Friday, 12 July 2013

Arantxa's farewell

The six months international internship of Arantxa reached its end. Supported by the Basque Government and the Basque Country University, this initiative allowed Arantxa to work abroad and improve her technical skills in the areas of Quantity Surveying and Cost Management. It was a very good experience for us to have Arantxa and we wish her the best, both at personal and professional levels. We hope we can meet again!

We asked Arantxa to share with our blog the final balance of this experience:

"It’s been almost six months since I arrived to Portugal to work as an intern at DIMSCALE. It had always been on my mind to live abroad since I started university and this was an exceptional chance. Besides, because of the high youth unemployment rate in my country, this opportunity was an excellent way of improving my professional skills. To sum up, it was a win-win situation. That’s why when I heard about a grant that allowed me to have a work experience in a foreign country, I didn’t doubt for a second that I had to give it a try. Luckily, I was one of the many participants that were chosen for the chance to work abroad for six months. 

Since I started university, I’d been working as an intern in two different companies related to architecture, but in this case the type of work was completely different from the ones that I had to carry out in my previous experiences. This was one of the reasons why I was glad to come to DIMSCALE. It was a good opportunity to learn about something I didn’t know anything about. Quantity Surveying has been the main task I’ve been performing, and it was a very enriching experience because I had no clue about it and I’ve learnt more than I expected. I also had the chance to be part of a very interesting project (Arrebita Porto) that aims to rehabilitate a building that’s situated in Porto. It wasn’t interesting only because of the social side of the project, but also because the team involved in the project is composed of an international team and this way I could practice English. 

The more valuable thing about this experience was that Quantity Surveying is the best way to get to know accurately an architectural project and learn about different constructive solutions and materials. I mean, the process requires being meticulous and thorough about every detail and the outcome was that I learnt about architectural aspects that I hadn’t paid attention to before. 

Another reason why I wanted to be part of this experience is that I wanted to practice English because I didn´t have a chance to speak in English and I needed to improve oral expression. After six months I’ve realized that my English now is better than before, and that was one of my goals, so it was good practice. Besides that, I wanted to make the most of my stay linguistically speaking, so I attended Portuguese classes for five months and even if my Portuguese level is not very high, I can easily understand a conversation and I’m able to speak a little bit. Therefore, I’m really happy because I didn’t expect that I’d be able to understand the language. Even if people say that Spanish and Portuguese are similar languages, it’s not as easy as it seems, so I’m happy that I achieved my purpose. 

Professionally speaking it was a good experience because, as I said before, it was like attending a Quantity Surveying course. It was very beneficial because it is another type of task that I can perform and it adds value to my CV. 

My stay here in Portugal has been very positive. Getting to know another culture and language was great, and I was very well received. I loved the country and the people, and of course the food. I don’t know about other countries, but being a foreigner in Portugal is a pleasant experience and I really appreciated being treated as I wasn’t a foreigner. It’s a good country to be a foreigner, that’s for sure.

Working at DIMSCALE was a really good experience. It was completely different from the companies I had worked before coming here. I had the feeling that it is a place where everybody’s opinion is taken into account. I think that’s the way it should always be, even if it is not the way the places I’ve worked before function. It also gave me the chance to be part of international projects, and it was a really fulfilling experience. 

In conclusion, it was an unforgettable experience from the professional and personal perspective and I’m glad I was given the chance to live this adventure.

- Arantxa Arano

Arantxa's farewell lunch with DIMSCALE

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