He is 34, has a degree in Chemistry, has lived in England for the last two and a half years and is already developing his profession. ” If you put your mind to it, you push yourself, and you work, there is a possibility of a future”.
Seated in the Reading College cafeteria after a long week, we talk about a hot Malaga that contrasts the icy England winter. The students enter with their hats and scarves, getting rid of them quickly in order to continue with their daily routine.
In this scene I’m chatting with Carlos Marín Florido, a Malagan who lives in Reading and feels happy with the opportunity for growth that England is providing him with.
Carlos says that, on top of working as a chemist, he is an English student and wishes to better his language skills on English soil. He is also used to working, because at home he studied and worked at the same time in the service sector.
As he was studying towards his degree, he applied for an internship in this sector, but this wasn’t granted due to the large number of applicants and the small number of offers.
In these times, as we well know, Spain’s economy is orientated towards tourism and this makes the search for places in research and development more difficult.
Carlos tells of his persistence and struggle to work as a chemist. When he finished his degree he started to send applications within Spain while he kept working in hospitality, on top of being a security assistant and a shop attendant.
He talks about how he sent a large quantity of CVs to job offers and also spontaneous submissions, all of them on a national level, without territorial restrictions. The opportunity to develop his profession in his own country did not occur.
Due to this, Carlos made the decision to go abroad. Previously he had visited England, and on top of this he had a brother living in Reading.
In his visit to this country, he had a very positive view and when he decided to live here he was able to stay with his brother. This meant an advantage in saving some money and, later on, becoming independent.
In England, his first jobs were again in the service sector and in customer services. More specifically his first job was at a McDonalds, where he had the goal of learning English and introducing himself to English culture.
After only one year he obtained a job within his profession, a fact that confirmed his first impression about the opportunities that England offers.
Carlos expresses his gratitude towards England and explains that in this country he managed to get 10 interviews related to his profession in 5 months, while in Spain he only got 3 interviews in the space of 3 years.
Here he feels valued. He is offered the opportunity to develop himself professionally and personally and this also makes him grow as a person.
He adds that in this country he has prospects for a future. According to his viewpoint, “if you put your mind to it, you push yourself, and you work, there is the possibility of growth”.
When the conversation turns to the latest events around Brexit, Carlos states that he has not experienced any situations of xenophobia or discrimination.
He comments that both the company that he previously worked for and the one that he currently works for are multinationals with a strong immigrant presence, and he has never found himself in a situation of exclusion.
Carlos wants to live and retire in England if Brexit doesn’t complicate the situation of the Europeans that are settled here. However, if he can’t, he doesn’t consider going back to Spain but to another country that allows for his professional development and a good economic income.
Although he always misses his land and culture, Carlos expresses that “unfortunately at this moment it doesn’t offer us opportunities for growth and development”.
(Translated by Sarah Claman) – Photos: Pixabay