Classes are finished and my bags are packed. I'm leaving for home in the morning and thought I would do a little update. I will have my final thoughts and conclusion of my study abroad experience up sometime soon. So check back for that.
VIP Madrid Open Tickets
The weekend after Belgium, a few friends and I planned a one night trip to Granada in the south of Spain leaving on Saturday morning. My friend Joanna and I didn’t have much going on that Friday before we left and decided to meet up and walk around the city with no particular plans in mind. We meet for about 20 minutes before she gets a phone call from a family friend that is living in Madrid. She said she had 2 VIP tickets to the opening of the Madrid Open that day and asked if she would like them. Her friend met us where we were and gave us the tickets but told us the VIP area closed at 5:30. At that point it was already around 3:30 and we had no idea where the complex even was. We split a cab and walk into the arena. We found the VIP section and you could tell we were IMMEDIATELY out of place. Mind you, we were wearing only t-shirts and flipflops while everyone else were in suites, dresses, and full of Lacoste wear. It was in a beautiful area that was more like a club/lounge type area with gourmet deserts and an open bar… all for free. We go up to the bar and get two drinks and sit down along the river. We could not get over the fact where we were and things like this do not generally happen to either of us. After enjoying a full plate food of different deserts we headed to our front row seats to watch the first-round womens . After watching a few sets we decided to walk around the complex a little more. We find the practice courts where we were able to watch Rafael Nadal from Spain and Rodger Federer practice (number 1 and 2ranked in the world). These are two of the largest names in the tennis world and we were sitting front row watching them. It was by far one of the coolest things I have done in Madrid.
Five of us went down to Granada for one night in the south of Spain. Granada is a very old city that has a heavy Muslim architecture influence and could pass for an Aerobic city in the Middle East. The city is built on a hill and the stone streets are very narrow and have a strong Muslim influence. It is home to the world famous Alhambra which was constructed by the Moorish rulers in the 14th century. It is an enormous structure with beautiful views of the city and an elaborate garden. What I loved most about this city was how cheap everything was. Granada is famous for giving generous portions of “tapas” or mini appetizers with every beer you order. I don’t think we paid for lunch of dinner once because we would just fill up on tapas throughout the day. There wasn’t too much to do in Granada and I think one day is plenty to see everything in the city. Our hostel was very nice and in a great location. That trip concluded my travels to other cities in Europe.
This past semester at Purdue, I was involved in an organization that brings to campus 10 individuals who have made significant contributions to his or her own field for a few days to speak with students about their successes. I had the honor of working with Frank Modruson, the Chief Information Officer for Accenture (the number one global consulting and outsourcing firm in the world). I worked closely with him prior to his visit to Purdue as well as spending three days with him during his campus visit. For our final project in my International Business class, we had to conduct an interview with a company that has presence in Spain and the United States. The purpose of the interview was to find differences between our countries in the way they conduct business, market entries, clients, ect. I called Frank to see if there was any way I could conduct an interview with someone in the Madrid office. The next day I received an e-mail from him saying he has set up an interview with the Chief Information Officer of Accenture:Spain. She oversees all Accenture offices in Madrid, Malaga, Barcelona, Valencia, and Seville. We had an hour and a half conversation in her office the following week. She answered all of my questions and really gave me some great insight of the professional world of Spain. At the end of the interview she said, “If you ever want to come back or work in Spain, please give me a call and we will try to find you something.” I about hit the floor stunned. The next day I wrote her a Thank you e-mail and she replied with thanking me and wanting to continue to stay in touch. Hopefully some sort of opportunity will come out of this.