SilverDoor Secondment in Madrid - A Placement Student's take on the Spanish Capital

SilverDoor Secondment in Madrid - A Placement Student's take on the Spanish Capital

SilverDoor Secondment in Madrid - A Placement Student's take on the Spanish Capital
11th July 2023

I recently travelled to our Madrid office as part of SilverDoor’s international secondment scheme. It was an amazing experience, one that I learnt so much from both professionally and personally, and is undoubtedly the highlight of my placement year!  

Read on to learn all about the trip – from the application process and key takeaways from the Iberia team, to my favourite parts of the city and tips for future secondees.  

The Application Process 

I’ve always wanted to experience working abroad, particularly in Spain, so I got straight to work on my application as soon as the opportunity was announced! I included as much detail as possible, researched Madrid to learn more about the city, and showcased how I could expand my skillset through the opportunity. 

I knew it would be a great chance to connect with and learn from the SilverDoor Madrid team and surround myself with Spanish language and culture, so I was incredibly excited when I was selected for the secondment alongside fellow placement, Louis. After I was selected, I spoke to the Madrid team to learn more about what we’d be doing and asked for suggestions on what to pack for the (surprisingly cold!) weather. 

Landing in Madrid... 

Where I stayed 

When I landed in Madrid, I headed over to Oasis Collection’s Colourful Rio property which I would call home for the next week. I had a meet and greet arranged for check-in with an Oasis representative who showed me around the spacious two-bedroom apartment I would be staying in. The modern apartment had its own fully-equipped kitchen, spacious living and dining areas, and each bedroom also benefitted from its own ensuite.  

Oasis Collection’s Colourful Rio
The beautifully decorated bedroom at the serviced apartment

There was a mini market just a few steps away from the property which was very convenient, and both the city centre and Plaza Mayor were only a short walk away. The location was more than ideal, and I would definitely recommend this property to those visiting the city.  

Meeting the Madrid team 

SilverDoor’s modern office was only a short drive from my apartment, and I was greeted by the Madrid team who could not have been more welcoming and friendly. It was such an invaluable experience to work alongside them for the week, as I expanded my knowledge on the regional market and gained insight into the city’s working culture. 

I also attended a number of serviced apartment viewings with the team which were a great opportunity to check in with local operators and personally verify the quality of the Madrid apartments in our portfolio.  

The SilverDoor Madrid Team with the Placement Secondees
The Placement Secondees with the team in Madrid

The Madrid team were very hospitable during our stay – they arranged an authentic Spanish experience one evening with delicious tapas, and Alberto even made a paella lunch for everyone in the office. We also dined at the team’s favourite restaurant, Casa Macareno. It was great to have them show us around the city and see Madrid through a local’s eyes.  

Touring the city 

Although the city is a bustling business hub, it also has a laid-back and relaxed atmosphere which I fell in love with. The locals were so welcoming, making it a really friendly environment for people new to the city.  

The best way to describe the city would be as a ‘Spanish London’, with its Royal Palace striking similarities to Buckingham Palace; this scenic area of the city offered stunning views of faraway mountains and was definitely worth the visit.  

The Royal Palace in Madrid
The Royal Palace, Madrid, Spain

I also visited Plaza Mayor, the main square in Madrid, and there were lots of bars, restaurants and street performances to enjoy. El Retiro Park was another beautiful site in the city, and it was a great spot for relaxing in the sun after work. It also features a lake where you can hire rowing boats and canoes.  

The El Retiro Park with the canoes
The lake at the El Retiro Park

There’s plenty of rooftop bars in Madrid as well with striking views of the city. We visited a few different sky bars after work, which had fantastic atmospheres and were perfect for catching sunsets. We visited one with an entirely glass floor – not for the faint hearted! 

A collage of pictures with the Placement Secondees in Madrid
The Placement Secondees and the Madrid team touring the city

My key takeaways 

Make the most of the city 

I would recommend learning some Spanish before your visit (Duolingo will be your best friend!) and practice speaking it whilst you’re there. The locals appreciate you making an effort, even if it's only a few phrases. Make the most of the authentic Spanish experience Madrid offers, as it’s less touristy than other major cities like Barcelona. 

Famous sights in Madrid
The placements tried new dishes and toured the city while in Madrid

Applying my new knowledge 

The secondment was a great opportunity to expand my knowledge of the Iberian market and gain further insight into our top booking locations in the region. I also got the chance to meet some of our property operators in person, which provided valuable insight into the processes of building and strengthening our relationships with them. This has helped me confidently communicate with regional clients and operators, which is a skill I utilise in my day-to-day role.   

Tips for future attendees 

Treat the application process as an opportunity to showcase your skills, confidence, and interest in the region. If you’re selected for the secondment, make the most of every day and just enjoy it!  

The SilverDoor Academy is our dedicated student placement scheme, which has been welcoming undergraduates into our workforce since 2008. Over those years, we’ve enhanced our programme to give our placements unparalleled opportunities and experience.  

Interested in joining our SilverDoor Academy? Download this brochure to learn more about the programme. All our placement opportunities are listed on the careers page – if you think you have what it takes, you can apply by sending your CV and Cover letter to [email protected]. Be sure to include which role(s) and office you’re applying for and why you think you are right for the position. 

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