Last Thursday during my weekly meeting with my supervisor Eilish, we were discussing the other intern’s last day, and she mentioned that I felt like part of the team much more than an intern. The other intern was only there for 5 weeks and only worked 4 days a week, versus my 10 week, 5 day a week schedule.
Initially, I was really worried about working so much. I thought that time in the office might be awkward and I might not have that much to do. But honestly, my days fly by. I feel like by the time I even look up to check the clock, it’s time for lunch and then the 3 hours after lunch fly by as well. I’ve been able to work on a wide variety of projects that keep me interested and on my toes and I don’t feel like I’ve been bombarded with menial “intern” tasks.
Over the past 10 weeks in Dublin, I truly feel like I have formed a close and lasting bond with all of my coworkers at Focus Ireland. Part of this is definitely the fact that we spend 45 hours a week together, but I also chalk some of it up to the fact that I came into this experience with such an open mind. I think the key to getting the most out of an international internship experience is to fully acknowledge the fact that it is an international experience. You will be an outsider at times and you will feel confused. That is okay and normal. The best way to get over feeling like an outsider is simply to become an insider. Invite yourself to work lunches. Join in on coworker conversations. I know that it may seem rude, but it really is the best way to immerse yourself into your workplace culture.
I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to live and work in Dublin for 2 and a half months. All of my coworkers were nothing but kind and welcoming and I gained irreplaceable real world experience that I will always treasure and hold near to my heart.