Finding a New Passion While Abroad
Pamela B. – Intern in Madrid
How did you come across Adelante and why did you pick Adelante?
I went abroad with Adelante back in 2006, before the age of social media. I found Adelante through a simple Google search. The combination of foreign language education/immersion and a professional internship stood out to me. I had just graduated from college.
While I was yearning to immerse myself in Spanish and solidify the language skills I had acquired through my studies, I didn’t want to delay my entrance into the professional world. The Spanish classes + internship experience abroad was the perfect combination.
What experiences from your time in Madrid helped you in your career?
Beyond a doubt, the language skills I acquired while abroad with Adelante opened a world of possibilities for me. It paved the way for me to start my career as a translator. I eventually started my own translation company.
My internship experience also really helped me gain confidence to enter the workforce.
I remember thinking when I got back to New York, if I could hold my own at my internship in a foreign country, speaking a foreign language, I have no excuse not to confidently make a place for myself in my own city, in my native language.
Did you have any plans for your career before your internship in Madrid? Did they change after your internship?
The Adelante internship was immensely helpful for me. I studied marketing at the University of Maryland and I always assumed I wanted to work in advertising. My internship taught me that I was not interested in a career in advertising.
It was a critical lesson, and I’m so grateful I discovered that at the beginning of my career instead of putting years into something that I wasn’t passionate about. Instead, I’m fascinated by learning about the language and cross-cultural communication, which eventually led me down the path of translation.
What is your most memorable experience from interning in Madrid?
The first meeting I attended, representing the magazine I was interning for, was memorable because I was intimidated as a 22-year-old American girl walking into a meeting with eight or nine Spaniards. It was a great moment when I had to put all my nerves aside and really test myself under pressure.
Another memorable experience was at a press event for a gourmet Iberian Ham company. When the jamón was passed around, I politely told my colleague no thanks, because I didn’t like ham.
I’ll never forget the look she gave me – needless to say, it was convincing enough for me to try it and realize how delicious it was… I’ll never make the mistake of turning down jamón ibérico again!
What is your current job?
I am the co-founder and lead Spanish into English translator for Curl Translations (www.curltranslations.com). We are a close-knit team of talented and passionate language professionals offering translation, editing and transcreation services to clients across the globe. Ranging from small local businesses to multinational corporations.
What advice would you give to current/future Adelante Abroad candidates?
Go to new places if you can, when you can. Do it even, and especially, if it scares you. The experience you gain through a program like Adelante will provide you with insight on what your dream job is, and will help give you the tools and confidence to get it.
Interested in interning abroad like Pamela? Check out our Madrid page and find out if it’s the right city for you!