We’re finally here! Dublin has been amazing during the first week. It’s been eye opening trying to witness all of the culture, weather, and rural areas. The weather is a lot like Pittsburgh, and for that it hasn’t been too difficult to adjust. For just being here a short while we have managed to go to the book of Kells, St. Patricks Cathedral and Dublin Castle. Although common tourist attractions, there was a lot of history to learn which we all thoroughly enjoyed. In addition, we took advantage of the tour to Glendalough, Lough tay, and beautiful Powerscourt Gardens. I have never seen anything like the Guinness lakes and sugar loaf mountain at Lough Tay. It’s a stunningly beautiful attraction. Powerscourt Gardens was a vast site with ponds and a pet cemetery, even a Japanese garden. It had many paths we could take to explore all around the area and the colors were so vivid and lively. I can’t wait to go back. Also, we learned about the Gaelic games and how they differ from tournaments in the United States. After listening to the instructor explain it, I realized that there are many differences between the two. Some of these include that their players don’t get paid and that each player participates for a particular county and that it is an honor. Another experience has been simply exploring around city center and discovering parks, places to shop, and landmarks. Dublin has so much to offer and we all plan to travel to different places around Ireland on the weekend to get the full experience. I want to visit Galway and Northern Ireland and the cliffs of Moher.
I’ve noticed that Irish people are very friendly and are helpful whenever you are lost or have questions. They are fascinated with Americans and they really want to get to know you. A major difference that has been a little difficult to deal with is their lack of real coffee. They only have espresso and instant coffee, and it’s incredibly hard to find actual coffee around the city. The first real challenge has been navigating the bus system. Sometimes it doesn’t drop you off where you think it will, and you end up having to walk for a while until you reach your destination. However, the bus app and our student cards have made it a lot easier to get around.
It’s been great getting to know everyone from Pitt. I came into this trip not knowing anyone and a little nervous about traveling alone, but everyone is amazing. A lot of us have similar interests and it’s been a lot of fun walking around Dublin and living with some truly wonderful people. Although everyone has a different internship we are all in the same boat and are nervous yet excited to start work tomorrow.
The company that I am going to be working in is called The Elbow Room. It’s a Yoga and Pilates studio that also has a daycare, prenatal classes and instructor courses. I will be interning in their marketing department with a main focus on social and digital media. I will be working on their social media sites and their website to help them gain customers and followers. I will mainly be on my computer, however I am prepared to be involved with meetings and customers themselves so that I can gain a better understanding of the company.
I’m excited to start work and witness the differences between companies in the United States and companies in Ireland. I think it will provide me with the necessary skills to adapt in any environment. The skills that are going to be the most important in this particular experience will probably be communication with my supervisor to ensure that I’m doing the correct work. Teamwork is significant because my department is only three people, therefore I will be working closely with everyone. I’ll need to have a positive attitude and great self-management because this is a new experience and I may not always do everything right and my supervisor may not always be available. Determination will be important because I want to impress my employer and I want to get the most out of this experience. I will need to be well versed with technology and social media sites. I should be able to type and use certain word programs. I will need to be creative and work with photos and formatting in case I have to make an event or an announcement or change the website.
Some competencies that may be unique to working in Ireland include responsibility, awareness, adaptability, and trustworthieness. There are always differing levels of responsibility in any place of work, however in Ireland they may give their interns more or less work depending on how you perform. This is similar to companies in the United States, but usually there is a very specific job description and you don’t typically range beyond the aspects listed in that job offering. In Ireland you have to be prepared to do any type of work that they need because some of the companies are a little smaller. I will also have to be aware of my surroundings and different accents in order to do the best work that I can. I will have to ask a lot of questions and be organized and ready to take on any task. Adaptability is important, especially in Ireland because it’s a new country and a new company. Your employer might request something and you have no idea how to do it, therefore you’ll have to learn it to be prepared for the next time. In marketing and digital media, online is a huge factor. I might be working with the website, which is set up a little differently in Ireland. I’ll have to research how I might be able to make it easier to users that I know little about. Lastly, something that EUSA mentioned to us during orientation is trust. Employers in Ireland care deeply about trustworthiness and they want to know if you will fit in, and if you can handle anything that they throw at you. They don’t wish to work alongside someone they know nothing about and aren’t sure if you’re serious or sincere. So I will have to prove to my supervisor that they can all trust me personally and professionally. I’m excited to get to know my coworkers, and have an amazing first day.
Goodbye for now,