I am writing from my uncle’s apartment in Valencia, two days after leaving Madrid. The eight week program flew by so quickly and I can not believe that it is over! I can already feel myself getting nostalgic thinking about the fun experiences and the friends I made. On top of this, I am incredibly grateful to have been able to work at La Caja this summer. It was a great work environment and my coworkers were all so friendly. It is surreal to know I won’t be seeing them every week day anymore. I can say without a doubt that I have developed numerous skills which will benefit me in the future both personally and professionally during my time here. Living and working in an environment so different from my “normal” in Pittsburgh has made me grow tremendously in a short amount of time. Overall, it has allowed me the space to develop my work ethic and determine what practices work best for me.
I have also really enjoyed exercising my adaptability to different environments and developing it further during my time here. Adaptability is something that I believe is a key skill to have in life, as it can apply to so many different situations and environments. Learning this skill makes it easier to face challenges head on and not be as daunted by the unknown. It has also made me more independent and feel more at ease when outside of my comfort zone. Through this, I have learned a great deal about myself and have gotten a greater sense of my abilities as a growing individual. I think one of the most rewarding things about my time here is seeing before my own eyes how capable I am of adapting to new things, and feeling myself learning from new experiences in real time.
From a professional perspective, I have noticed a development in my self discipline, responsibility and work ethic. In an art gallery position there are also a lot of instances when projects and tasks assigned have few instructions and leave details up to personal judgment. I have grown out of finding this nerve wracking, and now instead see it as a way of experiencing my independence and grow as a thinker. From this opportunity, I have been able to exercise creative freedom and my personal style within the art gallery business. I’ve really enjoyed this experience because it has made me more confident in using my personal judgment, which is something that will be very useful in my professional future.
Another skill that I have developed during my time here is my confidence in professional environments and decision-making abilities. I’ve really enjoyed this experience because it has made me more confident in using my judgment to make decisions on my own without feeling the constant need to find guidance from my superior. Furthermore, it has also made me grow more accustomed to being told to modify my work, or to make a second version for comparison. This has made feedback a lot less daunting, and has made me feel more confident in my own abilities and opinions, because being told to change something does not necessarily equal doing a bad job. I feel as though this will become an increasingly useful skill moving forward as a professional in the arts sector, regardless of where I work.
Ultimately, my take away from this experience is that I am capable of pushing myself beyond my current limits, adapt to new environments and build confidence even during uncertainty. Last but not least, my time here has taught me just how special exploring outside of your comfort zone is, and just how much it can develop your character and affect your notions of life.