I’m here! This is the end of day two in Ireland for me and so far it’s been a lot.
The other Pitt students and I have been running around in the short time we’ve been here, socializing with other colleges on the same or on other programs, getting our bus cards, and going where UCD, the Irish college hosting us, tells us to go.
We just got back from Forty Foot, a rocky beach place in Dún Laoghaire, southeast of UCD. I am not going to tell you how to pronounce Laoghaire because it will just befuddle you, but I will say it makes Duquesne look obvious.
However, despite all this fun, I am excited to start working next week. I will be working for patientMpower, which is a data analytics company operating in the health industry. They have a device that patients with lung problems can blow into at home. Once the patient has done this, the device outputs a bunch of metrics that measure how the patient’s lungs are doing, and how their specific affliction is affecting them. This obviously creates immense value from very little input, and reduces outpatient cost and need for visits considerably.
Despite how health orientated this company seems, the employees are almost all data analysts or computer science people. There are doctor experts that are consulted but that is it. I will be joining the data analyst team, where I believe I will be running a project for them. For this kind of industry there are some things that you need to be successful. Some hard skills would be tableau, SQL, Power BI, Excel, and plenty of other data related softwares. Really it depends on what you are doing, as something like database management and data visualization are quite different. Personally, I have just started my foray into data and these softwares. I believe I’ll have a lot of homework and on-the-job learning. Some strengths needed would be a real passion and ability to understand what is happening and what needs to happen. Often data can be tasked to find a new path to something exciting, and the path there is not always straightforward or previously pathed. That is why all members on a team need to understand what everyone else is doing and trying to go. That leads well into a second strength, communication. While this trait is never overlooked, for a project based industry that is constantly trying to draw and make insights from data, knowing expectations and goals through clear communication is imperative. This is where I excel (get it??). I am not afraid to have things clarified until I understand them. I also believe I have plenty of experience and skill in dealing with people. Whether it is my boss or my peers, differences will come up and tension will result. However I may feel, I know I will be able to slow myself, and approach the situation calmly and with progress in mind. I am a good listener, and whether it is having something clarified or diffusing a situation, listening is incredibly valuable.
Taking an extra moment and purposefully being more amicable is especially important in Ireland. Here, pleasantries and getting to know a person are second nature. It is often said that Irish people are some of the most kind in the world, and I even read that some companies located in Britain have relocated to Ireland due to its more personable nature. Not reciprocating those friendly gestures is bad practice. In fact, it is normal for coworkers to get caught up in conversation and forget about work for the moment, or put off leaving for the day. This is not usually the case in the states so I’ll have to look for those moments that my coworkers are reaching out to me.
Whatever the case may be, I know that all peoples and cultures are unique, and that I have to tailor my attitude and behaviors as I feel out what my company is looking for in me. This internship might be an opportunity for management to rethink how their operation is run, or the office’s culture. The Dublin company is about 15 people, so it is quite small.
Anyway, I will keep this in mind as I start next Tuesday (Monday is a bank holiday). Until then, I’m going to keep on exploring Dublin and Irish culture, today we are visiting a local club to learn Gaelic sports! Cheers!