First, let me tell you that Spain is absolutely breathtaking. Before going, I was a little nervous because the language is obviously different. In Madrid they speak Spanish; where in Barcelona they speak Catalan, neither of which I spoke. Lucky for us, that was never a problem because I don't think any of us would have made it very far. All in all, this trip will be one for the books and one of my favorite moments at Kelley.
What's my favorite part about studying abroad?
It is definitely being able to take part in a different culture and experiencing it firsthand. If London was different than the United States, you can only imagine how different Spain was. I would have to say that the Spanish definitely know how to cook. They are really famous for their tapas (4 or 5 appetizers shared between groups of people). Then, if you love seafood like I do, they are right by the Mediterranean Sea so you can only imagine how fresh the seafood tastes. But the Spanish culture outside of food includes their love for fútbol (soccer), flamenco dancing, the beautiful architecture and textiles, and too many other things to list. All of this we were able to experience in one short week thanks to Prof. KD and of course, Kelley.
Now I am leaving a big part out if I don't talk about any of the speakers or businesses we visited in Spain. Before we left, a variety of different speakers came in to talk to our class about what they do in the sport business world. Just to name a few, we listened to Dave Neff, who served on the 2018 Super Bowl Bidding Committee and the 2015 Men's Final Four Local Organizing Committee, along with Tom Abernethy, who is the owner of the Indiana Basketball Academy and formerly a professional NBA player with the LA Lakers, Golden State Warriors, and Indiana Pacers. Both of these men provided great insight on the steps it took to get where they are, the challenges and hardships they faced, but also the great rewards they received as well. I would say that Tom was one of my favorites as he left us with 10 lessons that can help us succeed not only in the business world, but in everyday life as well.
With all of these speakers and site visits beforehand, we were able to compare the similarities and differences with those that we visited in Spain. We toured the Adidas Training Facility, which is the training facility for the Spanish National Soccer Team. (Fun fact, the University of Louisville was actually training there the same week we were there!) Outside of that, they match up different teams with Adidas sponsorships to teams such as Barcelona and Real Madrid in a friendly match. We also listened in on two different racing companies, Circuit de Barcelona and Dorna. I found both of these visits to be neat in that we were able to compare them to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. One of my favorite visits was to the Centre d'alt Rendiment (High Performance Center) where we listened to a professional weightlifter describe his experiences while staying there. I loved his passion and devotion that he had for the sport.
Well there's just a little taste of our experiences in Spain. Of course, there are many more memories that I can share, but then this would go on for forever. I hope this post gave you a little inkling to go and explore the world and the different cultures that are out there, because I promise you will not regret it. One big final thank you goes to Professor Kim Donahue and the Kelley School of Business for making all of this possible for me and 22 other students. That's a wrap.