My name is Natalie Jones and I just completed my junior year at the University of Pittsburgh. At Pitt I am majoring in both Finance and Supply Chain Management. I came to Dublin seeking an internship in Finance, and this summer I will be interning at Linked Finance. Linked Finance is Ireland’s first and biggest Person-to-Person Lending Website. I am very excited to learn and be a part of a company that uses the newest technology to help people and businesses make money.
Never stepping foot outside of the US, as soon as I landed I felt as if I had been teleported to a different world. The new sights, languages, people, etc. all filled me with excitement and the overwhelming feeling to go out and experience as much as I can. However, along with this feeling also came nervousness. Being on your own in Pittsburgh is one thing, but coming to a different country and being alone is a completely and utterly different thing. Although this feeling of being alone at first was quite overwhelming it was combatted with the familiar faces of some of my peers from Pitt. Knowing that they’re going through the same experience and that we all come from the same place offers a comfort that is definitely appreciated.
Once settling into my apartment and getting to know my new roommates we decided it was time to explore the actual city of Dublin. Before leaving the campus we all obtained our very own ‘Leap Cards’ which are Dublin public bus cards that made us seem less like tourists and more like we have been here for years. However, as soon as we got onto the bus using our handy new cards we became tourists all over again and ended up choosing to get off of a stop that was completely random. Even though this stop was about a 20 minute walk from the main streets of Dublin this actually worked in our benefit. We were able to walk around and see more of the ‘real Dublin’ and less of the tourist areas. Walking along cobblestone streets trying not to break an ankle one of the fist things I noticed was the architecture and the authenticity of the city. In America we may have beautiful buildings but we often lack the pure originality of them. Here in this almost ‘ancient’ city of Dublin one can assume that the buildings weren’t just built within the last century to add beauty to the city, but rather they were built because that was the architectural style of that particular century in which it was built.
Being here for almost a week now it seems as though I have gained more familiarity of the city than I could have imagined happening within the first week. Although this week has flown by the things that I have accomplished this far will stay with me for the duration of the next few months that I am here. Some of these things include being able to hop on and off of the local bus knowing that I am on the right stop, becoming more familiar with the different Irish expressions that are often used, and also knowing how far one euro will actually take you. All in all, the first week here has been an unforgettable experience thus far and I can only imagine what will be in store for the next 10 weeks.