Intern Insight : Marina's Internship Experience in Colombia
Updated: Oct 19
Hey! I am Marina Rodríguez, originally from Spain (in particular from Cádiz, for those who are interested) and I live now in Bristol (UK) because I go to University here. I am in my second year of my Economics degree. Last year I became super interested in Latin America, especially in Colombia because I met in Bristol someone from Bogotá and they spoke amazing about their country! Also, I love reggaeton so…I thought of just going travelling there, but since I am at Uni, I wanted to do something that will have a positive impact on my career. I then started looking for internships there, and came across Intern Colombia. The internships seemed very interesting – and also cheaper than other companies. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do exactly so I just applied for one that was Economics related and wished for luck. I went through the interview and Matthew was very helpful in guiding me which company would be the best. I booked my tickets and left just after my summer exams in June!
When I got there I was soo scared. It was the first time I was traveling by myself and to Latin America. Oh, it was also the first time I was having office work experience. Luckily, Spanish was my first language, so that helped me to stay relaxed. When I landed there, I had so many negative misconceptions about safety in Colombia. I thought I would not be able to party there, or just go around walking by myself. The true thing is that the number of Colombian people that want to help you is much greater that those that want to harm you. The majority is extremely helpful and nice. For example, my bags got lost on the trip, and when I told the staff in El Dorado airport, they were very helpful (they even gave me their whatsapp!) and my bags were home 3 days later.
Okay, let’s go into the work I was doing there. I carried out a two-month internship with a vehicle start-up as a Sales Commercial. The first month at the office was a bit dull and I felt I wasn’t doing much, but it helped me to understand the product of the company I was going to sell to clients on my second month there. I did a lot of analysis of sales (so spreadsheets and excel – I’ve become very fast at typing and have learnt really cool Excel tools!). The second month of the internship was just mad. I loved it. They gave me way more responsibilities, I was calling potential clients and having meetings with them. At first, I went with my colleague Johanna – who was an expert – and afterwards I was going by myself. I ended up securing this reaaaally good client for the company. I was having meetings with the Portuguese Embassy of Colombia, Adidas, etc. It was really cool. I got to meet really interesting people and see many different offices. It gave me a lot of confidence when talking to clients. I am now way more confident for the Internship I have lined up for this summer – will get to this later.
Now for the social (and a bit more fun) part of my time in Colombia. I’ll start by saying – Colombians know how to have fun! Literally I have never seen better dancers in my life, and I thought I was good! I mainly went out with the people from my company, and even the nerdiest dude knew how to dance. It was always an experience going to a club. One of the things that had me the most worried was that I was not going to meet people to have fun with, but one of my co-workers always invited me to stuff with her friends. There were also two other interns with me (Agar from Italy the first month and Anna from Scotland the second one). They were a lot of fun! Once, I ended up sneaking in an International Film event. This is good story, way too long for this post.
I also did a bit of travelling. Actually, every weekend I was going somewhere. I went to Medellín, Villa de Leiva, Cartagena, Santa Marta, Parque Tayrona, Desierto de Tatacoa, and these really cool thermals with water from near a volcano or something. It is very cheap to travel around there, and everything just costs less, so would deffs recommend! I was going out the Fridays till 4am, and getting on planes at 6:30am. It was very fun. Also, when I went to Medellín by myself, I met people in the hostel instantly with whom I did stuff in Medellín with and then they even visited me in Bogotá! Also, my favorite place I visited was Cartagena. It was magical. It had a very old part that kind of looked like Andalucía (where I am from).
This summer I have secured an Internship with an Investment company in Madrid, and having previous work experience abroad definitely helped! I would definitely encourage everyone to go to Colombia. I cannot stress it enough how valuable this experience has been for me, in a professional level but also in a personal one.
If you are thinking of doing an internship there, I would not think about it twice. You are going to gain so many positive values. I am definitely more confident and open now, and I would not be like this if I had not gone to Colombia.
If you would like to know more about Colombia or what it's like to do an internship abroad in Colombia. Please contact a member of our team. If you would like to know about our online internships, please click here.
This blog post was published by Intern Colombia on 08 March 2019 and written by our Intern Colombia Alumna - Marina. This post has only been edited for grammatical purposes.