4 August 2020
During the Eater break of this year I was due to fly out to Spain and take part in a two-week placement at Escuela Entrelenguas in Ronda. However, due to the pandemic and the banning of international travel, I found myself staying at home, disappointed that I had missed this fantastic opportunity. Luckily, all was not lost! In late April I received an email from Entrelenguas giving me the opportunity to complete my placement online over summer so of course I snapped up the opportunity. In these times adapting to communication and work online is something familiar to most people, and despite wondering if this would still benefit me, I went for it and do not regret it one bit.

Meeting people for the first time through Zoom can be a bit daunting, especially when you are speaking a second language, but the technology makes it so easy to communicate and within a week I really felt like part of the team. My role at Entrelenguas is as a marketing and communications assistant and prior to working with them I had no previous experience in this sector, and it’s safe to say that after working in this environment it could be a real option for the future! From Monday to Thursday I have meetings every morning and afternoon with the team to ensure we are all aware of our tasks and what we need to do. Plus, the constant connection through WhatsApp makes communication a breeze! From writing blog posts in both Spanish and English to creating marketing content for external clients and translating documents, this experience is giving me great first-hand knowledge of not only how the world of marketing works but also how a Spanish business works. Writing blog posts and articles really helps me in terms of professional recognition because any article I write gets posted on their blog. My very first article about Spanish Pronunciation was published a few weeks ago! Also, communication with different companies in the languages and education sector has massively improved my communication skills in a professional capacity.

Thanks to the efficiency and ease of technology today I am able to complete all tasks online that I would have otherwise completed in Spain in the office meaning that I don’t feel I have missed out on the experience after all (aside from the lack of sun!). I am still able to practice my Spanish language as we all communicate in the target language, meaning I am both learning professional communication and everyday Spanish.

Another perk of working for a languages school is the lessons I receive from native and very high-quality teachers. After interviewing some of Entrelenguas’ students and from first-hand experience, I have really seen how effective the lessons they offer are. Due to the shutting of the school, Entrelenguas have really boosted their use of technology offering everything online, including group and individual lessons, as well as offering courses online soon. These classes have been really useful for me, especially with my year abroad coming up in September! Before starting lessons you can fill out a short level test and then the lessons you receive can be specifically tailored to what you want to achieve something I found incredibly helpful for ensuring I improve.

Doing this placement has taught me just how useful transferrable skills are. With the skills I had already developed at university, like communication and teamwork, I have been able to adapt really well to this new work environment and work with confidence in myself. It has also taught me how valuable my degree in Spanish will be in the future – languages open you up to so many opportunities. My main take away is definitely the importance of taking every opportunity that that comes your way, no matter how big or small, nor how daunting it may appear, it will be worth it. Any experience is good experience, especially at the moment when we have all the free time in the world!

Written by Charlotte Coyne