Name: Bailey Hoppes
Type of Project: Internship
My STEP Signature project was an eight-week internship abroad in Madrid, Spain where I lived and worked. Madrid became a place that I felt I could call home. I fell in love with the culture and the people of Spain. I was able to emerge myself in a new, exciting culture to understand how life can differ from what I am used to. During my internship, I was also able to travel all around Europe. Without STEP I would not have been able to have the best summer of my life.
My view of the world changed dramatically during my time spent in Spain for my summer internship. Not only did I get to see how business works differently in different parts of the world, but I got to experience the culture of Spain and other countries in Europe. Before my experience abroad I had very little interaction with people from Spain or Europe in general other than just for travel, but during my internship I actually had to learn how to communicate with them and really learn about their experiences. It helped me have a better understanding of why diversity is so important in every aspect of our life. Diversity helps us grow in our careers and develop a better understanding of the world around us. I also learned a great amount about the finance and real estate industry which was very helpful in helping me decide what type of future career I wanted. I was never quite sure what I wanted to do after graduation and this opportunity pushed me in a direction of wanting to work in real estate.
During my time abroad, I was able to develop on a personal level as well. Not only was I working with people from another country, but I had to interact with them in every activity of my day to day life, whether that was grabbing a coffee or buying groceries. I had to be confident in myself to know that I was able to interact with other people who were vastly different from me. I gained confidence and realized that I can do anything that I put my mind to. I got to explore my love for traveling by visiting over fifteen countries. I truly was able to explore the world and grow my passion for travel.
During my summer internship, I worked at Resource Capital Partners, a commercial real estate business. In the office, I focused on improving the cash flow model, researching and analyzing the real estate investment market for potential clients, and analyzing current projects to make sure they were on track and up to date. As a finance major, I was excited to be able to focus on the cash flow model and improve its functionality. I worked on a various number of projects and learned a lot about the real estate industry.
One of my coworkers and I were able to work together on many presentations and make sure they were ready for our clients. Sometimes our ideas would collide on what information was beneficial for our clients, and I would begin to get frustrated but these were the times where I came to realize that is important to understand that people may be different from you and have other ideas. I learned that listening to a diverse amount of opinions really helps to develop the best possible presentation and exceed your end goals. Communication is really important in the workplace to create the greatest outcome. This internship brought things I have learned in my classes to life and will improve my future understanding in the classroom. Overall, I learned a various amount of useful skills and grew professionally as I was pushed to my fullest potential.
Being able to travel the world really allowed me to grow into a more confident and independent person. During one of my weekend trips to Munich, my friends and I had thought we were lost and could not get back to the place we were staying. I took it upon myself to lead our group back to our hostel by using my sense of direction and landmarks I had noticed when we had left earlier in the day. I was confident in my abilities and led us back to our hostel safely. This is just one instance where I became more confident and took initiative during a group setting in order to get us where we needed to go. Now, I feel that I could more confidently lead a team to reach an end goal.
Overall, this experience showed me that I am able to do anything I put my mind to and that the sky really is the limit. I am more confident and willing to try new things. Working and living internationally provided me with the desire to keep traveling and exploring the world, and because of this opportunity I hope to eventually work in an international business setting. I am so grateful for the friends and mentors I gained through this experience. This summer will forever remain the best summer of my life. I am so thankful I was able to explore the world, learn, and work all in one amazing, unforgettable trip.