I officially have less than a month left in Dublin, so I am trying to enjoy all the time I have left here. I recently explored the beach town of Bray, took a long walk to Blackrock, and visited the national gallery in Dublin. I am also starting the fourth week of my internship today, and I am very pleased with how everything is going there so far. In the upcoming weeks, I look forward to a day trip to Galway, a visit to Howth, and my family’s visit in a couple of weeks!
One of the soft skills I have been developing throughout my time in Ireland is communication. At my internship, I work with several different people every day. Whether it is my coworkers, my clients, or my supervisor, I have to be able to properly communicate with everyone. I need to communicate to my coworkers and my supervisor about my overall goals I want to accomplish during my time here, so it is important for me to make my goals clear to them so I can ideally accomplish them. I also need to communicate with my coworkers during the day so I can make sure I am helping as much as I can and that I am doing the right tasks. Lastly, it is vital for me to be able to properly communicate with the clients at my work. I need to be able to efficiently communicate with them so I can understand their needs and so I can be as helpful as possible.
Another soft skill I have been developing is time management. This is my first full-time job, so it has been quite an adjustment in the past few weeks for me to adjust to the new hours I work. It is also new for me to commute to work every day of the week, and it has been a bit difficult getting used to the dense traffic in Dublin every morning which often sets me back. I have had to work around these issues and schedule my commute to work while accounting for traffic. In the past, I have been accustomed to working strictly part-time and within driving distance, but I have quickly gotten used to my internship schedule here after working for a few weeks.
A hard skill that I have been working on since my arrival here has been problem-solving and decision-making. Due to the nature of my work, sometimes clients can become audibly upset, so my coworkers and I have to be able to quickly decide what to do to remedy this. Sometimes clients can also make uncomfortable comments or remarks about the activities planned or about people in the office, so it is important to be able to decide how to respond to them appropriately in this scenario. Although this can result in uncomfortable situations, I have found it to be helpful to learn from this how to make decisions and deal with problems during my time at work.
Another hard skill that I am working up to is project management. One of my long-term goals at my internship is co-facilitating a session for the clients at my work. This would involve me finding memory quizzes, doing art, creating a PowerPoint, and more for the clients. This would require me to perform a survey of the clients to see what they are interested in doing for future sessions, then I would carry this out by planning and executing the session. So far, I have been sitting in on sessions and taking notes on activities that the clients seem to enjoy the most. This will help me manage my overall project at the end of facilitating a session with the goal of the clients enjoying it.
During my time in Dublin, I have found that understanding Irish culture allows me to have a better grasp of social situations. For example, since learning that the Irish tend to tease people and joke around with them more than Americans tend to, I have been more comfortable at work when my coworkers talk to me in this way. I have learned that they are just joking around, and it is okay to laugh in these circumstances. Another thing I am growing accustomed to is the accents here. It is especially difficult for me to understand some of the clients at my internship since they have heavy accents and they have verbal impairments, but over time, I have been able to get a better grasp on this.