I have been in Dublin for three weeks now and it honestly feels like the time is flying by. It feels like it was just a few days ago that I arrived here, and I am feel a lot more comfortable in my surroundings now that I have established a steady routine of work during the week. This upcoming week my family will be visiting on a vacation for themselves and I am excited to show them around the city at night after I am finished working during the day. It will be a nice change of pace to see them again, but I will definitely be in for a busy week with working during the day and finding time to spend with them at night. Additionally, this weekend I will be traveling with them to Barcelona in Spain. This will be my first time in another European country other than Ireland, and I am certainly excited to go there both to experience another different culture for a few days and experience some warmer weather. The thing I am most excited to show my family while they are here in Ireland is the different food options that are offered here. My two favorite things I have tried would have to be the classic fish and chips and Irish stew, which contains vegetables and beef in a heavy broth.
As far as my internship at Dublin City University Business School goes I am definitely becoming more confident in my ability to do my job. With practice and experience things generally become a little easier for most people, which is the case with me here, as I am generally getting more work done in a day than a had during my first week of work. Honestly there is not much that I am unclear about with my job, as I am really doing the same task every day, and just moving on to different years once I finish going through all the articles in the year I am assigned. When I am unclear about something pertaining to an article my boss is very helpful, and even encourages me to ask questions. For example when I first started I was not very familiar with the different positions in politics in the Irish government, and he was more than happy to assist me in learning which positions are elected and which are appointed. If I am unsure of something my boss and fellow interns make sure that the discrepancy is cleared up. If my boss is not around at the time I can “flag” an article or a certain category, such as whether the fraud is grand or petty, and then we can discuss what the correct categorization would be when he is available. I would say I have to flag about five articles for every year, which is not too bad considering there are upwards of 1,500 articles in most of the years I have completed up to this point.
While I do not need to adapt much to do my job, this is both a blessing and a curse. Due to doing the same task repeatedly I feel as though I am becoming quite good at it, yet there is an inherent monotony to reading newspaper headlines and articles for hours upon hours every day. The best way to combat this is to take short breaks to refocus and not get burnt out by constantly staring at a screen. This is a method of working that my boss has recommended, and I believe it certainly leads to higher productivity and accuracy than attempting to work all day nonstop. Additionally, my boss has noted that if I do find the monotony of reading headlines all day unbearable he has other research projects available for me to work on. So far I have not taken him up on this offer, as developing the fraud database is our main task at hand, but I am fairly certain that at some point in the upcoming weeks I will take a day to focus on some other research just to keep things fresh and possibly find a new challenge. I am happy to be working at a place where my boss is so considerate and amicable, and this is likely as a result of him doing academic research himself in the past, as he is an economics professor. Those who have done a job before generally are the best to oversee a similar task and keep those doing the task motivated, and that is the case with my boss.