Barcelona 2012 SLR

In Spain by Eller Student

I will begin my first blog post by saying that this experience, thus far, has been one of the most rewarding, insightful, and enjoyable experiences of my life. The only thing I can complain about is the fact that within the first week my computer completely died on me, and I decided to do my internship in the field of computer technology with marketing on the side, given that I am a Marketing major. This has made for some rapid adaptation to, not only my office computer, but the feeling of being dependent solely on an iPhone. This minor hiccup aside, the city of Barcelona and my internship are both  extremely satisfying.

The culture in Barcelona is quite backwards in comparison to that of the United States. I find myself sleeping almost at the same time my friends from the States are, obviously it is not exactly parallel but it is close. My body has adapted to a bizarre sleep cycle, and I end up sleeping two to three times a day. The first few days this change was really difficult, but now, even if I sleep for eight or even ten hours at night I still find myself wanting to rest my head right around siesta. The food in most cases is not great. One might ask themselves ‘how is the food not amazing in Spain?’. Well because all the places that are ‘amazing’ are exploited by tourism and in turn fall out of my desired budget. Otherwise the tapas and paella you might find on any given street is just not good. One thing not so much about the food that interests me is that when people eat here, they never start until everyone has their food, and they will never get up to go until everyone has finished their meal to the last sip of coffee. This inherent courtesy is refreshing, as it is often neglected in American culture. The Spanish has been much harder than I imagined it would be, possibly because rapid translation has always been a difficult task for me. Every day I become more capable with my Spanish but especially in my office the people who speak Spanish speak much too fast for me to internalise and are usually fluent English speakers, which makes it hard for me to make an effort to practice. Another language barrier I face is that, during the day I am not only immersed in a plethora of languages but I am actively learning about various computer technologies and more importantly languages like HTML, CSS, and a little HTML5.

Let this be a perfect transition to the explanation of the reason why I’m here, my internship. I chose to do something a little out of my element which as I mentioned above is deeply rooted in web technology. The company I work for is called careesma.com and it is a popular job searching website in Europe and India. On my first day I had no distinction between web design, web development, graphic design and what it means to be a front end developer vs a back end developer. The list goes on, with a multitude of things I thought I had a better understanding of than I actually do. What I ended up realizing is I am a perfectly good web developer, even though I have a very limited, but growing, knowledge of the computer languages I mentioned above. My first task was to use a very fun (for me at least) web application called LucidChart which is a wire framing program intended to make bare-bones mock ups of a desired finished product.With LucidChart I was able to revamp a specific part of the about me section of the website which gets a relatively low amount of hits. The task in and of itself has a very minor impact on careesma but has, in turn, given me a larger knowledge base and pool of resources in the field. More recently I started working with the marketing team. Working within the confines of my major is proving to be just as insightful as working with something like web design, which I know much less about. Hopefully I will have much more information regarding the marketing aspect of my internship come post number two.

Finally, the weather here is perfect and most days bearable, even in a button down shirt and pants. The nightlife and the music scene is a thrill, even with the adverse sleep cycle, and the food and other aspects of the city continue to provide me with a deeper cultural understanding.