Moving to Madrid
About two weeks ago something very exciting happened for me: I confirmed a 6-month assignment working in Madrid!
First of all I’ll give you a bit of background. I’m currently on a 2-year graduate scheme. For anyone who doesn’t know what a “graduate scheme” is, it’s a concept that exists in a number of western countries and it’s basically a job tailored exactly for young people who have just graduated, and who show a lot of potential but don’t yet have the years and years of work experience that most decent jobs require nowadays. A graduate scheme is a great introduction into the world of work, and the company usually gives you plenty of training, development and networking opportunities to bring you up to scratch.
This graduate scheme happens to suit me down to a T, as every two months they send us abroad for 3-4 days, each time to a different country. So I get to do one of my most favourite things: travel! So far, since I started the job in September 2012, they’ve sent us lucky graduates to Prague, Dublin and Barcelona, and in July we’re heading to Munich. As you’ll see from my blog post on my Instagram photos from January-March, I always make the most of the trips by staying out for a weekend before or after the workshop I’ve been attending with the graduates, so I can explore the city and get my “travel fix”, as it were.
But this is not the only benefit of my particular graduate scheme. Another key aspect of the scheme is that all of us graduates will spend the last 6 months of the 2-year scheme working in another country. What could be more perfect for me? It’s a seriously good opportunity and I simply cannot wait. We have the choice of going to work in Prague, Bratislava, Dublin, Munich, Madrid or Barcelona. (Some of us could even go to South America, but that’s a whole other story). Out of this bunch of countries I knew straight away that my heart lies in Spain, and I had my sights firmly set on Madrid.
Now came the tricky part: finding a team in Madrid to accept me. It’s been on my mind for a number of months now and I can finally say with relief that I have found a team that fascinates me and which is happy to have me for my 6-month assignment!
I’ll be living out in Madrid from February – August 2014. That’s still quite a way away, I do know. But for someone who can’t stay still in the same place for too long, this is big news and I’ve already begun planning and dreaming in my mind…
Aside from a fleeting 24-hour trip to Madrid a few months ago for work (it was so fleeting that I have no photos of the city whatsoever!), I haven’t been there since 2010 when a friend and I popped over for a long weekend during a reading week at university. We stayed with a lovely friend of hers, Guada, who showed us around the entire city, took us to her favourite galleries, tapas restaurants and bars to meet her friends, and even to the stunningly romantic medieval city of Toledo one day. Strolling around a city with locals is my absolute favourite way to explore a new place, and it gave me an insight into the authentic Madrid, not just the Madrid the tourists see. So you can see why I fell in love with the city, and I’ve only just scratched the surface… (The photos in this post are poor quality because I didn’t take any myself on the 2010 trip – these have been lovingly “poached” from my friend’s Facebook).