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A summer in Spain

Twenty-eight-year-old Roberta Grignolo, a student of Political Science in Turin, Italy, heard about EURES through her university career centre. Interested, she did some research on her local job centre, and asked if there were any work experience opportunities going in the section hosting EURES Advisers. After an interview where her skills where assessed she started to work as an intern – the beginning of a fruitful link with EURES.

Here, Roberta was involved in a variety of tasks, such as monitoring job vacancies, promoting EURES to employers, jobseekers and other target groups, organising EURES events in Italy and providing information on living and working conditions in Italy. “It was a very stimulating experience. EURES interns are an important point of contact between jobseekers and employers, and I delivered important information, guidance and recruitment assistance to both these groups,” says Roberta. “It was lovely to feel that I was directly involved in the work there.”

Indeed, thanks to the fact that Roberta was right at the heart of EURES’ daily work, she started building up a lot of knowledge on how easy it would be to pursue such an experience herself. Since she did not want to leave Italy for a long time, she knew that, in order to find a seasonal job, it was very important to get organised in advance by applying during the first months of the year.

The perfect chance showed up when EURES advertised a position as a waitress in an amusement park in the town of Tarragona. A seasonal position in Spain constituted a great opportunity, not only to improve Roberta’s knowledge of Spanish but also to get in touch with a different way of living. The job requirements were quite flexible – indeed, no previous professional experience was necessary. Only a basic knowledge of Spanish was requested and it was possible to sign a short-term contract for the summer period only. Perfect!

“They were looking for a friendly, passionate and fun person to join their team in Spain. That fit the bill!” Roberta said. She sent in her application and after a phone interview with a member of the PortAventura amusement park in Spain she was ready to join her new team. As soon as Roberta arrived in Spain there was a member of the park’s staff to welcome her and introduce her to the new job.

Roberta really enjoyed her experience: “At the beginning it was not that easy – my Spanish was so elementary that I could not always understand what the clients asked me. However, experiencing such difficulties further boosted my motivation to improve my language skills and strengthen my professional experience”. Roberta was working eight hours a day, five days a week – which left her enough time to discover the country and enjoy the renowned Spanish entertainment. “I fully appreciated the warm hospitability of Spanish people.”

Seasonal jobs are very popular because they represent a perfect opportunity to combine a holiday abroad with professional experience. Indeed, as Roberta, who is now looking for a position to start her career in Italy, explains: “I would have not been able to afford such a long holiday but, thanks to EURES, I have been able to find the perfect match for my needs: full employment, a bit of money and a lot of sun!” She added: “EURES is a very useful and efficient service provided to European citizens. The website is constantly updated and it is a perfect tool to match jobseekers’ and employers’ needs in Europe. Of course, having both worked there and benefited from the services I am a little biased, but I think it’s a great thing.”

Text last edited on: 03/2009


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"Focus on…" articles are intended to provide users of the EURES portal with information on current topics and trends and to stimulate discussion and debate. They do not necessarily reflect the view of the European Commission.