This past week, I began working at Concern Worldwide. As my first real job, I did not know what to expect going into it, especially with it being in a foreign country. At home, I am used to my workday starting at 8am and not ending until 4 or 5pm. Here, my supervisor said that most offices in the NGO sector start around 10, and that we would do the same. That was only the first surprise I encountered.
Furthermore, I quickly found that the office style in Ireland (at least at Concern) is much more relaxed than those in America. I came into the office on my first day and immediately met so many of my coworkers and they were all extremely friendly. People offered me a tour of the office and were willing to chat for long periods of time, whereas in America it is solely about the work. I found out that a lot of people I would be working with were new employees at Concern as well, which made me feel a lot better. I was then given work that I was really interested in, which made the week go by very quickly.
I also find the political climate in the workplace to be extremely different here. In America, you would almost never bring up politics to a coworker, especially not one you had met only moments before. In Dublin however, every single person I met asked me about my opinions on the current political scene in America, and then proceeded to share their own. Furthermore, with the big U.K. election during this workweek, the whole office discussed their hopes for it, its possible repercussions and their opinions on the outcome. They all had different outlooks on it but still had civil, in-depth conversations about it; and at work.
Lastly, on Friday, my supervisor suggested we all go out to lunch. So I got to go to lunch with all of my coworkers and get to know who I would be working with for the next couple of months. I really enjoyed getting to know everyone outside of the office and thought it was a good way to start off this internship.