Name: Hillary Paige Coombs
Major/Minor: International Business-Marketing/Spanish & Chinese
Company Interned For: EDUCAMarketing (Salamanca, Spain)
Hometown: Canterbury, CT
AC: Tell us a little bit about the company you interned for and who you interned under.
HC: EDUCAMarketing is a Marketing Firm located in Salamanca, Spain focusing in the Educational Market Sector. It offers an array of services ranging from project management training courses, marketing assistance, and help in penetrating the social media market.
AC: What were your day to day operations as an intern?
HC: For starters, they were all in Spanish. All of my conversations with my boss, projects, e-mails, phone calls, etc. My primary job for the semester was to develop a Formal Marketing Plan for EDUCAMarketing’s newest Project Management Educational project – their PMP Exam Simulator.
AC: How did you hear about your internship?
HC: The opportunity arose through Bryant Universities’ International Business Program, primarily through its director, Madan Annavarjula. They developed a new program in Salamanca this semester for International Business students minoring in Spanish to intern with a company while studying abroad. When I chose to study abroad with this program, they arranged for all fourteen of us to have internships through the Chamber of Commerce in Salamanca, who chose companies for us based on our previous experience and studies.
AC: What do you think set your internship aside from any other job you’ve held or project you’ve worked on before?
HC: For starters, because it was all in Spanish. My supervisor never spoke a drop of English to me. It made the smallest tasks difficult sometimes. When I first started, communicating was extremely difficult. However, after the past 4 months of working there, my Spanish has advanced so much. I was forced to turn my computer into Spanish, using Spanish search engines, turn my Microsoft Offices into Spanish, etc. It really forced me to use the language in a business world setting, exactly what I needed. In addition, I worked more independently here there in any of my previous jobs. My boss would spend five minutes giving me an overview of what he wanted me to do, and it was up to me to figure out the rest. I learned to take advantage of the internet, research the basics, and then start working on my project.
AC: Which jobs or projects, that you have been apart of here at Bryant, helped you during your internship?
HC: Of course, my Spanish courses have greatly prepared me for the “Spanish” side of the internship. However, my marketing course at Bryant probably helped me the most as it taught me how to write a formal marketing plan. Without this course, I would have been going on Online Templates, which is sufficient, but not to the degree a company/boss expects. The course allowed me to understand each component of a good marketing plan, which helped me through my first attempt at a real life marketing plan (in Spanish!). In addition, my Bryant 101 course taught me a lot about the functions of an international business as a whole, along with business practices and norms around the world.
AC: What advice would you give an underclassmen who is also an IB major?
HC: If you have the chance to intern while studying abroad, DO IT! It made my experience ten times more worthwhile. I was able to travel, take classes, and work ALL WHILE HAVING FUN AND ENJOYING SPAIN. This experience has given me a chance to see what my studies could really look like as a job in the future. Also, practicing your language through an internship tops any other language experience. My Spanish and business vocabulary has been immensely increased, as well as my general understanding of global business practices.