Before coming to Buenos Aires, I was the most nervous about my internship. I have never had a job or internship in the “professional” world before, let alone one in a completely different country. Due to my classes focused on international business while at Pitt, I knew that the work culture would be different in Argentina, but I had no idea what it would actually be like. It didn’t take me very long to realize that everything is much more relaxed here. When I was preparing for my interview before arriving, I wrote down possible answers to common interview questions in Spanish and read over them multiple times so that I wouldn’t get nervous during the interview and not know what to say. However, my interview was all in English and was more casual than any interview I have ever had, including even the practice ones. Also, the dress code said casual, so I figured jeans would be acceptable but I should still dress nice, like I would expect while working in the United States. It turns out it was very casual; my coworkers would wear legging and t-shirts most days. Everyone was very relaxed about time too. There was no clock-in or out, some people would show up a little late, and for lunch everyone could leave to get whatever food they wanted then we would all sit around eating and talking for about an hour.
It took me a little bit to connect with my coworkers, but that was mostly due to my inexperience conversing with native Spanish-speakers before this trip. Also, people in Buenos Aires speak quickly, have a strong accent, and use a lot of slang. So, although I had a pretty high level of Spanish, it took a bit to get used to all of that. My coworkers were all extremely friendly and interested in getting to know me so once my conversation skills improved, we got along really well. I was nervous about talking at first, but I just had to go for it and it was a lot better than just staying silent the whole time. We would talk about all kinds of things during lunch and even throughout the whole day. In Buenos Aires, everyone will great you and say goodbye with a kiss on the cheek which was a little uncomfortable at first, but I quickly got used to it. For anyone planning on having an internship in a different country- I say go for it! I had an incredible experience and gained a lot of confidence in myself. Make sure you’re not afraid to talk with your coworkers, even if its in a language that isn’t your first, because that’s the only way you will improve. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions, everyone knows you are there to learn and it is much easier to ask than sit there and worry about if what you are doing is right or not. And most importantly, keep an open mind. Things will be different than what you are used to, but that doesn’t mean they are bad!