My STEP Signature Project was an internship in Spain. During my Project, I worked for a company called AutoScout24 in the marketing department. I worked every day, Monday through Friday. On the weekends I was fortunate enough to travel and experience Europe.
This experience truly changed how I view the world and myself. Generally speaking, before I left for the trip I would say that I was open-minded. Traveling to different countries helped me to realize that before the trip I had actually been closed minded. All that I would ever think about is what is going on in my life or what is going on in the US. What you don’t understand is that there is more going on in the world than what is happening in the US. That there are other people in other countries struggling, suffering, going through all sorts of times.
One experience that really changed my perspective is seeing all the people begging on the side of the street in Madrid. It wasn’t like the US where the beggars were your average-ish person, for the most part, they had deformities and other issues. It was hard to see that people in their situation probably do have to rely on begging to make money. That was definitely a situation that I had to take a step back and think about where I am in life and how fortunate I am. That would constantly weigh on me seeing as I would always see the beggars on the street. From the end of the trip onward, I told myself that I would be more grateful for how my life is. Just this last semester I ran into some difficult times with family and school but I thought back to how hard those beggars had it and it helped me understand that my predicament will eventually subside.
Another experience that changed me on my trip was traveling. I realized that life isn’t about what you do or where you go. Instead, its about who you do those things with. I was fortunate enough to have met such great people on my trip so that wherever I went I could truly enjoy everything. Most people would say that all they want to do is just to travel the world but, what is very important, is the people you are with. Because of this realization of what life is really about I have been contemplating the path in life that I am taking entirely. I’m not entirely sure I want to follow the traditional business path and instead create my own path to follow. Although I am not entirely sure what that is I am excited about what life holds next.
Lastly, I realized how I react in situations where I am unfamiliar with the environment. This whole experience showed me how I deal with different types of stress than I have never dealt with before. Trying to navigate your way around a foreign country, with limited to no cell service, unable to speak the language really helps you be able to buckle down and problem solve. I remember thinking prior to the trip going to a different country where I don’t know anyone, speak the language, and stay there for two months was a huge endeavor. To be honest I was quite nervous because I had no idea how this would turn out. I stuck with it and a short time after I had been there I met some great friends that I eventually began to get comfortable with. Finding a group of friends really helped me to focus on how to deal with the other natural stress from the trip.
This transformation is valuable for absolutely every reason. Every day that I was in Spain or traveling I was learning a completely different set of skills. How to react in different situations that I haven’t ever experienced before, how to stay calm and collected in stressful situations, and more. I realized from this experience that I really want to live to live rather than live to work. I have decided that I want to better myself and continue to push myself out of my comfort zone.