This summer, I'm living in the beautiful city of Barcelona, Spain, and I'm interning at a technology start-up company called SAST-MFA, or secure accrediation systems technology. Here, I'm the only intern, which is very favorable for me because I get to be involved in all aspects of the small company of 10 people, learning all about their public relations and marketing strategies, as well as the business aspects of entrepreneurship.
The first day started as a bit of a struggle, as I had the old address for the company, and had to call my boss to get directions, it was actually the first time we'd ever spoken, besides email. The woman I'd originally interviewed with via Skype had moved away, so I wasn't familiar with my new boss yet. As it turned out, he is extremely accommodating, and went out of his way to help me navigate to their new location.
Walking into the office, it was not what I was expecting, at first glance it seemed a sketchy, too-warm, dark room with a bunch of strangers sitting around. One older guy was walking around barefoot, and there was country music playing pretty loudly. However, everyone, even the company CEO, got up and came over to me, introducing themselves very warmly, setting me at ease. After about 5 minutes, they'd even invited me to a small housewarming party they were having for 2 of the guys who worked there. It wasn't like any job or internship I'd had back home in the States, but soon I grew to like it. Everyone was super friendly and laid-back, they didn't give me an email account for 2 days, as opposed to my American internship having it ready for me the minute I started work. But, I decided that it wasn't necessarily a bad thing, because it gave me more time to relax, get my bearings, and interact with everyone in the office; a few of them even showed me a good place to get a cheap lunch.
All in all, having started work on a Wednesday, and only working 5 hours a day, it's been a great first 2 weeks here in Barcelona. My co-workers are extremely friendly and relaxed, but it's very rewarding because the work I'm doing has a real, immediate effect on the company as a whole. I'm very happy to be here, and I look forward to the rest of my summer!