First two weeks in Madrid—meeting people from many different countries


Hello everybody!


By means of a quick introduction, my name is Bernie Gray and I am rising senior at Notre Dame with majors in Mathematics and Spanish and a minor in Actuarial Science.  I am here in Madrid interning at Morningstar and living with Danny Cortese, who is also participating in an SIBC international internship.  So far, my work at Morningstar has mainly consisted of looking up various documents online and either saving them or recording a link, as well as extracting certain information from some of the documents.


In this blog entry, I want to focus on the international aspect that I’ve experienced from my internship so far.  This might seem obvious, but since I am representing the Student International Business Council, I think that is precisely why this internationality is so important.  Danny and I are roommates in an apartment where two girls from France, one girl from the Netherlands, one girl from Germany, and one boy from Scotland are also staying; all are in Madrid for various reasons. 


In the Morningstar office, which is very small here in Spain, there are also people from all over the world.  There are currently three other American interns from Pittsburgh.  Other than us four Americans, I have coworkers from England, Portugal, Germany, Venezuela, Brazil, and of course Spain.  And this is all in an office of probably under 30 employees.  Many, if not most or all, speak passable, if not fluent English.  For example, the employee who sits across the table from me speaks Spanish, English, and French.  I speak to him in Spanish and one day I brought up how so many of our coworkers know several languages.  He explained that since Morningstar is an American company, this is not so strange, but still the language skill in the office is unbelievable.


On the other hand, it is also insightful to see how non-Americans view the US.  I asked some of my international roommates what they thought of when they think of our country and they said “Supersize me.”  Below I attach a picture of an advertisement that I saw at a book fair in the main park in Madrid this weekend.  Also, in the subway stops there is an ad for flights to America talking about milkshakes and showing a retro scene of a waitress bringing milkshakes out to a car.  These advertisements provide interesting perspective about how our country is viewed.    


The three pictures below are the aforementioned ad, me at a Real Madrid soccer game, and Danny and I near the Royal Palace.


Bernie Gray



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