I wake up every morning and remember how grateful I am to be able to live in a different country this summer. I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true. Ireland is truly a beautiful island, and I cannot wait to spend more time exploring all that it has to offer. Working in Dublin is yet another experience I am thankful for simply because it is such a vibrant city. There is so much to learn and see while over here and luckily, my co-workers can sense my excitement.
Over the past week, I have been able to try different foods, see different parts of the city, even go to a different country, and meet many people along the way. I have been able to navigate around the city for the most part on my own, and I am beginning to feel more and more comfortable as time goes on.
Although I am abroad and I want to spend a majority of my time having fun, work is also extremely important. Moreover, time management is extremely important in all aspects of life, especially when thinking about personal commitments, work events, and academic deadlines. Without great time management skills, it can be very difficult to complete a task. Personally, I have been adjusting to time management on public transportation and in the workplace.
When it comes to time management in Dublin, it has taken a lot of getting used to. On the morning of the first day of my internship, I woke up two hours before 9:00 am. I brushed my teeth, washed my face, ate breakfast, made my lunch — all before 8:00 am. So, I headed to the bus stop figuring that I would be right on time leaving an hour before I was due at work. Even though Google Maps did say I would arrive thirty minutes early if I left at 8:00 am, I figured the app was wrong. I was convinced the bus would break down, the traffic would be worse than it has ever been, or for some reason, my walking abilities were especially slow that day. Alas, I stood outside the doors of my building at around 8:25 am, just then remembering that Irish people are not typically early.
Realizing I could not simply stand there for thirty minutes, I decided to walk around. I explored the neighborhood around Limelight Communications and even peaked into a few cafes and pubs. At around 8:58 am, I saw a woman (who I eventually found out was one of my bosses) enter the building, so I followed her in. She asked me, “How long have you been here?” Embarrassed, I responded with, “Oh, not too long, just about a half hour…” Needless to say, she was aghast.
My prompt tendencies did not end there. On Wednesday, I arrived at 8:35 am. Today, it was 8:37 am. In the United States, I am so used to arriving at least fifteen minutes early to show that I can arrive on time. However, here in Dublin, they do not need me to show them I can get there on time. They just want me to arrive at 9:00 am, maybe even 9:05 am if I stop to order coffee. So, tomorrow, I plan to catch the bus that leaves ten minutes later than the one I typically catch. I may feel extremely anxious about this, but given my soaking wet clothes due to standing in the rain for twenty minutes today, I think I will be okay. It turns out I can actually walk quite fast if need be, so I’m not too worried.
When it comes to time management inside the workplace, my supervisors have instructed me quite well regarding how long each task should take. In public relations, there is a wide variety of work that needs to be completed because each client is different. For example, at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, one of my bosses assigned me a press release to write. She told me to complete it by 2:00 pm on Thursday because that is when she would be meeting with the client. Since I leave the office at 5:30 pm every day, I knew it would not be feasible to write a press release in thirty minutes. So, I outlined the paper and decided to save the bulk of the paper until this morning. This allowed me to finish off my work day yesterday with a task in mind while also putting my personal time first. I left work on time and completed the press release this morning with no problem.
Given that I have four different ‘supervisors,’ any of them could give me a task at any moment. Yesterday, Sarah told me to update the social media for one of our clients and thirty minutes later, I was pulled aside by Kathryn to sort film posters on our website. In this instance, communication was key. I politely told both supervisors that I had two tasks at hand, and I was not sure which one to complete first. Fortunately, they were very understanding and told me to take my time with both tasks, finishing the first task before the other. I have found that proper time management is only successful when you are transparent with co-workers and prepared for anything.
I have had a part-time internship before, but similar to my peers here, this is my first ever full-time internship. Working 9:00 am – 5:30 pm is undeniably demanding, and I give credit to every person who works this hard every day, all year round. I know that inevitably this is my future too, but it is a reality I am gradually adjusting to in a foreign country. I have always loved this saying, but I believe it rings true more than ever at this point in my life: you learn something new — maybe even more than one thing — every day!