Last August, I got the amazing opportunity to attend a marketing internship seminar in Madrid, Spain with the company ROOSTERGNN. It was nothing I would ever have expected to be able to do. While there I learned so much about global marketing, ethical promotion and SEO, all while experiencing the culture of Spain in everyday life. I absolutely loved finding new places to eat tapas, getting lost in the city and visiting sights like the city of Toledo.
This experience was something I will cherish forever, mostly for what I learned about the world while I was there. I got the chance to work alongside 14 girls I had never met from around the world, including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Lebanon, Canada, India, Australia, Puerto Rico and more. I learned a lot about my field and how to fit our work into a global network, but I learned even more about what life is like outside of America.
In my free time, my friends and I would go out on the town walking around 10 miles a day and seeing way too many attractions to remember. But what was really cool was just sitting down and connecting with women who were so different from myself, not only in country of origin but religion, cultural tradition, stage of life and more. I learned so much about the realities that others live, like one student who was from Pakistan and actually locally reported for a news station on all of the turmoil that was happening in the Middle East. It was humbling to realize that my reality is different from many of the realities of others. Even if you hear about it on the news, it’s not quite like hearing it first hand or even experiencing it.
It was also enriching to hear all of the different points of view when it came to marketing and business, seeing how some messages come across differently in varying cultures. I loved hearing and understanding how certain norms or even language translations mean vastly different things across different areas of the world. It is something I truly think that every person, especially in a communication degree program, should learn and understand. Overall, my experience in Madrid was a dream, and I hope one day I can go back and maybe not ever leave!
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.