Summer Spotlight: Ignacio Felix-Padilla W’26, C’26 in Portugal with GRIP

Over the summer, I worked as an intern through GRIP. Specifically, I did the Wine Production in Porto program in Porto, Portugal. I worked as a Strategy and Innovation
Intern within the Strategy team. I worked mostly with the Innovation division within the Strategy team and reported directly to the Head of Strategy and the Innovation Committee, which included the President, Vice President, Head of Strategy, Head of Marketing, and Head of Operations.

As I was searching for opportunities for the Summer during the second semester of my Freshman year, I wandered upon the Global Research and Internship Program (GRIP). It offered me the opportunity to work 8-12 weeks with a company across the
world over the summer. This instantly intrigued me and I began to look at their program offerings. The one that immediately caught my eye was the Wine Production in Porto program. As a Portuguese target, this seemed like the perfect opportunity. I would be able to practice my target language over the course of the summer while also gaining valuable work experience in a niche market. I would also be able to explore the culture and all there is to sightsee in Porto (which is an absolutely beautiful city by the way).

During my two months abroad, I was definitely able to improve my Portuguese language skills. As I continue in my studies, those two months abroad provided invaluable practice and I am very satisfied with how I improved. Moreover, immersing
myself in a new culture has heightened my cultural awareness and sensitivity, broadening my perspective. I intend to maintain the connections I made abroad, recognizing the significance of networking in various aspects of life. Additionally, I aim to
apply the problem-solving skills honed during my travels to academic and professional settings, while also bringing back newfound culinary knowledge and an appreciation for history and art. Furthermore, the independence, adaptability, and time management skills I cultivated while balancing travel and academic commitments will be instrumental in my future endeavors. Lastly, I plan to incorporate mindfulness and relaxation techniques learned in Porto into my daily routine for improved stress management and overall well-being.