Getting Into the Swing of Things

Throughout all of my previous jobs, something I found to be a crucial indicator for success in that position is proper time-management. Often times there are tasks that need to be completed by the end of the work day, that are momentarily interrupted due to other tasks that need to be completed immediately. It’s important to learn how long certain tasks take so that you aren’t hastily trying to get everything done 20 minutes before a shift ends. Time management also comes into play outside of work as well. My internship at Friends of the Elderly begins at 10am during the week, and I have to make sure that I get to work on time. Since I’m new to the area and to navigating the Dublin busses, I practiced going to work the day before I had to start my internship, just to get a rough idea on how long it takes me to get to the office and familiarize myself with the surrounding area. I also made sure to go to bed at a reasonable time so I would have little trouble waking up and feel ready to take on the day. Thanks to practicing my commute, I got to work with plenty of time to spare on my first day. Now, after only a week, I have a set routine that I follow.

So far, everyone at Friends of the Elderly has been very welcoming. I am really enjoying getting to see firsthand how a non-profit functions. There are plenty of different things that I could do throughout the day, some tasks having priority over others. For example, on Wednesdays there is a social club for the elderly members of the organization. During the club time, we are supposed to interact with members and ensure that things are running smoothly and make sure everyone is having a good time. A daily task that I need to complete is recording all of the recent donations and mail thank-you letters to the donors. Those two tasks are definitely the most important for me to complete so far. While I’m not doing that, however, I’ve been updating donor information in the computer system and I also can oversee the revenue-earning business that is next door to Friends of the Elderly; a thrift shop full of clothes donated from France and Ireland. I haven’t had a problem getting everything that needs to be done completed before my day ends. There are other interns at Friends of the Elderly, and if anyone ever needs assistance there are plenty of people to ask. This is all that I have been doing so far, although as time goes on I will probably begin to do other tasks.

Although starting work this past week has been exciting, my true highlight of the week was going to Northern Ireland with my roommates on Saturday. We went on a day long bus tour, the first stop being in Belfast. There, we passed where the Titanic was built and then took a taxi tour of the city. Our driver, Kevin, was passionate about the political atmosphere in Northern Ireland and helped us understand just how big of a deal Brexit would be to the people in Belfast. We also drove past many of the political murals throughout the city, and signed the Peace Wall. Before coming to Ireland, I can shamefully say that I was only really knowledgeable on American politics. Going to Belfast really helped me learn and understand a big part of Ireland’s past and present. Going forward, I’ll try to keep myself updated on world news.

After Belfast, the bus brought us to Giant’s Causeway. This natural attraction was something that was recommended to me from everyone that I know who has been to Ireland, and after going, I understand why. Giant’s Causeway is on the coast of Northern Ireland, and is made up of rock columns that formed after volcanic eruptions thousands of years ago. Although, legend has it that a giant named Finn MacCool created the causeway with the intention to cross the North Channel to meet another Giant. Luckily, it was a very nice day (no rain!) and I was able to just take pictures and enjoy the incredible scenery of the clear ocean, the lush mountains, and volcanic rocks that surrounded me. I was really glad that I planned that excursion with my roommates and was able to set aside time in my weekend to explore more of Ireland. I am looking forward to venturing to other places in the coming weekends!