Having already spent one week in Dublin, I can say that I absolutely love the city. I’ve done so much in the one week I’ve been here including having visited Dublin Castle, St. Patrick’s cathedral, Wicklow mountains, Glendalough, and so much more. It’s been a busy week of acquainting myself with my home for the next two months. At first, I didn’t think I would be able to understand crossing the street and using the bus system until at least two weeks in, but I can say now that crossing the road on reds and using the busses has become quite easy. The bus system makes it very convenient to come and go into city centre and is a much more enjoyable experience that the port authority in Pittsburgh. The bus has so far always been on time and the drivers are always open to helping with directions in case you get lost. It’s honestly the little things that make a place feel like home, like learning to use the bus system, buying groceries, and taking casual walks in city centre.
One of my favorite experiences this past week was going to the sports club and learning to play traditional Gaelic games. We learned the ins and outs of Gaelic football, hurling, and wall ball. They were all very difficult to master in a brief period of time, but great for a good laugh and some exercise. It was very cool to see how people could play the game like it was nothing when some of us, including me, could barely keep the ball away from the ground. Afterwards, I stayed with a group of people to watch a match between Santry and a neighboring area. The game was a fast paced and worthwhile experience.
Other experiences that made the first week memorable were visits at various cathedrals, castles, and museums. I enjoy having a sense of the history and culture of a country, and it becomes even more important when in the same place for a long period of time. The architecture and stories of these different locations are fascinating and pictures don’t do the artists justice.
Now that I’ve seen some of the city, I am excited to start work tomorrow and see how I can contribute to my internship organization. Working at the Dublin Business School will mean exposure to the education industry. During my meet and greet with the people I am working with, I learned the specifics about the different projects they want me to help with. These include data analysis for the organization that helps decide which students are at risk and how to improve the retention rate. There are also fintech projects involving the organization’s different payment systems and working on making them more convenient and user friendly. Although having no previous exposure, I believe I will make it work and be able to help due to the various skills necessary for the job. Given that methods of delivering education varies constantly due to technology, being able to work with the technology and incorporate it is very important. When used correctly, technology can help achieve goals faster and more efficiently. Therefore, technological skills and adaptability are key. I also believe that understanding people and psychology play a part at some level, especially with the project of trying to increase the retention rate. Understanding why someone might not be motivated to further pursue a degree and trying to combat that problem is something that requires problem solving and deductive reasoning skills. In Ireland, I learned that colleges have a conference to discuss matter such as this and help each other improve on the quality of education that provide. This type of collaboration on a larger scale also involves a considerable level of communication skill. In my brief two months, I look forward to learning and improving as much as I can.
Given that I’m working at a school, I was also offered the opportunity to sit in on some classes. Although it is summer and listening to lectures isn’t what I had in mind, I’d like to take the chance to see what it’s like. I feel that not having to turn in assignments or take exams will make a big difference in how much I enjoy learning the material for the sake of learning rather than the grade received in the course. There’s an incredible number of things I’ve seen that I want to do and explore more of and I can’t wait to do it all and share more about it.