Already three weeks into this internship and abroad experience. With all the working, learning, and exploring I have been doing these past few weeks, maybe it is not so surprising that times flying by! I’ve gotten a few more chances to continue to explore Dublin, take in the gorgeous views, and try some delicious foods. One thing I have found to be consistently great here is the take away food. While these are fast food restaurants, they are absolutely delicious. And just my luck, they are all over Dublin! With food choices like kebabs, burgers, fish & chips, and wraps, there’s always something I am in the mood for. And most of the time, these take away restaurants will even have milkshakes, so I can get dessert there as well!
Lots of the food here in Dublin are “comfort” foods. The take away foods I was just talking about are a great example, but even more so the different foods at pubs and restaurants. A very popular and traditional dish here is the Irish Stew. It is a nice hot bowl of stew with different veggies like carrots, celery, and potatoes, and some meat which is usually lamb. Irish stew is absolutely delicious, and is the perfect meal no matter what time. It is also very good for this lovely (gloomy) Irish weather!
I was able to go out to lunch with a few of my co-workers and get some absolutely delicious chicken wings and fries. Ireland definitely does comfort food right! It was nice to take a break from work and get to hangout with my co-workers. We had some great conversations, me talking about the culture back in America, and them telling me about the Irish culture, including all the great foods I need to try while I am here. Needless to say, I have gotten a lot more comfortable with everyone at work making my time there a lot more enjoyable.
All that aside, it’s probably important to acknowledge the actual “work” side of the internship, isn’t it? My main study back at Pitt is Human Resources Management, and so naturally, I wanted to have an internship in Human Resources while in Ireland. As a result, I was placed to intern for a recruitment agency (Wallace Myers International). Despite my interest in HR, I have never had any actual experience in recruitment, nor have I taken a class for it. Unsurprisingly, that makes this internship just a tad more difficult.
Not only am I in a completely new place with new people, but I am also doing work that I am unfamiliar with – work I have never done before. That makes this entire internship a learning experience, as it should be. And since it is a learning experience for me, I am having trouble fully understanding and doing certain tasks I am assigned. For example, when looking for potential candidates to fill in a job role for one of our clients, it is hard for me to know when I find a good candidate that I should follow up with. A lot of those kinds of tasks are treated on a case by case basis, so it is difficult for me to fully know what to do.
Just like any other job one faces, there will be obstacles in your way. And when there are obstacles, there are solutions too! When I am faced with assignments that are unclear to me, I try to ask my supervisor or other co-workers for assistance and/or advice on what to do. Sometimes I am faced with several tasks at once, and it gets difficult to keep up with everything, and it is easy to get overwhelmed. This is something I need to work on while I am here, but from now on I plan to keep my questions and tasks organized together to understand everything better and ultimately do a better job at work.
Another great way to get advice and a better understanding of my tasks is to simply just listen in on everyone working around me. I am lucky to be a part of a great team that is really amazing at what they do. Thus, it proves to be very helpful to listen and just take notes on how everyone functions and gets their work done. Even if the tasks my co-workers are doing are not the same ones that I am assigned, I am always making different takeaways that help me get other work done, or just help me understand the general industry more.