I am Maria Jose, a Spanish student in the last year of my Computer Science degree. I have been working at Clear Books since June with the help of an international grants program from my home university, Valladolid, Granada.

Recently I won a competition where I had to write about my experience. As a result, I received an extra 400 Euros towards my sponsorship. It was originally written in Spanish, but now I have the opportunity to share the translated version here:

If I had to summarize my experience in one sentence, I would choose one that defines very well what this time in London has meant to me: show your self what you are able to do both personally and professionally.

My time in this big city has not been easy, I have had to deal with many challenges since I arrived: not knowing the language well enough, not knowing what to do at work and being so far away from home.

In my first day at work I arrived with a fear of the unknown, uncertainty and delusion. I could barely understand a word about what was going on here. However, I soon felt lucky for being in a company full of people with new ideas who love what they do. I found everything interesting; the cultural differences, the nice work system and the pool table to enjoy the free moments.

Before I started this adventure, I sensed that the last year’s studying wouldn’t be enough for me to face my future profession as a computer science engineer. My suspicions were quickly confirmed, but this job is helping me with that, everyday I am making a conscious effort to overcome the language barrier and learn to develop my work.

Each step I advance in or each problem solved, makes me feel good because it means that I am learning and that all the challenging moments I had when I started this experience were useful.

I have had some great opportunities here: improving my English, receiving my Zend PHP certification thanks to Clear Books, having my first six months of professional experience, enjoying one of the most important capitals in Europe and last but not least, showing myself what I am able to achieve when the circumstances are different.


Posted by David Eaton

David is a Chartered Accountant and Director of SME Strategies (smestrategies.co.uk) which offers tailored support to ambitious SMEs and gives mentoring to owner managers.