Leadership and Travel

I have now been in Spain and working for a full month. Time seems to moving very strangely. I feel like I have been here forever but also for no time at all at the same time. We are now past the half way point and I have been pleasantly surprised by the comfort I feel in my everyday life at work and in general in Madrid. I love spending my free time in the city exploring and reading in the park, finding new places for lunch, and wandering around the city. I do only have a limited amount of time left here and there are still a lot of things here to do like museums and historic sites. I really need to go to the Prado which is the large art museum in the city. Last week I went to the Botanical gardens in Retiro Park which was really cool. I went during time when it is free on Tuesdays so I did not feel any pressure to have to see all of it. But overall it was a very nice way to spend the afternoon .

This weekend I returned to Barcelona after studying abroad there two summers ago. I met friends from Pitt who are studying abroad in Vienna and we spent two very full days exploring the city. It was really fun for me to show my friends around a city that I have deep connections with and have inside knowledge about. We got to see all the sites including the La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, the Arc de Triomf, the Gothic Quarter, the beach, and all of the places I loved to go during my last study abroad. I had not traveled in a group like this for a while and it was really challenging for me to travel with other people again after spending so much time on my own. But it was also really nice spending my time with others and sharing my experiences with friends.

This week my boss is in New York City working on the filming of the scripts I have been working on. This last week I have been finding images for these videos as well as researching adding other examples to add to the existing scripts. I have felt a lot of responsibility with these assignments as the direct work I am doing is going to be used by GovLab to promote their ideas and research. It is really challenging to do this work and make sure the research I do is accurate and helpful to the argument.

Something I have learned during this weekend and last weekend is how exhausting travel is especially with work. Last weekend I traveled to Toledo on Sunday and was exhausted for the next few days. This weekend I spent two and a half days exploring and traveling around Barcelona. which meant 2 days with 20,000+ steps each. This type of weekend travel is very challenging because it is both mentally and physically tiring and I still have to go to work on Monday. This particular Monday I woke up in Barcelona and took the 6:40 am train to arrive in Madrid on time for work at 9 and then worked a full day. I have never traveled and worked like this before and I have learned how to push through the exhaustion and the get the work that needs to be done finished. The cafe con leche also helps with this a ton.

Throughout my time here in Spain I have learned a lot about myself especially since I spend so much time on my own. Before starting my internship i would have described my leadership style as more laid back. I have tended to trust people to do their part and I will do mine. I do not think my leadership style has changed to drastically. However I think it is important to have a good mix and in the past I may have been to laid back. Through this experience I have learned to take charge more often. During work I am usually given tasks to complete however I when I finish there is usually down time before I get a new task. So instead of just sitting around I will do my own research in order to develop my knowledge and learn more about the possibilities of technology and CrowdLaw. Doing this and realizing the value in my own independent work beyond what I am assigned has improved my leadership skills as it has increased my confidence to step forward and actively lead more as well as leading in a laid back style.