It is amazing to think how much I’ve done in the past 7 weeks. I can honestly and whole-heartedly say that there has not been a second here in Barcelona where I have been bored. I think that much of that is due to my awesome opportunity of work. Basically, last week I completed my final project (I had two essentially). My first project was to come up with the key words to be used for the first mobile app to be released by the company. I completed that by determining that a keyword with a small number of competitions in the iTunes app store but in addition to many hits on Google (using the Google AdWords keyword tool) would generate a great keyword. I spent a couple days figuring out which keywords would then be the best by ranking around 30 keywords with a ranking system of most results vs. least competition and choosing the best keywords under 100 characters in total to use. The amazing part is that my boss used all the keywords I gave him and did not change a single thing. I was extremely satisfied to know that my work was being put to good use.
The second project that I just completed was a recommendation to expand the company internationally. I spent several weeks researching what countries would be the best. I determined that expanding to a Spanish-speaking country would of course be the first criteria, and I ended up choosing Argentina and Mexico. Interestingly, I chose Argentina and Mexico not because they are some of the biggest Spanish-countries in the world, but because the way people use smartphones and the internet are in line with my company’s mission statement. My company provides audio-on-demand marketed towards people on-the-go, or using public transportation, etc. and thus I made sure that Argentina and Mexico would be in line with this by using Think With Google market research data. I believe that I really learned a lot about how to research specifically. Also, since I am interested in international business, I think this was a good first step in determining how one researches foreign markets before expanding. My boss was very pleased with my suggestion and told me that it would not “fall on deaf ears,” and that he was 100% set on implementing my suggestion. A final component of my suggestion was to also expand to United States to cater to the Spanish-speaking population of the United States. My boss was pleased with this too although I did not provide him with much research on the population (because there is not much). However, it was extremely gratifying to make my boss pleased because he is certainly someone that I respect very much.
My five hours at work everyday are a time where I get into a working mindset and in a zone where I often forget that I am in Spain. I think this is largely due to the fact that my Spanish has improved exponentially. Since I am one semester away from getting a minor in Spanish, I definitely came to Spain with a good knowledge of Spanish. However, after 7 weeks of complete submersion in Spanish, I have noticed that the number of people who reply to me in English has significantly diminished. What I mean is, when approaching someone with broken Spanish, or an American English accent, people will often reply to you in English if they speak it. However, now, it is very rare that people will reply to me in Spanish. I am constantly speaking Spanish all day, and I believe that it has been a passport to many friendships that would otherwise not be.
Overall, being here has just been amazing. I love this city and its sites. My reason for being in Spain was to improve my Spanish, submerse myself in a challenging work environment, and explore the many sites of Barcelona. I feel like I have gotten all of this out of my experience so far. Come time Saturday, my parents will be here and we will embark on a two week tour just three days later. I cannot believe that my time in Barcelona is almost up, but I have literally done almost everything that I could have ever wished to do here, because of this I feel like I have conquered Barcelona, and I feel great. Now I am off to a final adventure.