A few months ago, I would have never guessed that I would be where I am now: typing away on my computer in an office in the center of Seville, one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. To my left, a window with a picturesque view of the city and the town Giralda in the center. To my right, my spaniard co-workers having lunch on a ping pong table (it’s 3:45pm — typical lunch time in Spain). My morning commute involves leaving my apartment anytime between 10 am – 3 pm from Los Remedios, cross the Guadalquivir River, walk through the center of the city, pass the Giralda (one of the oldest and historic cathedrals in Europe) and through the narrow cobblestone streets of Alfalfa. The commute treats me to the smell of delicious tapas, the elegant flamenco dancers, and sometimes, singing Beatles and Vicente Fernandez look-alikes.
I work for a startup called GlampingHub, otherwise known as:“the world’s largest online booking platform for unique nature accommodations”. The entire staff works in this office and although it may seem like many, there are actually only 12 members. I am in the business development department and of the many tasks I do, I enjoy making calls the most (yes –I call people over the phone!). My main tasks are to find luxurious camping locations all over the world and get them to join our platform. Although I have mastered the sales pitch that we use, most of my calls turn into irrelevant but interesting conversations. Last week I called Ireland, Scotland, Turkey, Australia, Alaska, and Hawaii. This week I am calling Fiji, England, New Zealand, and Brazil. Did I mention that I only speak three phrases in Portuguese? Foi muito interessante.
It was a bold move of me to chose an international co-op for my first one; yet, without regrets, it is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Adjusting to the differences of Spain or Europe in general is not a struggle for me. It is an adventure! I would highly recommend anyone who is planning on doing an international co-op to do so. It is well worth all the extra steps one has to take and in the end, one gets to go home with a more enriched experience and amazing memories.
-Ricardo Ortiz, International Business ‘17