Challenges in the Workplace

This past week I finally got into a bit of a routine with my internship and my time outside the office as well. It felt more normal to get up at a certain time every day and I’m familiar with the neighborhood I’m in and feel more comfortable walking around without navigation. I also found my favorite place to get coffee and paninis just down the street from my office and going almost every day makes me feel like an actual resident and not a visitor. This week I also found myself at the bar on campus more often than I had before. It’s nice meeting other Irish and American students from different schools and fitting in more on the UCD campus.

Work has been picking up a little bit more and I have been getting to know my coworkers a lot more. My Irish coworkers have been giving me really great recommendations in the city and love to talk throughout the day about various topics and what is going on in our lives. I find myself talking a lot about America and what is going on at home as they seem pretty interested in what goes on in our country. I’ve also learned a few things about Dublin and Ireland, including the Magdalene laundries, and more about the Irish political system. It’s interesting to hear these outside perspectives and learn more about Irish history.

We’ve also been spending more time in the city and finding pubs and bars to have some drinks and listen to music. We’ve met a lot of different people from all over and everyone has been very friendly and welcoming. We’ve met Irish, French, German, and Turkish people and have encountered a lot of different cultures. Along with meeting people we’ve tried new restaurants and food. I finally tried Irish stew and loved it and I have been trying to try more beers to fit in more to the pub scene in Dublin. It’s been great experiencing these new things.

Within my internship, there are some challenges that I have to face and work through. Since I work for a very small company that doesn’t have many employees, so each of them knows exactly what they need to be doing and have a set amount of task under their specific job description. Because these roles are set strictly it was a hard transition for two interns to come in and having to find work for us to do that would make life easier for them but also not take away everything they are doing. Since there are two of us as well, it is difficult to try and find enough to keep both of us busy and how to divvy up the work they do need done between the two of us. For instance, the first set of directions we were given was to brainstorm and write some blog posts that would be useful for undergraduate students. However, we weren’t given a deadline, a word count, or how they should be posted/edited. When trying to work through this, I tried to ask questions while also independently researching certain topics and writing what I thought would be helpful. Then when I thought it would be a good addition, I would send it to one of my coworkers and ask for feedback and edits. This was an easy enough way to work through this problem.

Along with the blog posts, I have had to brainstorm social media posts and presence for the company and this has been without full instructions as well. Since I’ve worked with social media sites before and I am their target audience, I felt it was easier to self-direct myself and my responsibilities since I am familiar with these kinds of tasks. Once I was done creating a list of idea, or making a TikTok or post I would check-in with my supervisor and tell her where I was at. She then could make the decision to give me more direction or let me go ahead and post it.

As an intern, I think it is to be expected that there is not always something for you to do, and sometimes the tasks you are given are not necessarily fun or challenging you very much. However, this is a good learning experience for me to be able to be independent while also working on my communication with my supervisors and making sure I check in even if they don’t. As the last few weeks go on I want to continue to work on this and try to be as helpful as possible in completing tasks and listening to my coworkers.

Gallagher, L 1