Publicador de contenidos

Back to reportaje_estudiantes-verano

Summer: time for internships and volunteer activities


21 | 08 | 2023




Summer is vacation time. But it is also an opportunity to complement what you have learned during the school year, to take the leap into the world of work or to dedicate time to others.

In the picture

In June, Marta Rodríguez-Sañudo (4th year of design) taught Spanish to three Malaysian siblings.

As Marta Rodríguez-Sañudo says, "summer is the perfect time to do things that you don't have time for during the school year or that you can't dedicate as much time to as you would like". Marta is a student in the 4th year of design and during the month of June she was teaching Spanish to three siblings from Malaysia. "I was going to spend a month in Pamplona finishing my TFG, but I didn't want my time to be limited to just that. So I got on contact with Tantaka and, in a few days, we had the classroom booked and a date to start," she explains.

Marta met with Hafisha, Nusayba y Usayd6, 8 and 12 year olds, twice a week in the high school Larraona. During the reinforcement classes she worked with them on vocabulary, practiced conversations and taught them some expressions that could be useful in their daily lives. "I was impressed by their eagerness and enthusiasm to learn and integrate into a new culture. That motivated me to prepare the classes as well as possible," she says. "In just one month they evolved a lot. Seeing that progress and how they enjoyed learning delighted me," she concludes. 

Helping, also outside Spain

In addition to collaborating with various associations in our country, students of the University have participated this summer in different projects of volunteer activities international. This is the case, for example, of Puy Barrondo, a 3rd year Nursing student, who during the month of June helped in the pediatric hospital "Baca Ortiz", in Quito (Ecuador). "There were seven of us volunteers. Each of us was assigned a unit to help. I was in infectious diseases," she recalls.

In the picture

Puy Barrondo (3rd year Nursing) helped during the month of June in a pediatric hospital in Quito (Ecuador). In the photo, with other classmates at a baptism.

Ane Arambarri (2nd year Industrial Engineering) has given class in a technical school in Malawi.

"Our main job at the hospital was to help as a support nurse. Thanks to that, we got to know a lot of the families and children who were admitted. Very good people with very hard lives. In that month that we were there, we tried to take care of them in the best possible way. Just as they deserved. In addition to nursing work, we played a thousand games in the corridors or in the hospital playroom, we painted, we took care of the children when the mothers needed to run errands or get cleaned up, we accompanied them in difficult moments, we celebrated their achievements, we laughed, we cried, we sang and danced. A little bit of everything," she says.

Puy is not very clear about what encouraged him to do this volunteer activities, but he has no doubt that it was worth it. "The truth is that I couldn't say how it all started. I have always liked helping and accompanying people. Last year, many of my friends went to different countries to lend a hand and came back changed after learning about the conditions and realities there. That had a great impact on me and encouraged me to go this year. The month of June has been a gift, both professionally and personally. I will always remember the many good people I have met," she says.

Like Puy, Ane Arambarri has also gone this summer to volunteer activities, in her case to Malawi. Ane, a 2nd year Industrial Engineering student, has worked at the Don Bosco Youth Technical Institute in Malawi. Don Bosco Youth Technical Institutea technical school run by Salesians in Lilongwe, the country's capital. "In the mornings, she gave class to the students of high school. The Youth Center is right there, and after lunch all the children and young people who lived nearby would come to spend the afternoon so they wouldn't be on the streets. The older ones played basketball, soccer, netball...; and the younger ones had board games, balls and books with which they could play and learn. I spent the afternoons playing sports, chatting with the young people or playing with the children," he explains.

"Our main job at the hospital was to help as a support nurse. Thanks to that, we got to know a lot of the families and children who were admitted. Very good people with very hard lives. In that month that we were there, we tried to take care of them in the best possible way."

"It has been an unforgettable experience in which I have met wonderful and very generous people who will always have a place in my heart," says Ane. Coming across the poverty of the country and discovering such a different culture also helped her: "Malawi is a very poor country, but as they say it is the warm heart of Africa and it is totally true. Even if they have little, they share everything and are always with a big smile. They take life in stride and are always willing to help," he recalls. "They kept informing us of the classes we were supposed to teach almost 5 minutes beforehand. At first I was quite overwhelmed, but over time I learned to take it easy and improvise as well. They taught me that you have to live in the moment and stop thinking about tomorrow," she acknowledges.

In the picture

Iñigo Alonso (4th year of Economics) has worked this summer at the Grameen Bank in Mirpur, Dhaka.

An international work experience

Helping, albeit from a work experience, is what Íñigo Alonso, a 4th year student of Degree at Economics with the Diploma in Leadership and Governance, has also done. Íñigo worked this summer at Grameen Bank in Mirpur, Dhaka. This business, created in 1976, specializes in microcredit to poor people who normally do not have access to traditional bank loans. It was founded in Bangladesh by Professor Muhammad Yunus, award Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2006, and its goal is to help reduce poverty by lending small sums to entrepreneurs so that they can start or expand small-scale businesses. 

