Uncertainty and Possibilities

            For my internship, I will be working with creating programing for children with intellectual disabilities. I would consider this to be in education, in terms of what industry I will be working in. Since I am writing this before my start date, I am still not 100% confident as to what specifically I will be doing within this company. I think, regardless of what I’m doing, communication is going to be important, especially since I will be working and communication in a foreign language (Spanish). It has been explained to me that Spanish tends to be a high-context language, as opposed to English being low-context. This means that most of the important things I am going to need to know isn’t going to be explicitly said and is, instead, going to depend on the tone of voice, gestures being used, inflection, and more. This is going to be difficult for me, as I don’t tend to make assumptions in the workplace and instead wait until I am informed by a supervisor to do something. On top of simply being able to communicate, I’ll also have to use communication well when I am applying my psychology knowledge and explaining how various ways of teaching is going to be most effective through the research I have found. This also means I am going to have to be confident in what I am saying and be able to give and create a presentation that is effective. I have had some practice with this, especially in my Spanish for Professional Development class, however, I still have more work to do. I am not the best at giving presentations, so that is a skill I am going to have to develop while I am here. Although I am not sure in this moment, I may be working directly with the kids, so that means, once again, I will have to have effective communication. I have worked with kids in a lot of different settings, as a coach, instructors, etc., and I know it can be difficult sometimes making sure they understand the expectations and information correctly. It’s also going to require patience, as kids will be kids and won’t always listen. I am hoping to work more on the logistical side than with the kids, as I am not looking to be a teacher and instead enjoy researching and creating itineraries more. Once again, I am nervous about my Spanish-speaking skills, as if I were to be spending a significant amount of time with children, both them communicating with me and me to them might be difficult. Younger kids can’t comprehend very well the need to speak slowly and annunciate for a language learner, so I may not be able to understand them well. This will also make it difficult if I forget a word and need to describe it to them, as a kid may not be able to understand that. There is also a chance they wouldn’t know the word I was looking for too. I think a lot of what is going to allow me to be successful at this job is confidence and patience. When things get difficult or complicated, I need to make sure that I don’t lose confidence in myself and my abilities. I know there are going to be a lot of moments where I feel lost and confused, so when that happens, I need to remind myself that it’s okay to feel that way and that it’s expected too. Working in a foreign country in a foreign language that I am not fluent in yet is going to be stressful. Keeping calm and collected in those moments is what is going to allow me to succeed and grow the most. Even now, before I have begun my internship, I have had moments where I have felt that way. In the moment it felt like I made the wrong decision and that I wasn’t cut out to be here and doing this. Then, like a day later, I was able to collect myself, be confident, and prove myself and my abilities. I am very excited for this opportunity, but it isn’t secured yet. I have my interview on Monday to decide if I am a good fit for the company. Obviously, I would like that to be true and for me to get the job, however, it won’t be the end of the world if they do not feel I would be able to succeed at the company. It is better to be denied the opportunity if it isn’t going to work out than to be forced to fit in for the sake of not saying no. I also know I have a wonderful team here in Madrid who will help me if this happens (which hopefully it won’t). That’s all for now. I will definitely update how my interview goes! I am also looking forward to next weekend, as myself and some of the other EUSA university students here in Madrid will be traveling to Valencia for a beach weekend! Stay tuned!