From the New York Jungle to a Motivational Coworking Center in Barcelona

Never did I imagine myself living in Barcelona. Sure, I´ve envisioned visiting for a couple of days but definitely not for a couple of months. When I arrived here, it wasn´t that big of a culture shock, but it sure did catch me by surprise a little. Being from a hispanic background helped me transition into the Spanish culture, although there were many different things for me.

Internship in Gracia Work Center. Coworking in Barcelona
Amy in Gracia Work Center
I was fortunate enough to land an internship and study abroad in Barcelona for four months (January-April). During my stay, I was placed in Gracia Work Center, the coworking center where I am currently writing this blog at. At first, I had no clue what a coworking center was nor what were its purposes and objectives. However, like any other internship and interview preparation I did my research and found out a lot about a new realm.

So far as an intern in Barcelona and in a coworking center, I have learned that being independent isn´t as valuable as working together. Born and raised in New York City, I grew up with the "survival of the fittest" mentality because NYC is indeed a jungle. Everything is a competition and everyone works by themselves and for themselves. It´s a fast-paced environment where you eat, sleep and work while you are walking from the train station to your office. So if you cannot keep up with the program then maybe New York isn´t the ideal workplace for you.

Coming to Barcelona I noticed the workplace entirely different. In my internship seminar class, we learned that people are more relaxed compared to the US. Walking into my internship, I observed casual attire and a mellow environment, which was something I was grateful for. As much as I want to gain experience working abroad, I also want to have fun so I am glad that Barcelona takes that into consideration. Everyone here was friendly, well they still are of course. I was offered free tea and crackers on the first day and was even taught how to use the machine for whenever I want to make it myself. Everyone gave me an explanation of the job they do and what was expected of me.

Within the first week, I realized the true meaning of coworking. Although I was still a little bit confused, I still got the main concept of it. Everyone here helps each other out and works as a unit, rather as contestants in a competition. They would walk together to the mini kitchen area, make tea, and have a break with small talk. Little things like that are what I appreciate the most about the work environment because you are aware that people are there for you to motivate you to do your job and to also keep you company; no one is out to get you or wish unsuccesful things upon you.

New York is still a wonderful place to work at and I see myself working there in the future. I am glad to have been born and raised with a New York mentality and have the NY ambition and drive, but sometimes experiencing life and work on the other side gives you a whole new perspective on your career and future.

Working in Barcelona is an incredible experience but working in a coworking center is like the sprinkles on an ice cream cone-- perfect.


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