Internship on Gran Canaria I: ¡Hola!

So here I am – in the middle of paradise – once again astonished how quickly even the most extensive change turns into normality again. Just about time to take a look back at the first impressions. 




To be honest, I’ve been once again too caught up in “normal” life, too busy trying to complete my 5th semester and handle the organizational issues an internship abroad brings along. So I didn’t seriously think about what would expect me or what I expected before coming here. I just assumed that work – as always – would be challenging in the beginning, then hopefully interesting after the first adaption phase and then turn into routine pretty soon.


According to the job ad, my tasks would be pretty versatile. Even though this also meant that I didn’t really know what exactly I would be doing, I welcomed that prospect. Because it meant that I would have the opportunity to get to know various areas and maybe be able to figure out what I enjoy doing and what I’m good at. Maybe that was somehow what I expected from this internship: To gain professional orientation. To cautiously take a step into this industry, that so far I only knew from classes and articles, without getting stuck all at once. To breathe some life into all these terms heard at university, to make the tasks a little more tangible, the profession a little more real.


These expectations were pretty similar concerning the concept of a “Digital Nomad”-life, which has been repeatedly catching my attention over the past year. Being able to work from anywhere in the world? The ever-growing online sector makes it possible. Apparently. But is it really as perfect as it seems? And is it really the kind of life I want to pursue? I have absolutely no idea. But if you never try, you’ll never know – so here we go, off to Gran Canaria, up-and-coming stronghold of Digital Nomads. Which makes perfect sense: If I could choose where I wanted to work, it would probably be here, too. But then again: I can choose and I am here. And the fact that I can also work from home (or from wherever, for that matter) gives me the opportunity to simply give this seemingly so tempting concept a try.



The beginning


Despite the cluelessness I mentioned initially, this time I was somehow better prepared than usually. I seriously took the time to arrive a couple of days earlier to get to know the city, the flat mates, the life here, before having to start my daily routine. I had already passed the office by chance when I got lost on the way home on my first Saturday night here. And – having realized my lack of orientation skills once again – I even went looking for it again on Sunday, just to make sure I’d find it right away on Monday. Which I did – well-rested and right on time. It was one of those moments where for a second you get the feeling that you really do have your shit together, followed by a strong suspiciousness, because this feeling usually comes right before a huge catastrophe.


However, there I was – well-rested, right on time and at the right place. I already met my boss (who was just as right on time as myself) in the hallway. He asked me if I found here okay. I couldn’t quite suppress a smile and nodded. He opened the door to the office and was surprised to find the second intern in there. Also from Austria, also from Styria, wonderful. I immediately felt a bit at home.


I got a laptop and some keys, log-in data to my Google account and around an hour of explanations for my first tasks: Researching potential new partner hotels in Mexico and revising existing data concerning hotels in different regions. After that, my boss left again and I was alone with my spreadsheets (and the second intern). I arranged my things at the empty desk and started to work. Since it seemed more understandable and urgent, I started with the research task. It was about finding hotels in a certain region in Mexico and listing some information about them (e-mail-address, stars, type of hotel, chain, city,…). Exhausting, but doable.


Even though I had only worked for around five hours, the loads of new information and the monotonous task had made me tired, so I went home. I was somehow happy that I had by far not finished the Mexico list. That meant that I wouldn’t have to start with the Indonesia list (containing 625 hotels including countless, pretty unstructured info about the hotel, the applicant and the internship conditions) too soon.


When I was walking home, I had to think of my colleague in Barcelona that I had visited the week before, because it had somehow been on the way. “I’m working with Excel a lot”, she had answered to my question how the internship was going. “But it’s surprisingly interesting.” It took me a couple of days before I could agree to that statement.



Read next:

Internship on Gran Canaria II: ¿Qué tal?

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