Am I a Madrileña yet?

¡Welcome back!

Boy oh boy do I have a lot to catch you all up on! My second week in Madrid has been hectic, tiring, informational, exciting, and just overall unbelievable. Firstly, during San Isidro, a holiday that occurs on May 15th each year to celebrate Madrid’s patron saint, my friends and I went to a festival to celebrate. That was one of my favorite days so far because we got to act like kids, enjoy good food, and explore a new part of the city. I have also started participating in new activities such as a dance class and a karaoke night! These activities are specifically for international students studying in Madrid with the purpose of exploring the city and getting to meet new people in similar programs. During the dance class we learned, bachata, salsa, and merengue. Dancing is one of my favorite hobbies so being able to learn new skills and practice the ones I already have was so fun, especially because I went with two of my new friends!! I am very excited to attend the class each week and participate in new events as well!

Also, I started my internship on Wednesday and ¡Qué Guay! Everyone at my company is very welcoming, helpful, and encouraging. On my second day, my director took me to a warehouse, Factory 5, where they hold all our products. It was my first time ever in a warehouse and, as nerdy as it sounds, it was really fascinating. My director showed me how she audits the products to check if anything is rotten, if there are not the same number of units as documented, and if there is a way to save space because they do not pay by the number of units, but by the amount of space being used. Additionally, I have been put in charge of the warehouse in the office; this warehouse is used for e-commerce orders because there is an app (similar to UberEATS) where customers order, and their products are delivered within the hour. Hence, we need products on hand to process and prepare these orders quickly, as the main warehouse is 45 minutes outside of the city. Today, I had to count all the inventory in the office warehouse and organize the results by SKU (stock keeping unit) and lot number. This was beneficial for me because I started to memorize the names, labels, location, and SKUs of each product, which I will definitely use in the future. Although my internship is a little tiring and stressful because I am working 40 hours a week and actively trying to understand what my co-workers are saying to me, I know that I am going to learn so much about the industry and my major which is keeping me going!

Now, on to the real purpose of this blog: how do I manage my time?? Clearly, I am trying to do a lot with the short amount of time I have in Madrid, which has been a blast, however, this will become more difficult as time goes on because I will receive more tasks and/or more challenging tasks at work. Hence, I need to start practicing my time management skills now so when the time does come that I have more to do for my internship, I can complete them in an efficient manner and also have time for adventures.

Right now, I am using the To-Do app from Microsoft to keep track of all my responsibilities for class and my internship. I have a separate list on the app with all the assignments for class and their due dates. This has helped me visualize when each part is due and stay proactive by planning out what days and times I want to work on each section. Additionally, each morning when I arrive at work, I ask my boss what needs to be completed for that day and if there are multiple projects that have to be finished by the end of the work day, I write them down in the “Today” section of the app and then assign a time to finish them by. This helps motive me to stay focused. I also always work on the assignment that I believe will take the most time first so then if it takes longer than expected and I need to work at home, I will only have the simple task to finish. My company also uses google as their way for communication. Hence, I also look at my google calendar at the start of every week and day so I know how much time I will actually have throughout the week / day to complete my projects. For now, that is how I am strategizing to stay on-schedule with my school work and my internship while also leaving space for more exploring!

Thanks for following along this week and I hope you come back for next week’s update!

¡Hasta luego!

Saoirse Hopp