Home too Soon

Since coming to Pitt as a freshman, I knew I wanted to study abroad. More particularly, I knew I wanted to work abroad in Ireland. The International Internship Program in Dublin was the perfect fit for this, serving as a 2-month internship where I was able to grow personally, academically, and professionally by living and working abroad.

For the past 2 months, I’ve been living with fellow Pitt students and others from around the world in Dublin. I’ve been working at Public Affairs Ireland, a company that trains and educates workers in the Public Sector. Through this, I was able to not only hone my marketing skills but also educated myself of their government and politics, relating to my minor in International Relations. This truly was the perfect internship for me!

I’ve had the chance to do all kinds of traveling on my free weekends since being here, including Amsterdam, London, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the West of Ireland. In all my travels, both in and out of Dublin, I have learned so much more about myself than I ever thought possible. 

Academically, I was able to apply concepts from my marketing classes into my day to day work life. At school, I took Consumer Behavior, Ads and Sales, and Intro to marketing. One of my common tasks was making graphics for advertisements for the different courses offered by Public Affairs Ireland. Ads and Sales taught me how to properly design and ad to catch and hold a consumer’s attention. In Consumer Behavior, I learned how to analyze what consumers think, how to best market to them, and how to analyze what they want. I was able to keep these lessons in mind and discuss them with my boss when discussing future marketing moves, such as social media posts or Google Ads. By applying the knowledge I learned at home through assignments and tests, I was able to better understand and solidify those concepts. Not only that, but it took every lesson a bit further, teaching me new concepts and ideas.

Professionally, my internship helped prepare me on multiple fronts, including networking, researching, and overall professionalism. One opportunity I had while at PAI was to attend one of their courses. During this class, I learned how to act around other professionals, and how to have a good conversation. Additionally, networking day to day was helpful to me, as I saw what their company culture was like. Also, I learned what is appropriate to talk about in the workplace in Ireland, and the value of getting to know your co-workers.

Personally, I can’t speak enough to how much I’ve learned and gained from this trip. Despite having guidance from EUSA and friendships from home to rely on, I truly felt as if I’ve gained a new degree of confidence and independence by spending my summer here. From going to work every day, navigating transportation on my own, planning trips with my own money and just being free to make my own choices, everything has led me down a path of newfound confidence. I used to be very shy and nervous, and would generally go with the flow of what others wanted for the sake of fitting in. Now, I find myself wanting to carve my own path, so I can make the choices I want and see what I desire. A simple example was when I took a trip to London with my roommates. I wanted to see a landmark they 

My biggest takeaway from this trip is that

  • It’s okay to slow down
  • It’s okay to put yourself first
  • Confidence is key

I am so thankful to have gone on this trip, but more importantly, I’m thankful that I learned these invaluable lessons while abroad. Despite this small list, there are dozens more that I could talk about and reflect on for hours. I am excited to tell my close friends and family about my time, but in a way, I think it will be hard to share my experiences. Despite other students going on this trip, it feels so unique and special to me. Sharing such an important experience that lasted 2 months seems to be impossible. 

I would not have been able to have this amazing opportunity without all the help I’ve received from family and Pitt Business. Without scholarships and guidance from advisors and fellow students, I would not have been able to afford this trip and all the amazing experiences that came with it. I will always be thankful for the time spent abroad. I will never forget the experiences or lessons learned while I was here. Dublin, I’ll miss you!