Partaking in the University of Pittsburgh’s Summer 2022 International Internship Program has been and honor and a privilege I will remember for the rest of my life, and am so grateful to have been allowed such an opportunity.
For 8 weeks I was a marketing intern for Intrepid Spirits, a spirits company that manages many different alcohol brands. From signature Irish whiskeys, to Australian vermouths, and herbal-based South American spirits, Intrepid has a fascinating portfolio that is constantly evolving and growing around the world. A project I worked on most closely while in the marketing department was connecting with popular Irish influencers around between the ages of 20 and 30 to promote or create content with Intrepid’s newest brand: Little & Green, a ready to drink (RTD) cocktail. What is so special about Little & Green that requires the special attention of influential young adult Irish is the need to show the appeal of a cocktail on the go, much like many college-aged Americans enjoy with similar brands like White Claw or Mike’s Hard Lemonade. In Ireland, on-premise drinking in pubs, bars, and restaurants is the norm, and on-the-go drinking is not necessarily common. I had the honor of working with the marketing team to discuss how the Generation Z demographic can possibly be targeted when appropriately marketed as a convenience, cheap, and simple alternative to going out for a drink with friends, especially in a “post” pandemic world. Beyond this, I attended several brand photoshoots with local social media and creative agencies, conducted my own market research on RTDs and the overall spirits industry in Ireland as a whole, and assisted in a few live-events (including Dublin’s famous Whiskey Live event) with the selling of some of our brands.
Outside of the office, I took advantage of my free time on weekends to explore as much of Ireland and nearby countries as I could with my friends and roommates. Some of my favorite destinations were Galway (and a side trip to the Cliffs of Moher), Edinburgh, London, and bits of County Cork. Although I have many plans to continue traveling across the UK and the rest of Europe in the coming years, I hope to see more of western and southern parts of Ireland a bit more. When in the County Dublin, I got to experience places and events that I would most definitely never have experienced if I were just a regular tourist passing by for about a week. Most notably, I will always remember swimming and jumping off the historic Forty Foot in the coastal town of Dun Laoghaire. It was freezing but I enjoyed every second of it with my friends. It was also funny to see how many Irish locals were surprised to see Americans at such a hidden, local gem.
From the start of this trip, I was incredibly afraid to be on my own in a foreign country. I needed to navigate an entire new city, public transportation, and living situation without knowing anyone. Despite this fear, I tried my best to fully immerse myself in any and every orientation activity, and took every opportunity possible to explore the city centre with my roommates and new friends. I am so glad I did. Looking back at it now it was a daunting task, but after these weeks of unfamiliarity and discomfort, I was able to grow in ways I never thought imaginable. I went from never being in Europe before to hopping on planes to visit friends in various cities by myself.
I always heard how studying abroad, or even just traveling abroad in general, changes people’s lives and perspectives of the world around them. What has been so special about this experience in particular is the chance to be fully immersed into the every life of Dublin, beyond the standard tourist experience. Having never been in a true office setting before, this immerse experience also allowed me to grow professionally as I not only gained hands-on experience in a profession I am interested in, but I also got to experience the day to day life of an office, working with others on a professional level, and to see what it is like to function in an office spaces with various departments.
In terms of takeaways from the program, I am ready to put my developed communication, time-management, and overall leadership skills into practice upon my return to Pitt’s campus in both the classroom and in my extracurriculars. I feel as though I can work through any period of discomfort and rise above to reach my goals, work with others, and experience even further growth.