I cannot believe I am already starting the last week of my internship. This entire experience has gone by so quickly. While I am excited to go home, at the same time it is bittersweet. I know I will miss Ireland a lot, but I made amazing memories I can always reflect on.
Recently, I took a day trip to Rock of Cashel, Blarney, and Cork. My family also visited and I showed them around the city. Just this past weekend, I took another trip to Belfast and saw Giant’s Causeway and Dunluce Castle. It was my first time going to Northern Ireland, and I loved it. I have been checking off everything on my Ireland bucket list, and I feel very accomplished with everything that I have done during my time here.
Success in Ireland, specifically at my internship, is defined as making an effort to make a difference in the community and in individuals. I have found that success here is very open-ended. As long as people are making an effort in their jobs and are doing something for the benefit of others, it is enough to classify a person as successful. It is definitely more about the effort that counts rather than the actual result of the effort.
Making a real effort and asking a lot of questions is how one can become a successful and effective employee at my internship. As long as I try as hard as I can to do well in my internship and make a difference, myself and my coworkers were pleased with my work. It is the effort that counts at my internship the most, and it is not exactly what the result is of my work, but rather the effort. If I tried and made an effort, I was satisfied with my day of work. Also, as long as I was able to simply engage with the patients here and make them feel comfortable, my work was effective. My supervisor expressed that she was happy with me when I was asking a lot of questions and trying to talk to the patients at my work. As long as I kept up with making this effort, I was told that I was doing well. I also have made an effort to become more involved in the activities that are planned each day, and this paid off since I was able to co-facilitate a session and plan on doing more this week as well. Simply making this effort has allowed me to accomplish the goals I held for myself upon my arrival here, so I consider this as being successful. Oftentimes, I have to ask a lot of clarifying and general questions at my internship. Although it can be a bit frustrating to ask a lot of questions at work, it usually really helps me understand my tasks for the day. Once I understand what I should be doing throughout the day, it makes it a lot easier for me to accomplish these goals and feel satisfied and successful with my day of work.
Behaviors and actions that define success in the professional sense are identifiably different from the United States to Ireland. Specifically, I have noticed differences regarding the major purpose of working and communication in the workplace. In my experience in the United States, the main goal of working was just to get work done and get a paycheck at the end. In Ireland, this has been quite the opposite. People make an extra effort to make a difference in my field. Since my internship revolves around helping others, my coworkers go above and beyond to make sure the patients are comfortable, and they are always specifically asking them what activities they would like to do. My internship is also a non-profit charity, which I have never worked with before in the US. In the past, I have worked for small and large corporations, and both had the overall goal to get through the workday and make money. This has been very different from my experience in Ireland since my coworkers will spend extra time with clients and do as much as they can for them for nothing extra in return, and this is what they would classify as success. They do this simply to accommodate the patients. Another difference I have noticed is that a successful employee here is very friendly and talkative with both patients and other workers. It is an important part of my job to communicate with my coworkers and patients. This was not important in my previous jobs as much since everyone worked more individually than collectively.
Next blog post will be from the United States!