Early on in the year I knew that I wanted to spend my summer doing something exciting and worthwhile. My preferred destination was Spain because it is where I would like to work when I graduate. Madrid and Barcelona are two cities that I feel immensely attracted to, they are home to internationally recognized branding and graphic design agencies with unique styles. After carrying out research on some of the best graphic design agencies in Spain, I took the initiative to approach each one of the individually and offer myself as an intern for the summer. I created a set of postcards showcasing my work, introducing myself and sent one to each one of my 10 chosen agencies. I was quite ambitious with my choice of agencies; they were all very well known and received tons of portfolios from students. I was lucky that one of them got back to me and offered me and internship: Saffron in Madrid, founded by the legend Wally Olins!
I wasn’t specially worried before I left for Spain. I’m fluent in Spanish and I’m familiar with the culture, however, I had never lived in such a big city and that made me feel a little bit nervous but excited at the same time. I was a slightly concerned about what my accommodation would be like, considering I booked it without viewing the flat previously as I needed a place to stay as soon as I arrived in Madrid. I had never before shared a flat with 9 people, but the flat looked quite nice online and the landlord was very friendly over the phone. I was a bit worried of living with very noisy people and having trouble sleeping.
My room turned out to be lovely. There were one or two parties on weeknights but I survived. By the end of my stay Madrid felt like home and I didn’t want to leave. I had become used to my routine at work and I had become familiar with working in a large company. At Saffron I learned how keeping organized, communicative and efficient is crucial when work as a part of a big team. It was amazing being surrounded by many people with different skills, I was asking people for tips and advice to help me with my work. I have learned many new skills specially regarding the Adobe Suit software. Of course I had a mentor that made me feel supported along the way, but I learned that if you want something you have to go and get, people are busy with their own work to be worrying about how you’re getting on. For me, the most valuable part of my experience were all the wonderful people I met from all over the world (France, Morocco, Italy, Germany, Israel, UK, Spain, USA, Honduras, Mexico and many others). I have made friends for life and have found a home in Madrid.
The view from my room in Madrid
The Fuencarral Market
El Retiro Park
The Saffron Interns
My work sketchbook