Last Tuesday I officially started my internship at the Restaurants Association of Ireland! I spent the last week adapting to my new routine: wake up around 7:30am, get ready for my day, hop on a 9:05(ish) bus, then go to my internship from 10am to 5pm. So far, I’ve mostly been helping the Restaurants Association with administrative tasks like mailing invoices, organizing files, and updating excel spreadsheets with the most recent data on the Association’s members. It’s been interesting getting to know the inner workings of the business and all the pieces that need to work together for it to be successful. Yet, my favorite thing about my internship thus far has been meeting and talking with my supervisor and other coworkers, everyone has been so friendly, helpful, and kind. For example, my only other coworker on the third floor—who sits on the opposite side of my desk—has made such an effort to make me feel welcome at the office. Each day he offers me a delicious chocolate biscuit at a random part of the day, just as a little pick-me-up! What probably seems like such a small gesture has really made me feel welcomed and excited to go to work every day! As desk buddies, we’ve been exchanging stories of our cultures and experiences. I’ve learned a lot about Irish and European history and culture from him since he’s originally from Hungary and has been to many different countries. Before working at the Restaurants Association, he spent nine years as a classically trained singer—my stories are nowhere near as cool! As for managing my time and tasks at work, I think I’m getting into the swing of things! When I get into work in the morning I check in with my supervisor and she lays out the tasks to get done or get started on that day and gives me great detailed instructions when explaining anything new! My tasks have been fairly straightforward so once I listen to her directions it’s been easy and natural to focus and complete them within the timeframe she suggests. One thing I want to improve upon though is getting enough sleep so that I’m not as tired during the day. I’m still getting used to waking up and going to bed earlier than usual but as the days continue, I feel more and more comfortable with my routine.
On Friday, my supervisor let me out of work at 4pm instead of 5pm which was nice since I had a train to Galway at 7pm and hadn’t planned on being able to go back to campus in between. So, after stopping home and making dinner I went to the train station with four of my friends and boarded a train to Galway! Our plan was to spend the night in Galway, then wake up early and take a bus to the Cliffs of Moher to hike and explore! The two-hour train ride showed off the country’s natural beauty as the sun set. When we got into Galway we got a taste of the nightlife and culture of the city—almost all the pubs have amazing live music! The next morning, we took an 8am bus to the town of Doolin where we started our five mile hike up the Cliffs. Even though it was extremely windy (I seriously thought we were going to get blown off a cliff at some points) and we got caught in the rain a few times (we got soaked), it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced. I had never seen anything like it in real life, I almost couldn’t believe it was real! And we saw puffins! After the hike we caught a bus back to Galway, showered at the hostels we were staying in and got ready to explore more of the city. We rewarded ourselves with an amazing Italian dinner, spent some time wandering the streets, going in and out of the local shops, then walked along the beach to watch the sunset. Later on we met up with other Pitt students who are on a different program in Ireland and listened to great live music! The next day we got brunch in the city and continued exploring, including going to a cute bookstore, an outdoor craft market and a little thrift shop before walking back to the train station to catch our 5pm train back to Dublin! My weekend in Galway and the Cliffs was filled with more unbelievable experiences. Next weekend I’m going to London to see other friends from Pitt and I can’t wait!