Welcome to Emersonian International, a new spotlight series featuring career stories of Emerson’s international students and alumni. Whether in the U.S., in their home countries, or somewhere in between, international Emersonians are finding internships, engaged in their communities, and creating opportunities for themselves to develop their skills and move forward in their careers.
For our second spotlight in the series, meet Isabela Gonzalez Contreras, a rising Junior majoring in Marketing Communications. Learn about Isabela’s experience as an intern at Spotify in New York!
What are some of your responsibilities as a Global Affairs Intern with Spotify?
Isabela: “My responsibilities vary depending on the day or week. I mainly support the Internal Communications team under the direction of the Global Affairs department. My tasks can go from creating new strategies to enhance the effectiveness of internal comms, to writing internal newsletters and messages. I also support the Legal team with their internal communications, serving as a bridge between all teams. Overall, it requires a lot of talking to different teams, and departments, as well as a lot of attention and awareness.”
What drew your to this specific internship?
Isabela: “Last fall I had the opportunity to participate in Emerson’s Career Development Center NY Connection Trip. In it, we got to visit the Spotify offices, where we not only got to talk with alumni that currently work at the company, but also got first hand advice on how to apply and information about the internship program. After that, I decided to network with different company employees and send my application. There are many things that drew me to this specific experience, but the two things that caught my attention the most were definitely the company culture and the exposure that the internship experience gives.”
What is the culture at Spotify like?
Isabela: “The work culture at Spotify is amazing, very refreshing. It very much aligns with the company’s core values. It is a very welcoming, collaborative environment that is driven by the innovation and passion that all employees have. One thing I truly admire about the company and its culture is the fact that they include playfulness within their core values. It really makes you enjoy the work and the experience as a whole.”
How do you feel your international perspective helps you in your internship?
Isabela: “Personally, I feel like my international perspective has helped me in many ways throughout this experience. Firstly, my bilingualism has opened many doors for me. Secondly, my understanding of different cultures thanks to the traveling opportunities that I’ve had. Thirdly, being from Venezuela and growing up in a socio-political environment that is facing a huge crisis has taught me to be very resourceful and efficient in my work ethic.”
What is one experience you’ll always remember from this chapter of your career development?
Isabela: “I think I will remember the process of getting adapted to working under special circumstances like the ones we are going through right now. Interning through COVID-19 times is very particular and valuable, it serves as preparation for what the future of the industry may look like. Also, seeing opportunities blossom thanks to me stepping out of my comfort zone.”
How has your approach to developing your professional skills changed since COVID-19?
Isabela: “I feel like my professional skills are still developing, and will be constantly. But if anything, COVID-19 has made me aware of the necessity to be able to adapt to different circumstances, really make the best out of every opportunity and not be afraid of steering away from what is ‘normal’ or conventional.”
What does a “day in the life” look like when working remotely?
Isabela: “For me personally, it is very simple. I usually wake up early in the morning, workout, get ready for the day and sit in my little designated work space in my house. The rest of the day consists of lots of Zoom/ Google Hangouts meetings, and getting through work. Working remotely requires a lot of communication, and all employees are usually connected through calls, chats or collaboration methods.
My day usually either starts or ends with a meeting with my manager, to track my progress and assign tasks. There are many different tips on how to best tackle working from home, such as being sure to take breaks or even wearing shoes while working. Some people have a great time with it, others don’t find it so pleasant. Personally, working from home gives me freedom to go at my own pace about my work.”