The first few weeks after graduation is a curious phase in everyone’s life who has ever been a student in an institute of higher education: you get a paper saying that you’ve mastered your trade, and you’re ready to go and be an adult from now on. But that’s it. There are no more instructions. You have to figure out what to do with your life. Some people are lucky enough to be hired by companies who are willing to give them an opportunity to show them what they’ve got without requiring any experience, others would rather travel the world and not commit to any specific job, until they figure out what it is that they’re passionate about. But what if you could do both at the same time?
Headway, a marketing company empowered by technology with more than 6 years innovating the digital industry worldwide, is offering an internship program at its Barcelona office for students from all over Europe to help them kick-start their careers, receive training in several fields of the marketing industry, and not have to give up on fun and adventure either. Headway is offering a unique opportunity for young graduates to challenge themselves, and to develop their talent and potential by bringing value and impact to the business from day one. To find out more about the details of the program and the company itself, we sat down with Xavier Bourlard, SVP International Growth and Andrea Vasilenco, Marketing and International Operations Manager at Headway Barcelona.
Making Headway in Barcelona
Tell us a little bit about Headway and what you do here at the Barcelona office.
Xavier: Headway is a digital marketing company based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The company’s expansion started in Latin America, with offices in Mexico, Colombia, Peru and other countries. In 2013, the mobile division was launched – our mobile platform is called Mobrain by Headway – and with that, the company decided to go more international, to expand to the US and Europe. In 2014, the decision was made to open an office in Barcelona, and to dedicate it to mobile marketing solutions. From Barcelona, we serve not only European countries, but all other regions outside of the US and Latin America, mainly the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Europe.
Why was Barcelona chosen as the first European site?
Xavier: Since Headway is a South American company, I think that the main reason was to choose a Spanish-speaking country. Why Barcelona and not Madrid, or any other city in Spain? Because Barcelona is very international, it connects the entire world through the international people that live here. We have eighteen nationalities in our office between twenty-eight people. Also, there are great business schools and universities here, and the number of startups is growing, so it’s a great place to be.
You have mentioned before that you are looking to hire around ten more people in the near future. What positions are you trying to fill, and what sort of people are you looking for?
Xavier: We are hiring for several different position, and we’re looking for people who have just graduated from business schools, who have an entrepreneurial mindset, who have something valuable to bring to the table, and who really want to make an impact. We’re looking for sales people, account managers, data analysts, all sorts of profiles. But everyone needs to be fully motivated. Our motto here is that we have to make an impact every day, every single time we come into the office. And we are really focused on training people. We have several team members who started as interns two or three years ago, and now they are leaders of different teams. There is a lot of room to grow, if you are very committed to succeed and engage with the company.
Start Your Career in Barcelona
You are currently accepting applications for an internship program. Can you tell us who you are looking for, and what the training will look like?
Xavier: This is going to be the second edition of Headway University. The first one was in September last year. The goal is to find people who have recently graduated from business schools all over Europe, and to bring them to Barcelona for a training of six to nine months. During this time, they’ll learn about the industry, about what we are doing, and acquire the skills that schools can’t give them. It’s all very flexible: they can work with different teams, see how different divisions operate, and, depending on their personality and how they evolve, they can move on to other areas. The world is moving very fast, and I believe that we need to adapt to it and be very flexible. We try to bring out the best in people, and match that to what the company needs. This year, we’re going to choose mentors from different teams to support them, and help them grow.
We’re looking for people who have just graduated from business schools, who have an entrepreneurial mindset, who have something valuable to bring to the table, and who really want to make an impact.
How many people will you select for an internship?
Andrea: We’re going to bring thirty-five candidates to spend a day with us here in the Barcelona office, and we’ll organize activities in order to get to know them better, and to detect some skills related to data, communication, level of English, and so on. We’re even thinking about organizing a cooking activity, to see them working in real time. We are inviting them to the office so that they can really get a taste of the atmosphere here: that we work hard but we play hard as well. We are bigger now than we were before, but we’re still a family. And it’s important to us that they can feel that. After this, we will choose around six-seven people to hire for an internship. Maybe even more than that, if we find more very good profiles, because we don’t want to give up on any of the valuable talent that we find. Last year, we hired six out of fifteen people.
Xavier: It’s a long-term investment from our side: we put a lot of resources into this, so the ultimate goal is to eventually hire them after their training is complete.
What does the application process look like?
Xavier: We will have a first call with all of the applicants that submit their applications through e-mail. Our HR department based in Argentina will talk to all the candidates, and do the first selection of profiles. We are not looking for experience, we’re looking for personalities that we’d like to have at our company, so that’s what they’ll be screening for.
Do you have any words of encouragement for applicants?
Xavier: By joining Headway, you will be part of a fantastic, smart, highly professional and multicultural team. Changing the digital world every day, you will be working hard, but also playing nice, and you will benefit a lot from our activities: weekly yoga class, gym membership, TGIF, Summer and Christmas parties, etc. It’s more than just a training: we offer the young and highly motivated the ability to succeed in a very fast-paced environment. The investment is on both sides, but we are ready to play the game, so don’t be shy, and send us your resume!