Sophie has come to Seville to complete an Erasmus+ internship from Twin Internships in the UK. She is doing a digital marketing internship with Red y Comercio, a strategic consulting company here in Seville. We caught up with Sophie to find out about her placement and how she’s been finding life in Spain so far.
Tell us a little bit about what you do. What work placement are you currently doing?
I am currently on placement in Seville doing digital marketing for Red y Comercio, who are a strategic consulting company that specialise in the digital environment. My role is varied, but I am mainly working with one of their clients, ShowMB, who operate a global influencer marketing platform. I have both weekly responsibilities to assist the team and also a couple of ongoing individual projects which I have been able to get stuck into. The team I work with are small, but this means the CEO Fabio is always on hand to help me and has been really supportive in explaining concepts and processes which are new to me.
Are you finding your work placement rewarding? If so, why?
Having my own responsibilities, for example consistently publishing numerous weekly articles to optimise SEO, has meant that I’m not just doing boring admin activities, but tasks which are directly benefiting the client, and that they are able to see results from. I also completed a project in my first month which involved the preparation and translation of interactive training materials ready to be presented to our international partners. To know the work I completed has been a big help, and is being used already in seminars is hugely rewarding.
Do you feel well supported here? Have your expectations before arriving been met?
I didn’t have very many expectations before I arrived, especially as for me it was quite last minute and I was still expecting that the pandemic would put a stop to the program. Since I have arrived, the 3SI team have always been on hand to help with any issues, Reeny and Antonio have been super responsive and I really appreciate their ongoing support. I really didn’t expect to enjoy myself as much as I have, and despite being surprisingly homesick at times, I am beyond grateful and so glad that I was able to come out here and take part in the programme.
How does your current placement complement your vocational course? Are you finding it to be beneficial?
The course we completed prior to departure was definitely an added benefit to the course, allowing me to gain a professional qualification before I started working. Although the content doesn’t directly apply to my current role, I expect it may come into use in the future.
Have you learned or improved any specific skills or knowledge?
It has been really beneficial to get stuck into a role so close after graduating and improve on the skills I have gained from previous experiences. I have also been grateful to get involved in a lot of content writing which I have only had brief experience of in the past, having to think creatively and generate up to 4 articles a week has been challenging but something which I have developed massively.
Living in Spain currently, do you find there to be a difference in culture between here and the country you’ve come from?
The culture change when moving to live in Spain was one of the biggest aspects which I had to adjust to, not least because this is the longest I have ever lived outside of the UK. There are a lot of differences in both work and in daily life that I have now adapted to more, most notably the more relaxed routine, including siestas and slower paced lifestyle. Having said that, I don’t struggle with (and I’m fully on board with) the normality of eating out for dinner every night and socialising over cervezas during our lunches!
Have you managed to practise much of the local language?
Most of my practice has come from being out and about, and I’ve pretty much perfected my food and drinks ordering now, which is always useful. It’s good to be able to know the basics so you can get by, in particular in Seville, as English isn’t widely known here so it can be a struggle. It’s been good to be in at the deep end though as it really pushes you to try to speak Spanish, even if you’re not making perfect sense. Being surrounded by Spanish all day at work and then in the evenings outside of work really immerses you and I have picked up a lot of useful phrases and colloquial expressions which definitely help me to get by. This alongside our weekly lessons and the online courses are definitely helping so I’m feeling positive about my progress!
What do you like to do in your spare time? Any recommendations?
I pretty much spend most my time exploring the local areas or visiting anywhere I’ve found online that looks of interest, most of the time that involves a lot of eating and drinking, but I’m not complaining. I have a Sevici bike which makes travelling round the city super quick and easy as I can pretty much get to anywhere in the City within 15 minutes. Although, sometimes I set out to visit somewhere, but as I’m walking there I find new places or sights of interest which I didn’t even know existed, which is kind of the beauty of Seville. I’ve been taking loads of photos and sharing them online so I can keep a photographic diary of what I’ve been up to, and I’ve not managed to run out of things to do… YET!
How do you think the Erasmus+ programme will benefit you in the future?
Gaining international experience is super important, especially as so many businesses now operate internationally across huge markets. Getting the opportunity to work in another country, through Erasmus+, so early on in my career is hugely valuable and it has really given me the bug for working Internationally. Working in a smaller business has also given me a whole new experience compared to my previous roles, mastering tasks which I’ve never really been involved with before and playing a part in a small team. Moving forward to the future, even though it’s been a relatively short term role, it has been an invaluable part of my professional growth, learning to adapt to a new country, industry and role (amidst a pandemic) has provided me with capabilities which I will apply and develop further throughout my career progression.
Would you recommend the Erasmus+ programme to others?
Honestly, I couldn’t recommend the programme enough, I think to have the opportunity to work abroad is incredibly valuable, so to be paid and supported the whole way through it is a no brainer. I don’t think enough people know the opportunities that are available to them across the different industries and I am so grateful to have secured a place on the programme, in particular during such uncertain times!
What have you enjoyed most about the experience?
I’ve been really lucky to be on the programme with some other great young professionals who have really made my whole experience so enjoyable. Being fully immersed into a new country, adapting to their culture and picking up a new role all at once did at first seem daunting, and it hasn’t been without its challenges, but having a group of other Erasmus+ participants to share the ‘journey’ with has made it. We have got to share any struggles with each other, shared learnings from our placements, encouraged each other with our Spanish progression and also shared a load of memories on trips outside of Seville.
In 3 words, can you sum up your time on the programme here in Seville?
Invaluable, fulfilling and FUN!
It has been great to hear from participants with such a wide variety of job roles over this series of blog posts. If you missed our previous stories, click here to hear from Emily, a food bank worker with Cooperación Internacional, and Jon, a research assistant at Estación Biológica de Doñana. If you’re an intern with us here at 3Si and would like to share your story, get in touch here.