By Christy Kondo ’15
Are you a jet-setter? Want to traverse the globe?
Well, there are internships available all around the world—meaning that during a semester or summer abroad, you could both travel and gain valuable work experience! Stew Miller ’15 did just that during his summer internship in Spain. We asked Stew about his internship, and he shared some fantastic insight into his experience.
CES: What organization did you intern with and what was your title or role there?
Stew: I interned with cubenube, a tech startup from Madrid that works with Big Data and Cloud computing solutions for the agricultural industry. I was working in the commercial department as mostly a marketing intern but I really helped out in all aspects of the commercial department that I could.
CES: What did your role as an intern with your organization entail?
Stew: My role involved helping the Commercial Director, Alberto, and the CEO, Gonzalo, with anything that they needed help with pertaining to marketing, internationalization, clients or sales.
CES: What did you learn at your internship?
Stew: I learned how to properly research and analyze a country’s potential for internationalization; how to use excel to organize information and data; how to market a company via Twitter Facebook or LinkedIn; how a small company is organized and managed and what drives its success; how to make a webpage so as to be more efficient, easy-to-use, and more attractive to potential customers; what marketing strategies a small tech startup can take to improve its visibility and expand its customer base; and much more.
CES: How has your internship helped you with your career goals?
Stew: By interning with cubenube this summer I got a much clearer idea of what it’s like to work in international business, especially in Spain. I also learned about the environment of a small tech startup in the agricultural industry.
I now can firmly say that I am very interested in working abroad and in international business with a main focus in international marketing and expansion. I also really enjoyed the culture and passion that was apparent throughout the company—I believe one day I could be running my own startup.
CES: What was the most enjoyable part of your internship?
Stew: The most enjoyable part of my internship was the chance to be a part of the company as an employee rather than “just an intern.” My input was desired and I felt like I was really adding some value to the company. It was great to come in every day and know that I had some real responsibility and that the CEO of the company would listen to my suggestions and ideas.
CES: Did any part of your internship cause you to stretch or was any part especially challenging for you?
Stew: While it was very enjoyable, my time with cubenube was also very challenging. The most challenging part being that everything was in Spanish and that all conversations and nearly all work was in Spanish. It is quite difficult to constantly think in Spanish and have to try and work in another language. I also did not have much prior knowledge about agriculture or Big Data technology so it was pretty difficult to understand everything that was going on around me. My colleagues were much smarter than me so it was often hard to keep up.
CES: What advice would you offer other students considering an internship in the same area of expertise? Or just internships in general?
Stew: I highly recommend internships to anyone that wants experience but I warn that it is important to know what you’re getting into and to find an internship that will be worthwhile. An internship that is boring and does not challenge you can be a major waste of time. I would tell anyone that is interested in international business and Spanish to look at the Madrid Summers program and especially to work with cubenube. It really taught me everything I wanted to know about international business, marketing, and Spain.
CES: Anything else you want to share about your internship experience?
Stew: If you are interested in working abroad, go abroad! I had a fantastic time this summer and the chance to work in Spain was an unbelievable experience that far exceeded taking classes. It is a much different experience and I really felt like I learned more and was far more challenged than I would have been if I had only taken classes.
Take your classroom knowledge and apply it to real-world work, like Stew did, through an internship either here in the United States or abroad.
Interested in pursuing an internship for yourself? You can find part-time, full-time, local and national opportunities on InternshipLink through your exclusive career resources page—both paid and unpaid opportunities are available! You can also contact CES to learn more about pursuing internships for credit.
© 2015 Career and Employment Services, University of Puget Sound
Photo provided by Stewart Miller