Los Angeles – Bilbao – Paris – New York
The original version of this interview was posted by the International Spanish Center – CIDE the University of Deusto on October 16th, 2013 at http://blogs.deusto.es/cide/microfono-abierto-los-angeles-bilbao-paris-nueva-york/
We would like to welcome Myles Lock to our blog today. He was a student at the Spanish Language and Culture Program (CIDE – University of Deusto) for the Spring 2012 semester. He writes from New York, where he works for the United Nations.
What memories do you have from your time in Bilbao and in the University of Deusto?
My experience in Bilbao was something special and amazing. At first, I decided to study abroad in the Basque Country because I wanted to study in Spain (in order to complete my studies in Spanish), but I wanted a different experience than the typical one in Madrid or any other large city. The fifth biggest Spanish city, Bilbao seemed to me a good option to live and study in an alternative environment. Regarding my experience, there are memories that I will treasure forever: my internship at UNESCO Etxea, and the Basque friends and students that I met.
On top of my academic program in the University of Deusto (at the International Spanish Center – CIDE), I chose to participate in an Internship course. After sending a presentation letter and my CV, they offered me an internship at UNESCO Etxea. I was very excited because it meant that I would have a hands-on work experience closely related to what I had studied in the field of International Relations and Spanish. UNESCO Etxea also brought me into contact with the Basque culture and language.
Regarding the work, I did a bit of everything. Mostly, I worked with program officers and with the Guidance Center and Communication Department. As I was able to complete the tasks and work efficiently, I started getting involved in the work of my colleagues. Since my Spanish level was quite good, I began doing translations to English. I had the opportunity to work in a very interesting project for which I wrote the subtitles of a documentary about a conference in development, water and sustainability. One of the nicest things I did was to help with a presentation event of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) about the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. When I met a representative of PNUD, I started to expand my professional network.
I believe my semester experience in Bilbao was one of the most valuable experiences in the last 5 years of my life. If I had not chosen Bilbao, and if I had not taken part in the internship at UNESCO Etxea, I would not have had the opportunity to specialize in the area that was really attractive to me. As I kept in contact with my colleagues at UNESCO Etxea, I had the great opportunity to get another internship at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, at the World Heritage Center, where I helped with the management and conservation of almost 200 sites included in the World Heritage List in 10 countries in North America and Europe. This experience allowed me to learn about the work in international relations, and it was also a good platform to launch my career.
After this last internship in Paris, I started the job of my dreams at the United Nations Foundations. If I had not studied in Bilbao, I would not be following my heart. And if I had not taken part in the internship in UNESCO Etxea, I would not have reached the UNESCO Headquarters; probably, I would not have the job of my dreams. I hope that everybody who decides to study abroad at least considers Bilbao.
Check our website for further information on the Internship course www.cide.deusto.es