Summer Global Internship – Madrid, Spain

Zachary Spangler


  1. For my STEP Signature Project, I interned with Carbures Europe in Madrid, Spain through the Fisher Summer Global Internship Program. For my Corporate Finance and Investor Relations Summer Analyst role, I interacted with and learned from top corporate executives during my eight-weeks spent in Madrid.


  1. The most daunting realization before I left for my summer in Madrid was the fact that I did not speak the native Spanish language. I was leaving my comfortable life here in the United States and choosing to spend my summer in a foreign country half-way across the world where I would have no understanding of my surroundings. Though frightening, I knew that by putting myself in this vulnerable environment, I would be able to experience significant growth as an adult as well as a young professional. While immersing myself in the Spanish culture, I began to understand the similarities and differences of humanity separated by a few thousand miles. Personally, I discovered a new-found sense of confidence, adventure, and independence in which will propel me towards success throughout my junior year at Ohio State.


  1. The first series of events that changed my perception of living and working in an unfamiliar country were the relationships that formed amongst my coworkers. Fortunately, everyone in the corporate office had some level of English proficiency and were willing, sometimes eager, to converse with me in English. Each day during lunch, I would speak with some of my coworkers about the cultural differences between Spain and the United States, current events happening in Madrid, or casual banter about upcoming World Cup games. Being able to listen and learn from top executives at Carbures Europe on a daily basis truly gave me better insight into operating a large-scale international corporation.

The second key aspect that influenced my experience this summer was my willingness to put myself in vulnerable, unfamiliar situations. By saying “yes” to opportunities as they came truly played a role in allowing me to grow as an individual by continuously living in the moment full of new experiences. Having the opportunity to travel within Spain, and the entirety of Europe, truly gave me a new sense of independence. From seeking out new cultures and ideas to creating memories from each new destination, I rediscovered myself as a person and my desire for adventure.

Overall, being in a welcoming and interactive working environment with supportive and high-energy coworkers along with being exposed to the Spanish culture made for an exceptional summer internship through my STEP Signature Project. The ability to gain hands-on experience at the corporate level is highly valuable to growing my professional career. My STEP Signature Project has certainly set me on the right track to continue to progress academically and, ultimately, my future career.

  1. My time in Spain certainly has sparked my interest in pursuing opportunities in the future to continue learning, immersing, and experiencing the world outside of the United States. The Fisher Summer Global Internship Program has showed me the practicality of traveling, living, and working internationally. One aspect of my professional goals is to broaden my awareness and acceptance to the endless cultures from all over the world to gain a greater international understanding of how humanity operates. Since returning back to Ohio, I have already started to daydream about my next adventures abroad.