I am passed the halfway point here in Ireland, and I am currently praying that these last four weeks move as slow as possible. I honestly do not want to go home. I may have just had one of the best and most unique experiences of my life this past weekend. I traveled by train up to Northern Ireland (the North, as I have been corrected multiple times) to meet family members for the first time. I stayed with my second (great?) uncle and aunt, and I met up to 20 people in my family. Some I never even knew existed. Not only that, but they made me home-cooked meals. Home-cooked. After four weeks of eating nothing but pasta and grilled chicken it actually felt amazing to eat real, hearty, authentic Irish food. I have never eaten a better Shepard’s pie in my life than the one my aunt cooked for me. Not only that, but I also got to experience my first ever Gaelic football game, as they took me to see Almagh take on Mayo (Almagh is the county that Lurgan is in). Unfortunately, Almagh lost but it was still very exciting to watch Gaelic football for the first time. And let me tell you, that sport is rough. It was shocking to me how rough that sport is, especially since they do not wear pads at all. I swear someone was getting hurt every five minutes. And I thought ice hockey was a dangerous sport to play. It honestly does not have anything on Gaelic football, or better yet, hurling. My God is that sport bad. I got to watch hurling for the first time (on t.v.) and that is just a flat-out dangerous sport. I could not imagine myself playing that. And what makes it even worse is that the players do not even get paid (officially). They do it for the pride of their county., which is extremely impressive to me. That was my weekend, probably one of the best weekends I have ever had and will ever have. I might even go back up North and meet up with some family in Belfast, which is exciting (if it actually happens).
As for my week at work, it is becoming pretty routine. Nothing special happened last week. I was able to perform my duties as asked and I continue to gain experience in the professional world. Since this is my first internship, I did not believe I was prepared at all to work at any company when I first got here. Since then, I have noticed that I was wrong in that belief, and I do have to thank the University of Pittsburgh College of Business Administration for that. The biggest factor that I believe Pitt contributed that had me prepared for this internship is their push to have their students be both creative and quick-witted in thought. Something that Pitt Business classes do very well is pose questions that provoke thoughts and force you to be both creative and quick with your responses. For a lot of classes, there is no one right way to do solve a problem or answer a question, and for every single class there is an aspect that allows you to be creative in. This has been super helpful in my internship, as I get a lot of freedom to complete the tasks that I am given. And with this freedom comes the fact that these tasks are not meant to be solved in a linear way, with only one correct path to use in order to complete them. Pitt Business has broadened my mind so much that it allows me to think in different way for each situation, which allows me to complete my tasks quick and efficiently, while also being unique. The only thing that I believe my academic experience did not prepare me for was how to communicate with my boss and coworkers, especially as an intern. I sometimes find that I am hesitant to say something I believe in because of my status in the company, regardless of how much I am allowed to say whatever I want. I have found that since the beginning I have become better at this, but this is because I have just gotten very used to my coworkers and the environment we work in. And I also enjoy myself a lot when I am at work, so I believe that helps too!
That’s it for me this week. And what a week it has been. As we wind down here in Ireland, I am excited to see what the rest of the trip has in store for me!