Marrin Phillips - Querétaro, Mexico
I am a double major in International Business and Spanish for Business. While studying abroad in Querétaro, Mexico I was fortunate enough to study both Spanish and business and complete an internship.
I interned at an advertising agency, Signum Publicidad, which created the marketing materials for a law firm. Signum Publicidad advertised for various different companies throughout Mexico and used a combination of strategies to appeal to diverse markets. For example, they made posters, jingles, brochures, photo books, and other promotional materials. During the semester, I worked mostly with brochures for nearby residential areas and other materials to promote Signum Publicidad. I worked on the residential areas' materials because Signum Publicidad was trying to help these areas promote growth by attracting American and Canadians retirees to these communities. Therefore, I was able to assist in translating the material from Spanish to English. I also gave suggestions and recommendations for improvements of the advertisements and explain how they would appeal to the new market.
During my time at Signum Publicidad, I developed friendships with my coworkers, who took me under their wing and helped me out. They would ask me for advice on a project they were working on, or ask me how to say a word in English. Each of them would also frequently allow me to practice my Spanish with them. They even invited me to dinner outside the office. They accepted me into their work family, and I now have so many wonderful friendships.
There were many differences I noticed between a business in the United States and a business in Mexico. In the United States, there tends to be more structure in the sense that employees are punctual and work from 9 am-5 pm with a one hour lunch in between. Employees dress either business professional or business casual. In Mexico the environment is more relaxed. If a business opens at 9 am, employees may not arrive until 9:10 am or 9:15 am. Later in the day, they take a lunch break from 2 pm-4 pm and work until 6pm. Another difference between the two is how you greet someone. In the United States you introduce yourself with a handshake. In Mexico if the greeting is between two men then there is a hand shake and hug, if the greeting involves a women there is a kiss on the check. It was an adjustment to intern at a business with a different culture, however, it helped me better understand businesses practices.
My experiences at my internship were so valuable. The different business cultures I have learned from this experience will greatly help me in the future. I was able to learn marketing techniques, make new friends, improve my Spanish, and gain international business knowledge.