GEP 2013: Your Career Begins Here

The Spanish Chamber of Commerce has recently welcomed  a  new group of participants of the Graduate European Programme. This programme offers university graduates the opportunity to undertake work experience in London at the same time as they attend Business English classes and workshops at Regent’s University London.

15 university graduates arrived in London on Monday 16th September to attend the Induction Week aimed at providing the participants with useful advice on their new life experience. The programme for the week included several talks and a company visit.

The Secretary General Mr. Igor Urra, along with Ms. Cristina Carmona, Head of Corporate Relations and Communication and co-ordinator of the Programme, met the group at the Spanish Chamber of Commerce premises on Wigmore Street for a welcoming session to introduce the programme.

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Mrs. Eleanor Green during her talk to the participants of the GEP

After this first talk, they had the chance to listen to Mrs. Eleanor Green, from Mundialengua UK, member of the Chamber. Mrs. Green explained some useful tips and advice on how to write a CV and a Cover Letter, but more importantly, she focused on how to succeed at interviews and provided very useful tips to answer frequently asked questions. Participants found this especially helpful as they would be facing several interviews during their first week.

Later that day, the candidates had the opportunity to meet two of the participants who took part in the Programme last year: Ms. Tania Torrado and Mr. Ignacio Alastrué. They explained their experience and how taking part in this programme eventually led them both to find a job in London.  Tania and Ignacio encouraged students to attend the English classes and to do their best during the internship by being proactive. The talk concluded with a round of questions about life in London, hints to do well at the interviews and the differences between work routines in Spain and UK.

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Attendees were listening to Tania Torrado and Ignacio Alastrué, as they explained their experience as former participants.

The week followed with some other activities for the participants to complete their induction. One of the most popular talks was delivered on Tuesday by Mr. Miguel Ángel Idígorasthe UK correspondent of TVE, and Mr. Roberto Casado, correspondent from the economic newspaper Expansión.

The session was designed to provide an inside perspective on the work of a journalist abroad and what kinds of news they need to look for in the UK in order to provide content that is relevant to a Spanish audience. They both shared their previous experiences abroad, their knowledge and what a day at work looks like.  They also compared the way journalism is done in Spain and in Great Britain, and how the latter has always been a reference for Spanish media as a synonym of quality and good practices.

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From left to right: Miguel Ángel Ídigoras (TVE), Igor Urra (Secretary General at the Spanish Chamber), and Roberto Casado (Expansión).

Next on the agenda for the participants of the XV edition of our Graduate European Programma was a visit to the premises of our member Ebury Partners Ltd, a foreign exchange company. This activity provided attendees with a greater understanding of the currency market and why foreign exchange transactions are important to bear in mind when doing business abroad. Mr. Fernando Cid, Head of the Spanish Desk at Ebury Partners, welcomed the candidates and he later introduced Mr. Fernando Pérez and Mr. Joan Bonilla, who were in charge of explaining howthe foreign exchange sector works and provided several case studies of clients Ebury Partners has been working with lately and their specific needs.

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The participants during the presentation at the premises of Ebury Partners.

To finish a very intensive week, on Friday participants visited  Regent’s University London, member of the Spanish Chamber, where they will attend the business English classes and workshops during the 6 months the programme lasts. Mr. Steve Phillips, Head of School and responsible for this academic side of the programme, welcomed the participants and informed them about the schedule and their teachers. At the end of the session, participants were shown around the school facilities.

We would like to thank our speakers for the different sessions and the companies that kindly collaborated with us during this week. We will be following the progress of this year’s participants and encourage them to make the most of this unique experience.

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