The End of My Time in Spain- SIBC International, Madrid- Part 3

Hello for the last time everyone,

My final few weeks in Madrid were certainly quite hectic, in a good way. I wrapped up my internship experience, saw more of Spain, and said “adios” to some great people who I had the fortune of meeting while on my trip.

Since my time interning with the American Club was ending soon, one of the focuses of my last two weeks was to create “infrastructure” for the club moving forward. To accomplish this, I generated three guides for the club on the areas of individual membership, corporate membership, and event management. Roughly 15 pages in length, these guides detailed all of the processes that go into working in a respective segment of the Club. Now, even when I’m gone, any volunteer working in the applicable field can simply consult the guide for assistance and direction.

I also had the chance to dig in to the financials of the organization. I was tasked with creating a cash flow schedule that would detail the club’s financial performance month by month over the last two years and project future cash flows for the next two years. As a Finance and Applied Math major, I really enjoyed the opportunity to work with numbers and create my own model in Excel. I also created an automated Treasurer Report Form in Excel and helped in the accumulation of financial data to be handed over to a third party accounting firm. This project won’t be complete until sometime later this year, and I was asked by the club to continue to be a resource from the States in gathering and synthesizing their financial records.

As I look back on my internship experience, I cannot express enough thanks to the American Club for providing me with this opportunity. Though it was a little bit unorthodox in that I was often at the office by myself, I enjoyed the fact that I was trusted to work hard, yet still held accountable for the product I produced and given regular feedback on my performance. This was my first real internship in an office setting, and I gained many skills that will benefit me for the rest of my professional career such as presenting my work in meetings, prioritizing my time, and taking initiative. Also, I had the chance to meet and be mentored by many extremely successful business professionals and learned what it truly takes to work collaboratively in an organization.

My final two weekends in Spain were also full of travel, as I trekked to Barcelona and Pamplona. I went to Barcelona with Bernie and a few other Intrax interns from Ohio State. The site of the 1992 Olympics and the famous “Dream Team,” Barcelona is a city that has an incredible amount to see and do. Since I had close to a full three days there, I was able to take in what a special place it is. I toured the Nou Camp soccer stadium as well as the Olympic stadium, Park Guell, the “la Rambla,” the Olympic Village, and the Sagrada Familia Church. I would describe the Sagrada Familia as one of the most eloquent and detailed structures I have ever seen. It is still under construction, and, even though it is not finished, I would say it already ranks among the most remarkable buildings in the world.

I traveled to Pamplona on my last weekend in Spain with some fellow Intrax interns to the festival of San Fermin, better known to most as the “Running of the Bulls.” It was quite a crazy scene in the small city. Everybody wears essentially the exact same clothing, and it seems like just about no one in the entire city sleeps for nine days straight. It was an amazing experience to celebrate this festival with the Spanish people. I gained another view into how passionately they feel about their traditions, and, as a student at Notre Dame, I can certainly respect that.

Throughout my last week in Spain, I had to say goodbye to all of the people I met along the way. This included my fellow Intrax interns, my coworkers, my flatmates, and many others. It was a special eight weeks, and I am excited to bring back with me new perspectives, new skills, and a few souvenirs. For not having any Spanish background or any idea what to expect going in, I’d have to say that I managed pretty well. I look forward to mentoring and being a resource to students who are in my position next year.

Lastly, I would like to thank Frank Potenziani and the SIBC once again. This opportunity was something that I didn’t really know was possible at the beginning of the spring semester, and it is entirely thanks to the Council that I have been able to experience so much.

I really hope that you’ve enjoyed my blog. I’ll sign off with a few pictures to wrap things up. First is me at the Nou Camp stadium, second is a view of the outside of the Sagrada Familia, third is a view of the beach in Barcelona, fourth is one of the streets in Pamplona during the festival of San Fermin, and last is me dressed in the typical San Fermin attire.

Hasta luego,

Dan Cortese

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