If patience is a virtue, Lindsay Vick has mastered the art. After the better of a decade building her resume and experience in the marketing field, she now heads up the Marketing Division of Spain-based Abengoa and jets between Western and Eastern hemispheres often.
Lindsay says patience and networking were key to landing her dream job well before turning 30.
Your Name: Lindsay Vick
City and Comunidad: Madrid, Madrid
Job Title: Chief Marketing Officer, Abengoa
Why did you initially come to Spain?
I originally came to Spain my junior year of undergrad to study abroad.
How did you transition into your current position?
My transition from teaching to working in marketing was gradual and slow. I did a MA in International Relations and an internship in Marketing with Barceló Hotels before joining Abengoa. I worked as the Marketing Manager of the water division for a year before moving to my current position as CMO.
What was the interview process like?
I was actually living in Chile at the time and did the whole interview process through Skype. A friend of mine from the American Women’s Club (of Seville) was managing communications in Abengoa’s solar division and recommended me for the position. That was key to landing the job.
How does working in your field in Spain differ from your home country?
Abengoa is a large, multinational company, so if anything the international nature of my work is very different from anything I have experienced in the US. I wake up doing conference calls in Beijing and go to sleep on the phone with LATAM. Companies in the US tend to be more US-centric in my experience.
What has been the hardest part of working or starting your own business in Spain?
Being patient. As the economy and job market moves slower in Spain, patience is key. Building a successful career here as an expat is not impossible, but it will take some time.
Any advice for non-EU citizens seeking a job outside of teaching?
Network, network, and network some more. Never underestimate how powerful your network is.
I would also encourage them to get specific about what field they would like to work in. Simply saying “anything but teaching,” rarely resonates with people willing to help you with your search.
What are your plans for the future? Will you stay in Spain?
I am loving my job right now and still have a lot to learn, but who knows! If I have learned anything in my 20’s it’s that the old saying, “If you want to make God laugh, show Him your plans,” is consistently true.
Stay tuned as we feature more expats who have made a successful transition from teacher to trabajador, or check out profiles from past participants, one of whom started her own business, another who works remotely for a UK-based business, a start-up employee, and a freelance linguistic consultant! If you fit the bill and would like to be featured, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org