Introducing new faces: Spanish placements
Two recent graduates from Andalucía, southern Spain, are being immersed in British ways of living at working during work placements at the Co-operative College – including the important art of working while drinking tea!
Ana Rey and Ana Torrado started at the Co-operative College at the beginning of March and will stay until July. Ana Rey, from Seville, has a background in marketing and is working on the relaunch of the Rochdale Pioneers Museum, which will reopen in spring following a major refurbishment.
Ana Torrado, from the beach-side town of San Pedro in Malaga, would like to pursue a career in event management and PR. She is assisting the College with upcoming events being held for the International Year of Co-operatives. This includes helping plan the Meet the Pioneers schools event in Rochdale in May, which will introduce students and teachers to the story of the Rochdale Pioneers, and assisting with preparation for the College’s Mainstreaming Co-operation conference in July.
Ana Rey has degrees in advertising and PR and marketing at the University of Seville, and a Masters in web design. Anna Torrado also studied advertising and PR, at the University of Malaga. Both concluded their studies in 2011.
Ana Rey explains what attracted her to marketing: “When I was studying publicity and advertising I realised I really like marketing. In the future I would like to work in a marketing department as you have to do research and investigate a lot and make conclusions about why people like something or not and how to communicate to them.”
Ana Torrado’s enthusiasm for event management is the result of organising an ethical event for schools when she studied in Holland as an exchange student. It raised funds for two African students to study in Holland. She said: “It was rewarding and a lot of fun. A lot of students came.”
Event management also appeals because, says Ana: “I want a job where there is constantly work to do and it is different everyday and you are always surprised.”
Ana Rey has extensive work experience in Spain. She worked on communications for Heineken, where she helped with a magazine for employees. She also worked in the marketing department of a software company. While she was doing her Masters in web design she worked for an advertising company.
Despite this, it is still hard to find a job. She explained: “I can’t find a job in Spain as the situation is really bad. I want to improve my English and meet new people and learn what it’s like to work abroad. If you don’t know English you can’t get a job in Spain. Everyone has a lot of degrees and everyone always has something better than you. You always need to be the best in everything.”
Ana Torrado agreed: “There is a really big crisis in Spain. It’s really, really difficult for young people. All you can get is just unpaid internships, but no contracts. As soon as one person finishes an internship, there is another graduate ready to take their place so there is no incentive for companies to hire anyone.”
Both Ana Rey and Ana Torrado are well travelled and studied in Holland through the Erasmus programme during their degrees. They agree that it is important to live in other countries and explore other cultures. Ana Torrado said: “I love travelling and living in different countries – this is my fourth! I love learning about different cultures. It’s important and it helps you both personally and professionally.”
Some of Ana Rey and Ana Torrado’s experiences of Manchester so far have surprised them, especially its ethnic mix. Ana Rey said: “I was surprised by the mix of cultures in Manchester. I like that because you can see people from all the countries and everyone is the same. There is no difference.” Ana Torrado observed: “Most of the people in Manchester aren’t from here.”
Another point of difference between the UK and Spain is the working day, for example only having one hour for lunch. Ana Rey also highlighted the lack of kitchens in workplaces in Spain – and the British love of tea! She said: “Everyone is drinking tea here. I enjoy that! I have never seen that before in a company. It makes people speak to each other and creates a nice environment.” Ana Torrado added: “You can drink tea while you’re doing work!”
Both Ana Rey and Ana Torrado have learned a lot about co-operatives since they have been at the College. Ana Rey said: “Co-operatives are really interesting. It’s a different way to do things.” Ana Torrado added: “I like the way co-operatives work and they way they treat their staff. I really like their philosophy of one member one vote – democracy!”
They will be more aware of co-operatives when they return to Spain. Ana Torrado is a big football fan, but had not realised Barcelona FC or her favourite football team, Real Madrid, are co-operatives.
Ana Rey and Ana Torrado are looking forward to making the most of their time at the College. Ana Torrado said: She said. “I am looking forward to doing my job as well as possible and doing creative events and seeing them be a success. I also want to learn as much as I can. I hope we have a lot of fun and get along with everyone and I hope you enjoy our company. I hope we get to know Manchester.”
Ana Rey concluded: “I’m looking forward to being useful and doing real things.”
Published On: March 19, 2012
Written By: Natalie