Navigating Uncertainty

Hello again! I am now in my third week of my internship at the Irish Academy of Public Relations in Dublin. I am already gaining so much experience when it comes to running social media accounts! I am currently in charge of the Academy’s Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Most of my daily work/projects include creating, planning, and scheduling content. I also type up social media overview’s each week using platform analytics. Using these overview’s, my supervisor and I are able to determine areas of success and areas that need improvement. I have also been utilizing tools such as Hootsuite and Slack a lot more, which I am happy about since these are tools I wished to gain more experience with. In addition, I am learning a lot about analytics and how to apply them, which I believe is very valuable!

Like in any new endeavor, there has been times of uncertainty. Irish work culture tends to be a bit more relaxed than what I am used to. In response, this has created some ambiguity. For example, my supervisor might tell me in our meetings to “create a social media campaign for our June courses.” There is not much detail included. The task is very open-ended and has lots of room for interpretation. For the first few days, this made me insecure about the content I was creating. Even though my posts were being approved by my supervisor, I was finding myself lost in the amount of freedom I was given. Personally, I enjoy detailed, specific instructions. The lack of detail is definitely something I have had to work through.

Though at times this lack of detail was frustrating, I have discovered a lot of advantages. First, it has provided me with creative freedom. Since the concepts are so open-ended, I am able to incorporate my own personal style. The Academy had not used their social media on a regular basis for about a year until I started working. They wanted a fresh start, and I have been able to do this by having been granted that level of freedom. I also feel like I am contributing in a substantial way, rather than just following a list of tasks. I have complete control over the platforms and I can post whatever I want as long as it is approved by my supervisor. Though I am uncertain sometimes, I have used this as an opportunity to show that I can take an idea and turn it into something more. I can say to my supervisor, “This is what I think we should do based on the information given, what do you think?”

In addition to my synchronous hours, I complete a decent amount of work on my own. Due to the time difference, I am not always able to get a response from my supervisor straight away if I have questions or concerns. This has created a level of uncertainty because I might not be able to complete a task until I receive approval or information I have requested. This has challenged my problem-solving skills. I might have to re-arrange the posting schedule for the week, for example, if I am still waiting on information for a specific post.

Though there have been points of uncertainty, I would not say it is negative. Like I wrote in my first blog post, one of my goals while completing this internship is to learn more about an international workplace. A lot of these differences I am experiencing is just the result of culture. It is a mutual learning experience through both parties. However, I will say that it can be intimidating. I have been given a lot of independence in my position. This is the first internship I have ever done, so I am still trying to find my confidence.

Going into the internship, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. After two weeks, I now know how truly relaxed the work culture in Ireland is (at least for me). This is much different then experience’s I have had here in the United States. This has required some adaptability, as I am naturally used to the U.S work culture. Navigating through these differences will only make me a more well-rounded individual professionally and as an individual. Every work environment differs from the next and it is important to adapt accordingly. I will also develop skills outside of technical skills involving social media which is equally as important. I can’t wait to see where this internship continues to take me.