There are many parts of the Irish work culture that differ from the United States. First being the language in the office. A lot of my coworkers will randomly swear at their computers or even swear when speaking to each other. Now It is a part of the culture, so although I am not bothered by it, it is still an aspect of a professional setting that is different from the United States. In addition, timelines are extremely fluid and they don’t give clear directions on a task. I’m constantly asking questions and also offering to alter my work if it wasn’t what they were looking for. In Pittsburgh, internships are typically planned out and organized so that you know exactly what your tasks are and when they are due. Another difference is that a workday is extremely flexible in Dublin. Most of my coworkers will come in late and leave early or sometimes they don’t come in at all and they work from home. There is a level of unpredictability to it as you never truly know what time they will arrive. In the United States employees are often expected from 9 to 5 and those hours rarely change. Another professional difference is that my company uses a lot of sites to communicate with each other and place all of their information whereas I feel like most companies in the US mainly use email. The elbowroom uses something called asana where they can let everyone on the network know updates about the day, company or upcoming events. They also use Hubspot for their professional leads, and Hootsuite for their social media along with the actual social media platforms themselves. Most of these sites make it easier to complete certain tasks, however it can be a bit unorganized because every piece of information is spread out and there are many different logins to each site. In America, there is usually one way to finish their assignments and then they usually use email to communicate with each other. Finally, the dress here is also very casual. At certain companies in Ireland and the United States they suggest a more business causal look, however most internships back home require business professional clothing.
I have learned a lot from Irish work culture that I believe I will be able to take back to Pittsburgh with me. In the office, I always ask for more work and I complete my assignments in a quick manner because I am unsure of timelines and also I desire more responsibility. I hope to take these great habits back to the United States with me because I find that it shows a fantastic work ethic and will hopefully showcase a hard worker that is ready to enter the work force. In addition, I have learned how to be a part of a team, aiding different people in separate departments and doing some of the work that no one else wants to do. Due to the lack of timelines, I have been able to improve my time management skills. I am now able to complete a myriad of tasks within a work day and often finish before the day is through. Seeing as how laidback the environment is in Ireland, stress has also been on the back burner. I found that I can successfully manage it if I turn any negative thoughts I have into positive ones and never allow frustration or anxiety to shine through.
This past weekend me and my roommates went on a trip to London. Although the trip was extremely stressful, it was still a fun time and it was a good learning experience. On Saturday when we arrived, we hopped on a train and then headed into Liverpool for the day. Our first stop was borough market where we ate authentic street food. Next, we went to tower bridge, enjoyed the views and walked across it. As I was feeling a little sick after that, we stopped at a pub called the ship where we ended up enjoying the drinks and atmosphere. In addition, we took a bus tour to the houses of parliament and Buckingham palace, and then sat in green park for a little while. We were then able to go see the Queen’s gate and then got dinner at a cute Italian restaurant. On Sunday we got up early, grabbed breakfast and visited Kensington palace and the surrounding gardens which were stunning. In addition, we went to the V and A museum and then we took a boat tour where we were able to look at the London eye from up close as well as Cleopatra’s needle, London bridge, and the USS Belfast. Then before our flight we went to grab food in a cute restaurant/pub and it was nice to just chill before we headed on our journey home.
The unfortunate part of the trip was that we fell into a tourist trap with one of the hop on hop off buses. Disappointment was a common theme as we paid a decent amount of money just for the bus to never show up at any of the stops we tried. Due to this, we had to pay to use the underground station each time we went to a new area, which really added up. Getting around the city was difficult because everything is so spread out and crowded. We would get caught behind tourist groups and we also had to wait in lines. Our flight was also delayed going home and the airport did not have many terminals so we were mainly just sitting around for a few hours. Despite all of the negative aspects of the trip, we still got to visit all of the places we wanted to see and we traveled around a new area that wasn’t’ Ireland. Also, our Airbnb was extremely clean and safe which we were thrilled about. It was really nice to sleep soundly in a new city. We really packed a lot in to a few days and I’m still happy with how the trip turned out.
Overall we learned that even though things may not go as planned, we still were able to navigate our way around the city without any help. These types of trips are what you make of them, so I’m choosing to focus on the positives and say that it was still a grand time.