Erasmus+ Internship in Mallorca. Photo: © MCI/Taliercio
Cathedral on Palma de Mallorca. Photo: ©Taliercio
Our graduate Franca Taliercio, of the Bachelor's degree program in Industrial Engineering and Management gives us exciting insights into her internship abroad in Mallorca. Franca worked as an intern for three and a half months at the company WebBeds, based in Palma de Mallorca, and now shares valuable experiences with us in the following interview:
How did you decide to do an internship in Spain and how did you come across the internship provider?
Franka: I was on a semester abroad in Hong Kong and not quite ready to come back to cold Germany. Since the winter semester in Asia ends shortly before Christmas, I did an internship in Mallorca between the fifth and sixth semester. I was able to work on my bachelor thesis remotely and thus start working on it during my internship. Through the Erasmus+ program, I was able to acquire additional funding and financial support for the internship abroad. This made the whole process much easier.
I found my internship provider via LinkedIn. The process was very uncomplicated and flexible. I booked my apartment through AirBnB, which was a bargain during off-season.
What was the internship like?
Franka: The internship company is in tourism. However, I worked on developing an AI algorithm for automated hotel pricing. Since the company's headquarters is in London, English was the main language spoken in the office. Overall, though, you should be able to pick up a few basic words of Spanish to get along better in day-to-day life. Outside of Palma City, not many people speak English.
What was very exciting and what was challenging during the internship?
Franka: The island itself was definitely exciting. There is a lot to do in terms of sports on Mallorca - we were always out on our racing bikes or hiking in the mountains. Otherwise, from February on, it is definitely warm enough to eat in the sun, visit the local markets and festivals, or relax on the beach. The island is very pleasant outside the tourist season.
The language barrier was really challenging at first - I thought I could get through daily life with English. Then, I downloaded a language-learning app and quickly learned the basics. If you always use the words directly in everyday life, the learning progress is very fast. Connecting with people was no problem for me because of the road cycling and the frequent visits to friends and family, but in general, it can be more difficult without Spanish in any case.
What intercultural skills were you able to acquire?
Franka: The work culture in Spain is definitely different from here in Germany. Mornings start much later, and overall the working hours are much more flexible. I worked completely in my home office at least one day a week, and often I only came into the office for half a day. Many employees go home late at noon and work a few hours late at night. Overall, there is more communication in the office, more emphasis on small talk.
What was your benefit from the internship?
Franka: I really learned a lot during my time in Mallorca, but above all I had a lot of fun and can only recommend an internship abroad!