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QM Student profile: Year Abroad

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Vesela Ivanova, BA Hispanic Studies with Business Management student, tells us about her experiences on her year abroad work placement as an intern at Bosch in Madrid, Spain.

What did you like most about your time abroad?
I liked many things. To begin with everything that happened to me taught me a different lesson. I enjoyed meeting new people and find it out useful information and also a diverse social life. I liked the fact that I was completely independent. At work I did things I thought I would not be able to and my colleagues treated me as part of their team rather than just an intern.

What did you find most challenging?
I found it most challenging to get around to organise my time to do my assignments and my work life and the end of it I realised I could be so much more efficient.

How did your placement change your view of working abroad? Were your expectations met? Were you surprised in any way?
It is difficult to say if my expectations were met because I didn’t have any but I left my placement convinced that this was the best work atmosphere I worked in. Many people including me before I started my internship thought that companies just give interns to photocopy and destroy paper. However, when I got there I was surprised at the fact that they didn’t wanted me to do that when possible and all of employees including the managers were photocopying, filing and destroying paper themselves.

How did the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film help you through any challenges before or during your placement?
Before my placement I got help with my CV and cover letter and during the placement  I knew  I could always contact the School and tell them if I had any problems.

What do you think has most improved as a result of your placement: your CV, your language skills, confidence, networking skills? Anything else?
As I result of my placement I have become a complete new person- more confident, I have improved my language, networking, organisational skills and my CV.

Could you imagine working abroad again as a result of this placement?
I can definitely imagine myself working abroad and I would actually like to work in different counties as it opens up your mind and opens up doors to new opportunities.

Did you complete a Year Abroad Project? What was it about? How do you think your time working abroad helped you with this project ie extra insight into the culture, contacts, unexpected angles on the themes or issues?
I completed a Year Abroad Project and I decided to do it on the changes of social classes throughout the years in Spain. The topic was interlinked with History, Economics and Politics so I learned more than I had to actually use for project which was really good. My cultural project helped me a lot to improve my Spanish as I had to read and I had to talk to people to find out more information.

What advice would you offer to QM students thinking of working on their year abroad?
It is a good idea to do research before you decide where to go but you can never be 100% prepared as the Year Abroad is a real life experience. In my opinion the best thing to do is to ask as many questions and do as many things as possible, meet new people and try to leave behind you any presumptions or old habits you may have and try to blend in and experience the local cultural life. Don’t be afraid of getting things wrong or looking silly because people there will know you are there to learn. Just make the most of it.

What are your plans for the future?
My future plans are to find a job involving travelling or any job role that would give me the opportunity to use my language skills.

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