Post #1: Assessing the Business Environment

My internship officially started on May 31st. My first day began as a meeting with my supervisor, Dr. Robert Gillanders, who co-directs the Anti-Corruption Research Center. During our initial meeting, we first did some simple housekeeping tasks like deciding on my regular weekly hours for the internship. Afterwards, he provided me with a rundown of my tasks for the week. He explained how my focus would be researching the relationship between corruption in governance and food insecurities. I’d be conducting this research by utilizing Google Scholar and other academic journals to explore any articles and policies relevant to the topic. Through this research, I’m recording what’s already known about this issue and what’s left to be explored. For example, bribery, embezzlement, and misgovernance are all forms of corruption leading to food insecurities, stunting, and malnutrition. Subsequent to my research, I’ll be compiling my findings into a concise document for Dr. Gillanders to examine and utilize towards a research paper, specifically focusing on corruption and food insecurities.  

Located in Dublin, Ireland, the organization I’ll be working with is the Anti-Corruption Research Center (ARC) at Dublin City University (DCU) Business School. DCU’s Anti-Corruption Research Center is the first academic center in Ireland dedicated to research, policy impact, and education on corruption and anti-corruption. In Ireland and abroad, their mission is to advance knowledge on the causes and consequences of corruption and support the development of new anti-corruption policies and initiatives. Since my organization is situated at a university in Ireland, its industry would be educational services. The educational services sector contains organizations that offer instruction, training, and research in numerous subjects. Moreover, these organizations are specialized establishments, akin to schools, colleges, universities, and training centers. 

In the educational sector, vital skills and strengths to have include a highly skilled staff and an impactful ethos. At the Anti-Corruption Research Center, the organization’s strengths are its resources and capabilities, one of their strongest resources being their qualified and experienced teachers. The center is managed by its co-directors, Dr. Michael Breen and Dr. Robert Gillanders—both are professors at the Dublin City University Business School. Together, they provide optimal research and performance within the research center. Furthermore, Dr. Breen specializes in law and government while Dr. Gillanders specializes in Economics at the Business School. In addition, there is a number of affiliated academic staff, PhD students and postdoctoral researches, and external associates within the Anti-Corruption Research Center. 

Another strength of the Anti-Corruption Research Center is their impactful ethos, essential to any organization within the educational services industry. A notable ethos is important to an industry in the educational services because it exemplifies their expertise on education and paints themselves as a respectable educational figure, allowing their pupils to trust them. What distinguishes the Anti-Corruption Research Center from other organizations is their ethos, as stated on their website. Their mission contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16, focusing on bringing peace, justice, and strong institutions. Specifically, the United Nations Sustainable Developmental Goal 16 states, “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.” Clearly, when the Anti-Corruption Research Center affiliates and openly demonstrates a goal provided by the United Nations, their sustainable development within Economics and Social Affairs is more reputable.

Even though the Anti-Corruption Research Center is technically classified as an industry in the educational services, in my specific position as their intern, I’ll be performing policy relevant research with topics relating to corruption in governance. My duties include surveying existing literatures, collecting and compiling date, and preliminary data analysis. Therefore, my internship exceeds the expected skills and strengths involved in the educational services industry. Specifically, the duties I’ll be executing involve skills and strengths also associated with the political industry. Since I perform many tasks of a policy analyst, important skills and strengths to have include strong interpersonal and communication skills, comfortability with public speaking, providing presentations and reports on their findings, and working as part of a team. 

In my host country of Ireland, there weren’t many differing competencies I found necessary to be successful in the educational services or political industry, at least not from my position. I asked my supervisor if there were any specific academic journals I should be using to compliment my research for the ARC. He said using the academic journals provided by the University of Pittsburgh would be equally as efficient to me using the academic journals provided by the DCU Business School. In fact, he encouraged my usage of Pitt’s facilities to familiarize myself with its systems for my future research during my senior year.