Learn from your mistakes

My name is Lindsay Bingley and the last four months I have done an internship abroad for my study Communication IEMES (International Event, Music and Entertainment Studies)

WHY?

The reason I did my internship abroad was because I never had the feeling I stepped out of my comfort zone. Up till then I did my study in the city where I still live and had never done anything which really challenged me. That’s why going abroad was an ideal move for me to learn new things and develop myself.

After searching for quite some time I couldn’t manage to find a company which really fitted my needs. Through an acquaintance I contacted JongLeren.es. Shortly after I had been in contact with Joost, there was a Skype conversation where I could explain who I was and what type of internship I was looking for. They often kept me informed when they had news about an internship placement. Since the deadline of my internship was soon, I was waiting quite tensely until I finally received the call.

At last, the time had come: Joost called me to tell me that I had an internship at a company in Valencia! A company where I could work creatively with bike rent and tours. For me this was the first experience abroad and also the first time living on my own. Therefore I was really excited for the next step.

THE BEGINNING

When it was time and I got on the plane a lot of emotions rushed through my body, but from there I switched my mind and I went all the way. Actually from the moment I arrived in Valencia and was welcomed, it directly felt like home. It was the feeling, but also the people around me and the beautiful city.

Shortly after it was time to begin my internship. The tasks and the connection I had with my colleagues were good from the start. The tasks were dynamic, communicative and creative, three things I love to do.

I met a lot of new people and worked with a variety of characters. With people who spoke the same language or not. This language barrier could be quite difficult sometimes, but I learned that with words and hands you can do a lot.
Freedom

I am happy I could apply my creative ideas, this was how we perfectly worked together. I learned to work independently, to stay focussed and to think in a problem solving way. Since I got a lot of responsibilities from the start and felt that they trusted me, it gave me more confidence.

The thing I loved most was when clients gave positive feedback and left the store with a smile. Sometimes they were so happy that they gave me a bottle of wine. This really gave me a boost.

Besides that, this company was the perfect example of a successful company where the people worked hard but also have a lot of fun. This made it all easier and more fun to get to work. They see everyone who works there as one big ‘familia’.

LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES

Even though I really liked my internship, I also made some mistakes. This is something you are unable to prevent and where you’ll learn from. What I definitely learned was to not stress and to stay calm. Every problem is fixable. It happened quite a lot where I had to think in a problem solving way and at the end I was able to fix it. I also learned that there’s a lot of miscommunication because of the language barrier. In addition, I have noticed that sometimes there is miscommunication due to the language barrier, since you sometimes translate things slightly differently and pick them up in a different language. That’s why it’s twice as important to watch and it can’t hurt no one to check things twice, or even three times.

HELP FROM JONGLEREN.ES

For me it was comforting to stay in contact with JongLeren.es every once in a while. I knew that whenever I was stressing out about something, I could always reach them. Since the office of JongLeren.es is in Málaga, it was a bit harder to stay in touch, since I was in Valencia. Nevertheless they were always engaged. They even passed by in Valencia! It was really nice to tell my stories and talk share the difficulties I faced.

When I look back at my internship I am able to confirm that I’ve learned a lot. Not only in the company, but from the whole period. During these four months in Valencia I got more confident. Not one single moment I have regretted the fact that I went abroad to do my internship. For me it was the best thing to do and I think that in the near future I can handle difficult situations better.

Now I also think that I have a good base for my next internship or work experiences I will gain in the future. Whether this is in the Netherlands or abroad. Besides that, I got to know myself and had enough time to see everything from a distance, literally and figuratively. I really developed and did not return as the same person.

All this started with the help I received from JongLeren.es that followed me every step of the way. Therefore I want to thank them big time!