepticism due to the ongoing competition of beauty with Barcelona, Madrid is indeed in a league of its own.

Jami Steen from the University of Southern Mississippi tells us about her experience as a Marketing intern in Madrid, Spain as one of Absolute's Summer 2017 Intern Heroes. 

My day of travel was nothing less than horrendous—delays, rebooks, lost luggage, the works.  I was so tired when I got to Madrid I didn’t even try to be social and watch the soccer game with everyone downstairs. Honestly I felt defeated. I was in a strange environment, knew no one, knew no Spanish, and didn’t even know what country my luggage was in. I sat in my all-white room and cried—because of the time difference my mom didn’t even answer the phone. The moment I decided to feel better was the moment it happened. I opened the window for some fresh air, and sound filled my room. The city was electric. Real Madrid was winning the Champion's League final, and the streets were flooded with screams and chants.  The other Absolute girls must have noticed at the exact same time because about twenty minutes from the moment I decided to open my window, we were on the streets chanting and singing too. I was surrounded by so much happiness that night—little boys cried tears of joy and ran wild singing in the streets. Wild-eyed strangers hugged and laughed and congratulated each other. On this night, locals, refugees, tourists—the entire city, and the four new American girls, were united by victory and laughter. We chanted, sang  and danced in the Plaza Cibeles under a banner that read REFUGEES WELCOME—and I haven’t felt alone since.  

56 days. 5 Spanish cities. 25 new friends. I have been in Madrid for almost two whole months but it feels like I just arrived at the airport yesterday. Each month was filled with adventure and experiences that I will never have again. Nothing else will be able to compare to the days I spent in Madrid with amazing people from around the world!
I will be heading home with excitement to see my family and friends but I will also feel upset knowing that this experience is over. When I get home, I will have a thousand different stories to tell my mom! There are so many unforgettable memories on rooftop terraces, weekend trips, Spanish nightlife and the summer heat.

Beginning your career abroad may be one of the best decisions you make along your professional path. I would like to give others the same advice that I was given before accepting my position in Spain with Absolute Internship. So let me set the scene: After a long night of classes, homework, and officer work in one of my extracurricular clubs, I mentioned to one of the other officers that I had just applied for a position abroad, however, I was hesitant because I would have to pay to go there! In other words, I felt that I was paying to work for someone. A few of the older officers heard me, and they quickly asked where I would be interning. I replied, Madrid. They exclaimed that they had interned in the same city in the same situation without pay. More importantly, they told me to take the position if it was offered to me – that it would be worth the expense and make for one amazing experience. They couldn’t have been more right. So here is my advice: intern abroad. Your career will thank you, your future employers will thank you, and you will thank you. The experience is priceless.

Absolute Internship gave our Madrid group the chance to broaden our horizons – literally and metaphorically. Literally, we took a weekend trip to Barcelona, Spain where the horizon was made up of the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean and the pale blue sky that seemed to smile as I lay on my towel on the beach. Metaphorically, Absolute Internship organized two sessions with guest speakers who expanded our mindsets; the first being with two representatives from a company that one of our members was interning for and the second with the CEO of a startup company here in Madrid.

Madrid, Spain is an interesting city in the way that I quickly found myself forgetting I was actually in Spain. Now, this may surprise some people or perhaps even dishearten them, but let me explain. When my mom asked me what it was like living abroad, in Spain of all places, I realized it really didn’t feel much different than living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during the semester. Cities are more alike than different all around the world, it appears. Nonetheless, to answer my mom’s question, I did notice a few differences that serve as subtle reminders of my European life.

The first thing I loved about this program was my internship. I think I got really lucky and had the opportunity to work for an interesting company. So far, I have learned a lot and am continuing to be given more responsibilities as time goes on. The work environment is really enjoyable too because it’s very relaxed which is nice because this is my first job in the business field. This program has exposed me to many professional insights that I might not have gotten at home. For example, learning to work with people on an international level.

It feels like just yesterday I was calling my mom from my apartment at the University of Pittsburgh to let her know I would be going to Spain in five months. Now, I am sitting in Madrid writing about the last three days spent in this wonderful new city. So, to take advantage of this downtime, I suppose it is time I allow myself to do some reminiscing over the past 72 jet-lagged filled hours.

“Inside a building on Paseo de la Castellana, you will find cheery people who are eager to get into their offices and start their day. With over 10 offices in a communal building, you can find my company. It is an office with 7 hardworking individuals who want nothing but success for the travel and event agency. It is a fun, cool environment where lots of laughs are shared and I have the opportunity to work there for 2 whole months.
Just to give some background information, the company assists people in planning bachelor, bachelorette and college trips across Europe. The focus on their planning in countries of Spain and Portugal.

An internship is an ideal way for a student or recent graduate to gain experience in their desired sector. Not only is it the opportunity to grow professionally, but also personally. However, the key to success in the workplace is maintaining strong workplace relationships and understanding your essential role in your team.

Spanish Culture

In recent years, Madrid has elevated itself to an important business hub in Europe. With the rise or start­ups and foreign businesses settling in Madrid, aspects of the original Hispanic Spanish culture have begun to fade to make way for new customs. For example, the traditional Spanish “siesta’”, a short nap taken at the beginning of the afternoon, has taken a backseat to the full working day, as Madrilenians become increasingly busy.

Did you know that there are over 400 new Madrid startups and over 1700 new startups in Spain? But, what does this mean for university students? That means lots of opportunities. The intern and startup relationship is one of the most mutually beneficial partnerships in the business world. On the one hand, interns get an insight into every dimension of a company’s growth period, while on the other hand, startups benefit from the fresh ideas and high ambition of interns required to make a new business soar.