Looking Back and Moving Forward

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I am a firm believer that traveling is one of the best ways a human can grow. Immersing yourself in a brand new culture helps us understand new points of view. After spending a summer in Dublin, I have been able to grow as an employee, student, and young adult. I might be back in the states, but I will always have everything I have learned in Dublin in the back of my mind.

I did not know what to really expect before leaving for Dublin. I figured it would mostly feel like I was simply visiting the country to do an internship and nothing more. I could not have been more wrong as I slowly became so adapted to the city that returning home felt like a foreign concept. I enjoyed taking the bus and reading my book on the way to work everyday and grabbing my groceries before hopping back on to return to campus. Taking weekend trips in and out of the city made me fall in love with Ireland as a whole from seeing the gorgeous water in Galway to passing through the shops of Cork. Seeing all these things made me realize how the world is so much more than just Pittsburgh and that I could thrive in a completely different country with no previous expectations of what it would bring.

One of the best parts of the internship was getting a glimpse of what my life could look like after I graduate. I never had a clear understanding of what it meant to have a professional job until stepping foot into my company’s office. Having a personal desk, seeing what tasks I had to complete, and corresponding with coworkers made me see what it meant to work in that kind of setting. Every day spent in the office made me feel like I was growing as an employee. The experience also helped me grow confident in my skills as an employee. I was nervous of my capability to do an acceptable job at first, but the more tasks I completed, the more I felt like I belonged in the office as a member of the team. With graduation less than a year away, I now feel fully equipped with the skills needed to succeed in a professional work setting.

Not only did I feel a sense of growth as an employee, but as a student as well. Taking things I have learned in the classroom and being able to use them in a real work setting gave me a better understanding of the importance of theatre or team management skills that I have learned about in my two majors. It makes me have a bigger sense of ambition and excitement going into my senior year knowing that what I learn can pop up again later in my career. Some of the skills I have picked up through my internship I will also gladly take back with me to Pitt as a student. The little things such as learning how to properly organize an email inbox or computer folder are going to make my final semesters feel much more organized.

While I was only away for a couple months, I feel like I grew a lot from the short experience. I have never felt more independent and I grew comfortable in my own skin throughout my time in Dublin. I was not afraid to explore by myself or talk to people I just met. I enjoyed taking walks through the parks and streets and watching the street performers conquer their space of the pavement. It was thrilling to see everything with a fresh pair of eyes like that. Taking in the city by myself made me realize that I had never felt more at home in a new environment. I had never considered the fact that I would fall so in love with the city that I would not want to leave, but that is exactly what happened.

If you asked me what my post grad plans were before my study abroad experience, I would have been unsure or thrown out some safe answer about staying in Pittsburgh and figuring something out. After staying in Dublin however, I fell in love with the production side of theatre and would love to learn more about it. I would even be open to other forms of production such as TV or film. I also fell in love with the city of Dublin and would love to work and live there if the opportunity ever came up. I am very glad that I studied abroad and would recommend it to any student questioning if they should. It was definitely worth it and a highlight of my time as a Pitt student.