Volcanic Blog Header  8

Expat life in Barcelona: My start into a professional life

Back to Blogs
Blog Img

Expat life in Barcelona: My start into a professional life

Are you just about to start your career in the professional world? Or are you looking for a suitable internship abroad? Then this blogpost is for you!

Hi, I'm Kati and I'm currently working as a Recruitment Support & Community Specialist at Blu Selection in sunny Barcelona. As a part of my studies, I'm completing my 6-month mandatory internship here to gain practical experience in recruiting. In the following blogpost I will share my experiences and tips about starting a career and finding an internship abroad, especially in Barcelona. Let's go !

How did I start my internship search?

Okay, let's be honest: We all know the feeling of being overwhelmed by countless job opportunities on various job portals. Due to the multitude of offers, you quickly feel overwhelmed and often don't know where to start. So what's the best way to get an overview of what's on offer? Before I started my research, I asked myself the following questions: Which area interests me the most? Which tasks do I enjoy? What are my strengths and weaknesses? How do I envision my professional future? With the answers you create a thread for your job search, which you can fall back on during the research. It doesn't matter if you don't have the answers to all the questions, but it will help you to keep your eyes on your goal and your expectations. 

Looking for a Job in Spain?

But where to go? Which country is best suited for a career start?

At the time, my professor had advised me to make a pre-selection of three countries or cities that I was particularly interested in. This helped me a lot in finding my internship, because you can filter the job offers better. Of course, the financial situation plays a big role here, because rent in popular cities is generally quite high. As a student, I had the opportunity to receive an Erasmus+ scholarship, so I always recommend consulting your university about possible funding programs or student loans first. Especially as a student, I can recommend to look for flat share offers, because you can already make first contacts and pay less rent.

Apart from Greece, I was personally drawn to Spain because of the Spanish culture and cuisine, the beautiful weather, and the desire to improve my Spanish. Since I always wanted to live near the sea, my decision was made quite quickly and for me it was : Barcelona calls!

In addition to the colorful city life with countless restaurants, tapas bars and clubs, Barcelona offers you the opportunity to enjoy your evening at one of the sandy beaches nearby. One thing is certain: you won't get bored here! You will quickly meet other students and interns in the city, since many young people are drawn to Barcelona. In addition, there are many Erasmus events and excursions, such as volleyball on the beach, bar hopping or hiking in the surroundings of Barcelona. Especially at the beginning of my internship, these events helped me a lot to get to know new people.  

After I was clear about my exact ideas and the city, my research could start. The following job portals and platforms were especially helpful for my search:

How do I behave in the interview?

"Phew, I have my first job interview today. I'm already totally nervous and stressed out!" are often the first thoughts in association with job interviews. But shouldn't we see a job interview much more as an opportunity?

An interview always gives you the opportunity to find out if your ideas match the job requirements. Worst-case scenario? The job is not a match for you, but you had an informative interview and you were able to learn something about the current job market. We all aim to present our best selves during the interview to create a positive impression.

An interview always gives you the opportunity to find out if your ideas match the job requirements. Worst-case scenario? The job is not a match for you, but you had an informative interview and you were able to learn something about the current job market. We all aim to present our best selves during the interview to create a positive impression.

But there is one thing you should not forget: Always be yourself! Because at the end of the day, the job should also fit you and your ideas. To find this out, it is important to ask specific questions. Before the interview, you should take a close look at the job description and the company's website so that any initial questions can be clarified. This also shows the recruiter that you have already read up on the company and are seriously interested in the position. Another crucial point is your salary expectations, because this question is asked in every interview. I recommend that you compare the salaries on the market to get a realistic overall picture and to be able to negotiate more confidently. Back up your salary expectations with your expertise, your previous professional experience and your successes in order to be convincing in the negotiation.

People often have very high expectations, especially for the first job interview. However, you should always see a job interview as an opportunity to find out whether the requirements of the job also meet your expectations. So take this chance and dare to show your curiosity and ask questions. And even if it doesn't work out, you can use the interview to build up your network and draw on it in your professional future.

Looking for a Job in Spain?

How does it feel to be an intern at Blu Selection?

The first day at a new job is always super exciting. I still remember our first "Blu Welcome Coffee" for Juliette, Miriam and me very well, because we all started our internship at Blu Selection at the same time. We did a short round of introductions and were super warmly welcomed by the entire team. I especially liked the fact that each intern was assigned their own "buddy". This means that this person is always the first point of contact for questions or problems. However, basically everyone in the team has an open ear for you and mutual support is at the top of Blu's list.

Since I had previously worked in a small travel agency, many of the work processes and the organization of my work calendar in recruiting were very new to me. At first, I had to create an overview and a kind of work routine for the day. I particularly enjoyed the onboarding week, as we had many exciting trainings there, such as the introduction to the various job portals, CV screening, active sourcing, cold calling and much more. With the first trainings, I felt much more confident in my tasks and was able to master the first challenges well. After being at Blu for 4 months now, I can say that I absolutely feel at home in the team and really appreciate the work environment. #makethebluexperience 💙

What were your biggest learning moments during your internship?

During my internship, I was able to gain valuable insights into the day-to-day work of a recruiter. On the one hand, this includes the entire application process and applicant management, but I also learned how important the administrative tasks of a recruiter are. This includes, for example, regular postings of job descriptions, building a network on LinkedIn, and active sourcing projects. In addition to the professional learning curve and practical experience I gained, the internship helped me to develop personally. I was able to improve my time management in particular, as I had to learn how to set priorities in order to complete my tasks efficiently. Since you face new challenges every day, I learned to take responsibility and take the initiative more often. I was also able to make valuable contacts during my internship, which can be very helpful for my professional future.

My top 4 tips for starting a career abroad:

  1. Think about your wishes and expectations for your future job beforehand so that you can research more specifically and efficiently.

  2. In order to avoid unpleasant surprises and to be able to negotiate confidently, you should inform yourself well about the job and the country in advance.

  3. See the interview as an opportunity: Express your curiosity and ask specific questions.

  4. Dare! If not now, then when?

I wish you a lot of success in your job search and I am sure that you will find a suitable job. Take the chance now, be brave and go abroad!

Looking for a Job in Spain?

Read more about this: