Studying a Master’s Degree such as the Master in International Business at Carlos III University may have an important impact in your career, but from our perspective, what may be more important is the impact it has in your personal life! This is something we always keep in mind: there are very valuable people behind the professionals we train! Today, we bring you the story of Nikko and Silverio, two MaDI students from the 2016/17 promotion. Nikko, from California, and Silverio, from Mexico, met in Madrid in the same MaDI group. Once the master ended up she went back to the US and he stayed in Madrid. However, one year later, they have kept in touch. They tell us in this post why they made such strong ties and why their friendship at MaDI UC3M will never end!
Friendship at MaDI UC3M
by Nikko Tanaka-Pendleton
The lifelong friends I made in the MaDI program were an absolute highlight! I was lucky enough to be partnered in the same group as Silver and we immediately hit it off! In fact my entire team was amazing from the get-go. My visa had been delayed and so I wasn’t able to move from the US to Spain until about a month after classes had started. My team was wonderfully welcoming and helpful when I finally arrived! Silver and I were the only ones in our group from abroad and also from North America (Silver from Mexico and me from California), so we were fast friends. Throughout the program we did everything together: study, explore Madrid, travel around Spain, and support each other in our professional endeavors. We toured all the tourist sights of Madrid, traveled to Valencia, Bilbao, and Granada, to name a few. Coming from abroad and not knowing anyone in Spain, it was so remarkable to find a kindred spirit right there in my group.
Teamwork is never easy, but I was lucky enough to have been partnered with the greatest group! We all got along both scholastically and socially. I think the key to teamwork is communication and respect for your fellow teammates. One of our challenges was scheduling. With all of us working fulltime on top of school, it was hard to find the time to meet. But everyone was flexible and prioritized group work. Another issue was disagreements on decision-making. With any group of intelligent and opinionated individuals there’s bound to be some disagreement. Here the key was not taking anything personally, flexibility, looking at each decision rationally, and weighing the pros and cons before coming to a majority agreement. I know I was lucky to get such a dream team, in which everyone gave 110% to their responsibilities.
I loved my life in Madrid. I had lived in multiple countries around the world before Spain, but Madrid was by far the easiest in terms of adaptability and quality of life. Housing and basic amenities like food and entertainment were significantly cheaper than I was used to (keeping in mind I moved from San Francisco, the most expensive city in the US). I enjoyed the Spanish love of fiestas, siestas, food, vino, and vacation time. The hardest adaptations were the differences in deadlines and timelines (absolute in the US and rough suggestions in Spain) and the differences in meal schedules (dinner at 10pm??!). My Spanish was also not up to snuff and Mexican Spanish, which has slightly different pronunciation, grammar, and vocab, so I had a harder time learning Spanish than expected, especially since I worked in English. But everything aside, my time in Madrid was memorable and delightful, not only in the food I ate and sights I saw, but most importantly the incredible and vibrant people I met.
by Silverio Salcedo
Nikko and I were assigned in the same team at the beginning our masters. That’s when we met and we started to have our first conversations, the first days she was so shy but so was I and eventually we were not talking about school anymore and we began talking about life, family and some other life topics, sharing different tastes in movies, music and some other different perspectives of life and that is when the final match happened.
MADI contributed tremendously in our professional life but also in our personal life helping us to find friends that became family after a really short time.
We were not just having a good time and making plans for traveling (we traveled so much), we also worked hard as a team group in order to achieve our masters degrees.
I believe that the formula that made us professional and good friends at the same time was that we knew how to manage our professional decisions and our way to work as a group, separated from our friendship. I mean there is always time to work and having a good time with friends, you just have to learn how to balance. It is very important as a foreign student to find a great group to work with, if you don’t have your family around because they are very far those friends become your family so don’t judge, be open minded, and be respectful with everyone, maybe you are about to find your new partner in crime (This is what me and Nikko call each other) so be friendly and smiley.
The icing on the cake was Madrid, a city full of life and energy, very well connected with other amazing places in Spain and close to small and beautiful villages. We took every single opportunity to discover this amazing country. Food, beer and good friends are the perfect formula.
At the end of the masters Nikko went back to California, and I am still working in Madrid but we still keep in touch, we text each other every day, we also share pictures and videos of our current life so we don’t really feel the distance.
As we love travelling plans we really hope to see each other again very soon.
If you want to know more about the Master’s Degree in International Business Administration go to our website and apply for more information about our programe. You can also follow us in our social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Youtube