Today marks the last day of my virtual internship in Dublin, Ireland. Before coming into this experience, I remember feeling a mix of nervousness and excitement. Nervous because there was so much in the unknown, yet excited because this experience posed so much potential for personal and professional growth. While navigating the ambiguity was often challenging, I am definitely coming out of this experience more confident and ready to enter into the global work force.
What I realized about this experience is that working remotely for an international company allows you to develop more transferrable skills than one would imagine. Since I was working independently, while also taking classes and working a part-time job, I was forced to learn prioritization skills in order to keep up with all my deadlines. In addition, working across time-zones presented more challenges than I thought and in order to adapt, I had to become a more flexible worker.
The biggest challenge I faced throughout this experience actually had to do with the International Marketing class that I was enrolled in. Attending a university in the same city I grew up in, I haven’t often been forced to collaborate and interact with people who have different beliefs than me. This is why when I learned that my professor lied on the other side of the political spectrum than me, I was deeply uncomfortable. I was so uncomfortable in fact, that I almost considered withdrawing. However, after talking to my program advisor at Pitt, she assured me that this would definitely not be the first time I would have to collaborate with someone who carries different beliefs than me, especially if I am interested in studying and working abroad in the future. Instead, she encouraged me to practice empathy as a way to understand where my professor is coming from, while also encouraging me to engage productive discussions the next time he said something I disagreed with. Overall, I am happy that I decided to continue with the class, as I think I have developed and strengthened valuable skills in empathy, tolerance, and collaboration.
On a different note, some of the biggest rewards I achieved throughout these past six weeks came out of my internship. While at first, I wasn’t too excited about the tasks I was being given, I soon took on more challenging and creative projects. I allowed myself to learn new software,
such as Adobe Illustrator and started to explore the field of graphic design. I loved discovering how design can facilitate brand storytelling, which is an aspect of marketing that I haven’t been able to learn through classes at Pitt yet. Overall, throughout this experience I have strengthened and developed several new skills, leaving me feeling more confident and accomplished than ever before.