Working in an international team

Cologne-based graphic design student Pia Witt went to Spain during her practical phase: During her internship at the internationally operating agency Story&Co in Barcelona, she worked on a variety of projects, gained intercultural work experience and learned Spanish as well. In her report she gives insights into this exciting time.

HMKW student Pia Witt on the beach in Barcelona

HMKW student Pia Witt on the beach in Barcelona

My graphic design internship in Barcelona

Hello everybody! I'm Pia and I'm studying Graphic Design and Visual Communication at HMKW Cologne.

I would like to tell you about my practical phase. I spent one semester at the agency Story&Co. in Barcelona, Spain. My lecturer Prof. Felix Thomas, who has worked in international agencies for many years, enabled me to get in touch with this agency. The agency consists of 13 people, almost all of whom come from different countries, and that's what makes the team so unique. Everyone is open-minded and helpful and I felt very comfortable from the first day on.

Among the staff, communication is mostly in Spanish, but don't worry if you want to go to Barcelona but you don't speak Spanish: When I arrived in Barcelona last year at the end of August, I couldn't speak a word except "Hola!" and "Adios! Of course everyone in the agency speaks good English and so I never had any problems with communication during my internship. At the end of my time in Barcelona I could even understand most of the conversations in Spanish. (However, I also took language lessons twice a week).

But back to the agency. Story&Co operates globally and has, for example, German and Russian clients as well as Spanish ones. The projects are often very diverse, and since there are always several designers working on one project, I had the chance to work in different areas.

From campaign creation to digital brochures and icon design to logo development, my design skills were in demand. If there were any questions or problems, they took their time to help me and after some time of getting used to it, I was able to work very independently and confidently.

However, there was one problem with the time in Barcelona: it passed by far too quickly! Because honestly, who doesn't like to spend a few months in beautiful warm Spain?

If you have any questions regarding the internship, Story&Co or my time in Barcelona in general, I'm of course happy to help you.


Pia Witt



In the summer semester 2018, the internship at Story&Co will be completed by another Cologne HMKW student. The position is expected to be available again from September 2018. Interested students should contact Prof. Felix Thomas by email (f.thomas [at]