Sometimes your year in Spain can lead to a career that allows you to straddle two countries. Lisette Miranda’s story began just so: a trip to visit a friend inspired a move to Madrid, and after what she calls a big shove, she founded a company for young women looking to intern abroad.
Living most of the year in the Big Apple, Lisette spends summers in Madrid, leading an internship course focused on networking, workshops and good old-fashioned work experience.
Name: Lisette Miranda
City and Comunidad: New York City and Madrid
Job Title: Founder & CEO, PINC Internship
photo courtesy of Gayana G Photography
How did you initially come to Spain?
I initially came to Spain in November 2008 on vacation to meet a friend who was studying in Salamanca. During the trip we popped over to Madrid and Barcelona, and it was during this exciting trip that I started to entertain the idea of moving to Madrid.
In February 2009, I did just that. I enrolled in TtMadrid, TEFL certification course, and left New York City to pursue the opportunity to learn a new language, travel and see what else the journey had in store for me.
Was Spain in your long-term plans?
Not initially. After 3 months of teaching English to business executives through my placement, I was brought on board to TtMadrid to help with marketing projects. It was also during this time I was accepted on to a MA program in Bilingual Education at the Universidad de Alcalá. Once I graduated I was hired full-time at TtMadrid, and I ended up spending a total of five years in Madrid.
During this time, I also launched a female-only business group, designed to help English-speaking women grow professionally in Madrid. This was the precursor to my business, and an organization with chapters in both Madrid and Seville.
How were you able to legally work?
I was in Spain on a student visa and “worked” with a convenio. Technically, the convenio didn’t allow you “to work” but it did allow you to gain work experience with compensation – in other words, be a paid intern. The red–tape that went a long with my convenio was not easy and required a lot of appointments, paper work, and re–submissions. I loved my job so much, that these steps seemed well worth the professional reward in the end.
Tell us more about PINC and what participants can expect.
Nowadays I’m back in New York City and have launched my own business, PINC Internship. PINC is an internship abroad program for young women, and I work with students who are in college, on a gap-year or completing a masters who, instead of doing their summer internship in their hometown or near their college, they do it in Madrid!
I was inspired to launch this program when I came across several Americans doing their internships abroad and I noticed there was a need for a female-focused program that had support before, during and after. So, after a little encouragement and a large shove – I designed the PINC program. Now I live 10 months in NYC and 2 months in Madrid – not too shabby!
PINC: Professional Internships for Networking & Connections is a female-focused summer internship program in Madrid, Spain. We offer a summer 8-week INTERNSHIP or a 3-week IMMERSION program that unlocks your inner leader! The PINC is for young women (18+), who are ambitious and adventurous. Discover your strengths, build your resume, meet international contacts and explore Spain. Invest in yourself and an unforgettable experience!
PINC believes that empowering and educating young women is the key to building confident, inspiring, and innovative minded women of the future!
What is your advice for people looking to gain work experience while in Spain?
My advice for anyone looking to do more professionally while in Spain is to really put yourself out there in an open-minded and positive manner. While I lived in Madrid, I was always out and about meeting new people, joining as many organizations as possible and even starting my own networking group. Surrounding yourself with like-minded others can help keep your head space fresh for ideas and maybe have you in a “right place at the right time”.
photo courtesy of Gayana G Photography
I notice that patience plus positivity will really help you navigate a lot of unexpected set backs. I say “When Spain hands you lemons, you cut them up and make yourself some sangria! Olé!”
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