Communication in Ireland

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Hi everyone! I’m writing this blog post after my last day at patientMpower. During my final week of my internship, I was able to finish up my part of the business market research project. I also spent some time in meetings as well as meeting some of my coworkers that I hadn’t had the chance to get to know yet. Better late than never, right? At the beginning of the summer, I was so anxious to start this internship because it was my first professional business experience. Now that this experience is over, I am proud of what I have accomplished as well as the skills I have learned. I think that one of the most important skills I improved upon are my communication skills.  

After interning at patientMpower for about two months, I have realized that there was not much of a difference in the communication style compared to the US. My opinion could be biased given that I primarily interacted with my supervisor who is from the US. That being said, I did have few interactions with other members of the company and there weren’t any significant differences in the communication style. The company used Slack as the primary form of communication. I was able to contact anyone in the company without any hesitation. In addition to this, the communication between coworkers was always fairly informal. For example, when messaging other coworkers, I typed in shorthand. Even the weekly video calls I had with my supervisor were also very informal. The only time that communication was formal was when we had companywide meetings or I had to send an email to someone rather than a slack message. In general, communicating with others at patientMpower was easy and not stressful. 

In terms of high-context versus low-context, Ireland stayed true to being a high-context culture. I received assignments from both mu supervisor based in the US and from others based in Ireland. I appreciated everything being very straightforward as it made my job easier; I could complete my assignments quickly and effectively. I also was able to ask questions and get clarification when needed. I don’t think I had an experience of miscommunication; however, I do think that things got lost in communication. For example, about halfway through my internship, my supervisor went on vacation for about a week and left me a couple of assignments to complete. I needed some clarification on an assignment and had to contact another coworker in the company who was based in Ireland. I did take me a couple of days rather than a couple hours to receive the information that I needed because we were working in different time zones, and I did not take that into consideration at first. However, I did receive the information and was able to complete the task on time. This was one of the only scenarios where I did not have enough information to complete my assignment and it was primarily due to reasons out of my control. I think something else I should point out is that while my assignments were straightforward, the actual timeline of getting things done was mostly up to me. My supervisor would not enforce “due dates” and this could be viewed as a form of miscommunication. However, I never really had any issues with this as I work well independently. 

In conclusion, communication was never an issue I had to worry about during my internship. This definitely made my experience at patientMpower better since I could focus on my work rather than having to worry about communication. I believe that Ireland is a high-context culture, but as I said before, my experience is probably different than others since I primarily interacted with a supervisor based in the US.