Un Entorno Nuevo

Week one of my time in Madrid is coming to end. I enjoyed having free time during orientation to discover the city and make some friends who are interning in the city through the same program. I already have learned a lot about the culture and language in these last few days. From eating dinner at 9:00pm to moving through life at a slower pace than normal, I have been learning to adapt to a new culture. It is very tiring to hear and speak in Spanish all day long since I am surrounded by it at work and with my host family. However, full immersion will help me improve my speaking abilities immensely, and I look forward to reflecting on my growth over the next few weeks.

Something I really love about Madrid is the public transportation system. It is very easy to get around the city using the metro and city busses, and I cannot say enough how clean all forms of transportation are! I also really appreciate how environmentally conscious everyone is. There are separate garbage cans for all types of trash, there is no litter on the streets or in the metro, and lights are always off unless the room is being used. (sometimes even when the room is in use) On a walking tour of the city, I also saw a group of people protesting climate change. There were signs that read “No hay una planeta B”; which translates to “There is no planet B”. Elections were this past Sunday and it was really moving to see how much people care about local government and their environment.

On Sunday I decided to go on a practice run of the route to my internship. After a few metro stops and a ride on the 173 bus, I arrived at the hospital. My internship is located in a hospital called La Hospital Universitario La Moraleja that is a part of the private healthcare system offered in Spain in addition to the public system that is in place. It is a fairly new hospital as it was built in 2006; however, its parent company Sanitas has been the leading health and wellness company in all of Spain since the 1960’s.

My department focuses on supply chain managment of inventory throughout the hospital. When I arrived my first day, I was given a uniform and a key card. My interview was in Spanish and went smoothly and I immediately started into work. I started with the basics; meaning receiving and placing inventory orders. It is important to understand all aspects of the supply chain in order to have effective communication across all levels. After learning how the process works within La Moraleja, I will move onto assisting in planning inventory in June for the month of July. This is a really exciting opportunity that I am looking forward to participating in.

The world of Supply Chain Management is growing rapidly as companies are finding that it’s how they can get a competitive advantage within different markets. Some of the most important trends that are arising in the field of supply chain management include a strong emphasis on forecasting, higher quality training of employees, and movement towards centralized logistics. The environment is changing rapidly and so is technology associated with SCM. In order to effectively forecast sales and necessary inventory it is becoming increasingly important for operations management to share information across the supply chain. With this changing environment, it is also necessary to have more skilled professionals overseeing the processes who have gone through certifications and training with greater technical understanding and project management skills. It is also very important for professionals in the field of Supply Chain Management to have critical problem-solving skills as this is the basis for what makes the supply flow smoothly. Furthermore, it is important for managers to understand cross-cultural and legal issues involved with managing contracts as business is global. The most successful supply chains are those that run internationally.

I have only had the chance to spend one day in the Supply Chain Department thus far, but hopefully after some more time I will be able to better understand the processes and makes suggestions on how to increase efficiency. I am lucky to have been placed in an internship that wants my opinions and wants new ideas from students studying this field of business. I am excited to see what will be next in this learning experience and to gain more knowledge within the industry.