I have been in Madrid for 5 weeks now and I have noticed many things for which Pitt has prepared me for and some things that Pitt was unable to prepare me for. For starters, my experiences in the business school have allowed me to transition into a job in the business world very easily. I credit my time spent during the freshman year BUS 10 class as well as my time spent in DSP the most for this. Both of these taught myself how to handle myself in professional settings. In both DSP and BUS 10 we learned the proper way to shake someone’s hand, the difference between business professional and business casual, how to properly construct a resume and the proper way to respond in interviews. Both of these experiences allowed me to put a good impression on my boss and fellow coworkers from the beginning. It also made me confident in the workplace even though the work that I am doing is something I have never been exposed to before. It allows me to handle my day to day work in a professional manor and be able to ask clear and concise questions when I am confused.
My time at Pitt has also helped me develop time management skills and a strong work ethic. At Pitt, I have approached every class with the mindset that I am going to work to the best of my ability. I love the feeling of approaching a challenging question, preparing for it immensely and then getting the result that I worked for. The same goes for my internship here. Throughout my internship I have been given some tasks that are both difficult and unfamiliar. I do my best to complete them with the same mindset that I have when I am taking classes at Pitt. For example, one of my more challenging tasks came on my first day of work. I was asked to review a 70 page legal document and help improve the language of it since I am the only native English speaker in the office. As you might accept, I have absolutely zero legal experience when it comes to cryptocurrency contract law. However, that did not deter me from attacking it head on. I started out by asking the CEO questions in order to gain an overall knowledge of how law and regulations come into play in this industry. Afterwards, I did extensive research on both the industry and Spanish regulations over the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries. From there I read the document very carefully and highlighted parts of the document that were confusing. Then I asked some more clarifying questions and proceeded to make edits to the document. It was a long and exhausting process but I believe my previous experiences at Pitt helped me turn out a good result for the company.
While there are many things that Pitt did indeed prepare me for there are some things that it did not prepare me for. One of those things is the adjustment to speaking Spanish all the time. Throughout my first two years at Pitt, I have taken 4 Spanish classes and I can say confidently that they have done little to help my Spanish speaking ability. The classes are entirely focused on writing and meaningless vocabulary instead of emphasizing the importance of grammar and conversation in each class. I feel that I lack conversation experience which has resulted in a constant struggle to communicate here in Spain. Nonetheless, I have had to adjust. In order to combat this setback I try and take advantage of any conversation opportunity I can get. Whether it be in a cab, in the lobby of my apartment, the office or at a restaurant, I will have a conversation. In addition to this, every time I realize I don’t know how to say something, I quickly type it into Spanish Dictionary and memorize how to say the expression. This allows me to slowly learn more and more Spanish along the way. The last thing I do occurs every moment of the day. When I am walking around I will usually hear people speaking Spanish. I do my best to listen and understand what they are saying in order to improve my listening ability.
Overall, it’s been a great 5 weeks with some bumps along the way. This past weekend we got to visit Dublin, Ireland and see all the city has to offer. Next weekend, it’s off to Port, Portugal.