So, week one of our Adventure in Granada, Spain has come to an end, and as the second week begins, I have found a quiet spot in the warm sunshine, drinking a wonderful cup of freshly ground coffee, to try and summarize the full and fantastic week my fellow students and I have had. After travelling from Mallow to Granada it was quite late when we arrived at our apartments, so I didn’t get to see any of the stunning city of Granada until the following morning. I was lucky that I was one of the last people to be taken to my work placement so this meant I was able to do a bit of exploring beforehand and try and get my bearings with the city. At first, I thought I would never get used to the many narrow, busy, endless streets and alleyways that make up most of Granada “thank God to the developers of Google Maps” but after a few hours I started to realize that it’s really a city of dozens of Plazas some new and some dating back centuries. Once I figured out what the local Plaza to my apartment was, the city was as easy to navigate as any city at home. Arriving at my work placement I was a little nervous as I didn’t really know what to expect, I really didn’t need to be, Fran Anera the owner of the company Anera Travel were I was placed was a pleasure to meet and really put all my fears to rest within a few minutes of arriving, as I had did a bit of research about his Company before leveling I was able to tell him what skills I had and now I may be able to assist him over my few weeks with his company, we were able to plan with no issues the goals and tasks he expected from me while working at Anera Travel.
Learning & Positive Aspects of Week 1
“directo al trabajo” or Straight to work was the first thing Fran the owner and manager said to me when I started my first day here in at Anera Travel, and he wasn’t joking, he wasted no time in setting me up with my own account for the company so I could get straight down to business, we spent the first hour discussing in detail what his company does and what his plans for the future are, and what my role would be. I could really see the passion he has for his business and it is quite infectious. The company has just launched two new websites, discoveringspain.com and anerasport.es. It is anera sport that I will be working on for my two weeks. It’s a VIP sporting website that tailors for every aspect of the event or trip around the client. As you can imagine there is a lot of work that goes into it and the team here are very skilled at what they do. So, I had to learn fast just too keep up with them. I do feel the most positive aspect of my first week is that I really do feel that I am part of the team, even though I am only here for a short while Fran has made it clear that I am playing a key role while with them, that the work I am doing setting up partnerships with other worldwide sporting tour company’s and building on his English speaking client base, will help him expand his business and of Couse his brand, it makes me feel very proud to be working for him.
The big challenge I was expecting was the Spanish language, but the team have very good English. so, I am able to follow what’s going on with no real problems “most of the time”. Another challenge is that when I make contact with a company, they contact me back with someone from there Spanish speaking sales team “of Couse they would”, this as lead to one or two odd phone calls when the person rings me and they get an Irish guy on the phone when I have made contact from a Spanish company. But I always get contacted back by someone with English. So now I just add in my emails I send that I wish to be contacted by a member of the English sales team and has been fine since.
This is always a tricky one to self-evaluate, I’m lucky that my boss loves giving feedback. Which makes it a little easier to do so. So far so good, I feel he is very happy with me, and I feel he should be as I have really put a lot of work into making sure I work to the best of my albites and to highlight the skills I have, and not waste the opportunity I have been given. The work is very interesting so I do think this helps me to keep focused on the tasks I need to complete each day. I do feel I need to try and speak a little more Spanish as we speak English at work and Granada is a big tourist city it’s easy to revert back to English, this is sometimes I will try and improve in the coming week. So, all in all, a great first week for me, and do feel I am getting fantastic experience with my work placement.
The culture is fantastic, from the famous palace of Alhambra to the busy markets streets of Granada it is an amazing place to visit and to explore, every day there is some new surprise to be found by walking home from work a different way. The food is stunning and the tapas is famous for in Granada. I was lucky enough to have some free time at the weekend and managed to rent a bicycle, I climbed up through the snow–covered hills and little villages of the Sierra Nevada‘s till I reached the point where skies were more suited at the snowline 1800m above sea level. The climbing was really tough but I met dozens of people out cycling a few even cycled with me alone with and gave me advice on the best little gems and Monster hills to try alone my route. On Sunday we travelled to Cordoba, where we were able to visit a few beautiful historical sites and also see more of the Spanish countryside with mile after mile of olive trees lining to the road as far as the eye could see. The people of Granada are very warm and welcoming and although it’s quite a big city it still has a local small town feel and was its own culture that a lot of bigger tourist cities simply don’t have. I’m looking forward to our second week as there is still a lot what to do before we leave.