Here is my personal experience: Internship in a startup in Barcelona!
My name is Robert and worked at the Hibox HQ in Barcelona. Hibox is a startup that built a digital solution for business communication. This internship was part of my Business Communication Management Bachelor at the HTW Berlin.
On of the reasons I decided to do my 4 month internship in Spain at Hibox was – and I’m not going to lie – to escape the bleakness of the Berlin winter. And I successfully managed to do so! At least for a while. But on the other hand I also wanted to extend my rather basic Spanish skills, experience the Spanish lifestyle and of course gain more practical experience in my field of studies. With Hibox I found the perfect place for that. As I mentioned earlier, I study Business Communication Management – so basically exactly what Hibox is all about! During my studies I was constantly reminded of the importance of internal communication for every kind of business and the new challenges of present and future issues that companies are facing. So when I saw the free position for an intern in the sales and marketing department at Hibox on AngelList I was very excited and applied right away.
Internship at Hibox, a startup in Barcelona:
Luckily I got the position at Hibox and I started my internship in fall of 2017. Throughout my time in the sales and marketing team I got all the experience that I could have wished for. Even over one year after its launching, you could still feel the ambitious, vibrant and passionate startup spirit within the Hibox team. Besides my responsibilities for Hibox, which amongst other things included taking care of the German market, finding and acquiring new customers and partners worldwide, working with all kinds of important marketing tools and instruments and developing new and creative ideas for all marketing channels, I got deeply involved in the launching of the newest Hibox product called Beamer.
Beamer only exists, because the Hibox team is constantly working on improving their application and trying to find new ways to better their users’ experience. They stumbled across the problem of how to notify users about their new features, latest releases and relevant news. So they simply developed a new tool to improve user engagement and Beamer was born! That’s what I would call startup spirit!
About the work environment at Hibox I can say, that it was always very friendly, dynamic and multicultural. In the office in Barcelona I worked with wonderful people from the USA, France, Sweden, Argentina, Lebanon and more. From my first day on I felt very welcomed. I learned plenty of useful things and actually had a lot of fun on the way. Besides the nice and warm atmosphere during the working hours, we would also do non related work activities like having big meals together or drinking some beers after work.
If you compare working in a startup with working in a traditional business, I would say that in a company like Hibox everything is much more dynamic and fast moving. The employees have more freedom in how they are carrying out their tasks. And while I got the feeling that in a common business everyone just thinks in relation to their own department, in a startup the people of the different fields working much closer together and actually working towards an overall goal and trying to move the whole company forward.
Internship and life at Hibox, a startup in Barcelona:
I have been to Spain many times before, I had some friends here and I spoke a little Spanish, but I never stayed for more than a few weeks. So now was the time to truly get into the spanish lifestyle. I was dreaming of eating a lot of jamón, drinking sangria and tanning at the beach – and that’s pretty much what I got. But of course there is even more than that!
I arrived one month before the start of my internship. Besides the first two nights in a hostel, I hadn’t booked or planned anything in advance. I wanted to use my free month in Barcelona to find a flat, acclimate to the city and to do a little bit of holidays. I would suggest that to everyone who is planning to go abroad for work, an internship or studying. It’s always good to get used to a new place and not rush into your everyday work life without knowing the city.
Surprisingly I found a great shared flat after only two days of searching and I moved in immediately. If you put a little effort into it, finding a room in Barcelona is not that difficult, as they are always a lot of people coming to or leaving the city.
If you hesitating to come to Barcelona because you are afraid of the language barrier, then I can calm you down: Barcelona is probably Spain’s’ most international city and you can survive with English just fine. But if you are like me, you also want to improve your language skills while you are abroad. Just visit one of the countless and affordable language courses, look online for a tandem partner or just go to a bar or a café and talk to the locals. People here are usually very friendly and easy to talk to.
One thing about Barcelona that I love and that is very different to my life in Berlin is that you can basically walk almost everywhere in the city. If you live kind of close to the city center, everything is reachable in less than 20 min by foot – even the beach! And if you want to get outside of the city to spend a few hours in one of the calmer coast towns or go for a nice hike in the mountains, just hop on one of the many trains.
So if you have the opportunity to work or study in Barcelona, go for it! It’s a great place to experience a different culture and make friends from all around the globe. I had an amazing time living in this city and working with the awesome Hibox team!