"During my internship, I have worked in the International Department where I have been able to process certificates from department, prepare presentations for the audit team and for the department of development intern. I have also assisted the team in rural Chittagong where I translated documents, taught artificial intelligence and provided loans. Overall, I was able to contribute significantly to several core topic teams and international projects," he explains.

The experience has helped him both professionally and staff. "Professionally, contact with another culture, language and way of doing business has forced me to step out of my comfort zone, adapt quickly and develop skills such as flexibility, intercultural communication and work in diverse teams. In addition, getting to know Grameen Bank 's microcredit and social banking model up close has greatly broadened my vision on inclusive finance and social business . In terms of staff, living in Bangladesh has allowed me to gain independence and self-confidence by being able to stand on my own two feet in an unfamiliar environment," says Iñigo.

In the picture

Marta Sanchez (2nd year of Philology Hispanic and Journalism) has done an internship at high school Cervantes in Lyon.

Marta Sanchez 's work experience this summer has also been international. A 2nd year student of Philology Hispanic Studies and Journalism, Marta has done an internship at the high school Cervantes in Lyon. "A different culture makes you see life in a different way. Also, learning a new language and exposing yourself to it on a daily basis is a challenge that takes you out of your comfort zone and makes you grow," she says.

In the months she has been on internship, Marta has been in charge of supporting with classes, update the academic programs with the needs of the students, organizing Cultural Activities Office, making brochures of the courses available on online platforms and reviewing and supporting the DELE exams. "I have learned a lot. There I was not a student, but a professional, so I had a higher level of responsibility because my work affected other people's, my colleagues' and my students'," she acknowledges. 

Asked if she would recommend such an experience, she is clear: "Of course. I see the internship as a test. They help you discover what you would like to do in the future and open the door to other options that you might not have considered". 

A financial aid to discover what you are passionate about

Óscar Ignacio Matheus, who this coming academic year will finish his last semester of Biology with the Science and Business Program in Madrid, has done his summer internship at Bioinsectis, a business dedicated to development of microbial-based biopesticides. "Within the business, I have worked in the insectary, where I have developed most of my functions. Basically, my work has consisted of attend in the maintenance of populations of different insect species considered pests, so that they can be used for further experimentation with biopesticides at development. In addition, I have participated in experiments related to the optimization of the growth of different species, taking into account variables such as temperature and the subject of per diem expenses", he explains.

In the picture

Oscar Ignacio Matheus (4th year of Biology) has done his summer internship at Bioinsectis.

"My main goal with this internship was to have a first contact with the world of applied entomology, to find out if I really see myself following a career path through this branch," he assures.

"Internships help you discover what you would like to do in the future and open the door to other options you may not have considered."

Complement to what has been learned in class

In addition to a first contact with the working world, the internship is also a way to deepen aspects studied during the course. For Martina Oyono, a 4th year law student, collaborating this summer with the financial regulation team (FRG) at Linklaters has allowed her to delve deeper into the European rules and regulations . "I have also analyzed the Securities Markets and Investment Services Act to classify complex products in the financial system and I have learned about the terms of securities agencies, requirements of share capital and subject of company required for incorporation. I have made comparisons between the regulation of underwriting agencies in Spain and the European Union States", he explains.

"It has been an incredible experience, I have felt part of it 100%, my team welcomed me from the first moment and have been involved to the fullest in my training, giving me tasks and making me feel like one more. It has been wonderful to discover how many extraordinary professionals there are in the world of law", she assures. And she concludes: "This experience at Linklaters has been a continuous learning experience, which I recommend to everyone".

In the picture

Martina Oyono (4th year of Law) has collaborated this summer with the financial regulation team (FRG) at Linklaters.

Xabier Zabala (4th year of Audiovisual Communication) has done a summer internship at department production of Secuoya Contenidos.

On the other hand, Xabier Zabala, student , a 4th year Audiovisual Communication student, has done a summer internship at Secuoya Contenidos with the production company group Proyección, at department production. Specifically, she has been helping with the reality show "La Caza: nothing is what it seems", a program that aims to be the new bet of EITB. Although the head office is in Madrid, they have come to Bilbao and Ea, on the Basque coast of Bizkaia, to work on this program. 

"I am learning about how important and vital good communication is for the good of project. It is necessary that in a production all Departments are well communicated, that there is a joint vision to avoid conflicts," he explains.

Thanks to the knowledge acquired at class, Xabier has managed well in his area at work. He has also expanded his training, learning about shooting orders, production schedules, budget sheets and shooting and editing scripts.