GoAbroad Interview

Madison Carroll - Director of Global Programs

Madison Carroll - Director of Global Programs

Madison the director of global programs for We Find Group. Through her role, she acts as the connection point between European placement teams and U.S. student interns, spending the summer in Europe and the rest of the year in the U.S. To call her work with We Find Group her “dream job” would be an understatement!

How did you get connected with We Find Group?

I began as an intern for We Find Group (WFG) nearly four years ago and have been working for the company ever since! I began as a recruitment consulting intern in Madrid, during the summer of 2013. During that internship, I worked on the recruitment side of WFG, while working to create the ideal international internship program. I’d seen some of the issues that could arise when interning abroad and I wanted to make the student experience of interning abroad was as easy, engaging, and enjoyable as possible!

Passengers riding a double decker bus in London, England
Taking in the views of London from the top of a double decker bus!

You have evolved to be a very important piece of the company. What drives you in your work?

The students! I’ve been so lucky to work directly with our students throughout the entire process. I’ve seen the nerves they have pre-departure, the assimilation to an entirely new culture and internship, and the confidence they possess at our farewell events. They do amazing work in their internships and gain a cultural understanding that you cannot get by staying in your home country.

Their eyes have been opened to new ways of thinking, living, and working, which instills in them a compassion for different cultures and a connection to people and events happening across the ocean.
Students sitting in a skybar talking
Students participating in professional development from the 32nd floor Skybar in the accommodations!

What international experiences of your own have helped you in your current role?

When I was 18, I had never been on an airplane. Now at the age of 23, I’ve visited 24 different countries and met people from across the globe. The nerves I had the day before I left for the first time gives me a connection point to our students, most of whom have never left their home country without their parents before. I can understand the excitement, anxiety, and worries they have when leaving the U.S.

Additionally, since I’ve had the opportunity to travel around Europe, I’m able to help students plan their travels, and I absolutely love helping them see new countries!

You helped create We Find Group’s International Internship Program. What makes We Find Group’s internships one of a kind?

We Find Group’s internship programs are super hands-on! We understand that students need someone there for them before, during, and after the program. Students receive our personal cell phone numbers and can call us 24/7. We’ve helped students with everything from communication issues to needing their wisdom teeth out immediately. Our team genuinely wants to create a professional relationship with each of our participants, so that they feel like they always have someone to help them when they’re in-country and someone to reach out to once they return home. I can’t tell you the number of recommendation letters I’ve written for our past interns!

Girl sitting on The Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland are a wonderful weekend excursion from London or Madrid!

What is We Find Group’s most popular international internship program? Why do you think participants are attracted to this opportunity?

Madrid is definitely our most popular location! Between the beautiful culture, delicious food, low cost of living, warm weather, and inviting people, our students are drawn to the opportunity to work in a country that will truly give them “culture shock.” Many of our students also use this opportunity to improve their Spanish! Although, there is no Spanish language requirement.

If you could intern in Madrid or London, which one would you choose and why?

When I participated in the program, I interned in Madrid and absolutely loved it. I returned to Madrid the next summer, then spent the last two summers in London. I adore both cities - London is so diverse and professional and Madrid has the nicest people with the best weather!

If I had to choose, I would choose Madrid to be closer to our WFG team!

What is your best piece of advice for students contemplating interning abroad?

Take the leap and GO! You’ll never have an opportunity like this again. Once you start working full-time, you won’t have the flexibility to spend eight weeks in Europe truly immersing yourself in a new culture!

Be courageous, be open-minded, and be ready for the experience of a lifetime! You won’t return home the same - I promise! 
Staff at the We Find Group Headquarters in Madrid, Spain
The Global Internship team at our We Find Group Headquarters in Madrid, Spain!

Is there anything new and exciting in the works for 2017 that we should know about?

Our team is always working on new projects to improve our current programs as well as create new ones! Be on the lookout for new locations, new in-country events, and more professional development opportunities.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Our team is the best part of working for WFG! From our WFG family to all of our current and past interns, I’ve had the opportunity to work with motivated, ambitious individuals that are truly engaging in the global community.

I am also the luckiest employee on Earth to be able to spend the year in the U.S. and the summer in Europe! I miss our team when I’m in the States, but I’m always looking forward to the next time we all get to be together in Madrid.