Hello all! This week was the week; the week I began my first nine to five job! Well…my first nine to five internship. To be honest, this week has really flown by. There was a Bank Holiday on Monday, so I did not start until Tuesday, and subsequently I was a day off for the entire week (I’m still surprised it’s Friday!). Working at Volunteer Ireland has been amazing so far. I’ve spent thousands of someone else’s euros on furniture to go towards a revamp of an local school’s autism wing; I’ve ran expense reports and called for quotes (very business-y); and I’ve finally mastered my laptop keyboard (there’s a £ sign where there’s usually a # and there’s a ” where there’s usually the @). I’ve also been going to bed at 9 pm and waking up at 6 am, which is completely out of character for me. Who is this new, working gal?
Being in the corporate volunteer industry has been interesting. It’s definitely not a strictly formal day-to-day working environment, but we have to consistently meet with companies that are very 24/7 business professional. We’re putting on our own national conferences, while setting up projects to renovate local schools and gardens. There’s a process to everything, with many details concerning health and safety and food and t-shirts, but the work never feels like a burden or a chore. My favorite part about this internship so far is that while there is a lot to be done, all of the work goes towards the greater good of society; towards businesses becoming more socially conscious and following their Corporate Social Responsibility plans to schools that don’t have funding to make some well-needed updates.
I’m sure that there are many organizations like Volunteer Ireland back home (in fact, we have a U.S. partner named Points of Light), but there’s really something to be said about the Irish volunteer spirit. I’m consistently amazed at how many people sign-up to take part in volunteer events, and, cheesy-ness alert, it really warms my heart to think about how much the Irish care about one another and the environment, both inside and outdoors, that they all live in. I hope that some of this volunteer spirit will come back with me to the United States. Also hope that the tea from the local coffee chain also comes back with me; both of these will be able to keep me going.