And just like that, I am back home in the States! It’s crazy to think about how fast my experience in Dublin has gone by. The final week was bittersweet, as everything I did I reminded myself it was probably the last time. EUSA hosted the farewell reception at The Odeon which was a nice way to to close out the experience, coming together and saying goodbye to everyone.
My final week at work was very bittersweet as well, and it felt weird, for lack of a better word, to leave not knowing if or when I’d ever return or see my coworkers again, whom I have been able to foster great friendships with, but only in time to leave!
There is no doubt that my time in Dublin has been quite the learning experience, in many regards.
When I received my placement as a journalism intern for a newspaper publication, I was a bit apprehensive, as I had never done anything like that before. I enjoyed reading and writing, and have actually taken a journalism class before, but I just never really imagined a career in journalism for myself. Nonetheless, the the journalism skills and experience I have gained are certainly transferrable and will aid me in my future career.
The so-called “hard” skills that I have learned has been the interview process of journalism. The process required extensive research prior to carrying out the actual interview in which I had to extract as much information possible, before transcribing and turning that into a story. I am very grateful that I was able to write throughout the summer, and was published in the newspaper every week. It has been very valuable to be able to write freely, and then turn that over to the other journalists to receive their feedback. It has allowed me to learn a lot about my own writing, which will certainly still be of value to me as I finish my final year at Pitt and in my future career.
The idea of a relaxed work environment seemed great prior to beginning the internship, but was difficult to navigate, and taught me a lot about myself on a personal level. Specifically, my supervisor was very flexible and not stern when it comes to the assignments I am tasked to complete. I oftentimes found myself at my desk wondering what my next task should be and what was expected of me. As a person who has always been unassertive in terms of my personality, I had trouble finding the solution to this particular issue. I felt that each day, I became increasingly more confident in my ability to speak up for myself. I grew more comfortable knocking on the door of my supervisor (which would have sounded extremely daunting to me on the first day of work, when I had no idea what to do), and asked simple questions. Therefore, I learned to simply ask when directions are unclear. It’s ok to ask questions in the workplace and outside. I realized it is always okay to speak up and advocate for myself, even when it feels uncomfortable.
With that being said, I valuable skill that I have learned in both a professional and personal regard has been that of communication. The interview process, which I have already touched on, has many steps and requires clear and concise communication throughout the process which includes that of phone correspondences, emails, and verbal communication methods. I participated in all methods quite often, and had to become very efficient in my communication with other people, as well as my coworkers and supervisor.
Working in a small office made it difficult for me to speak up at times. This challenged me on both a personal and professional level, as I knew I had to communicate efficiently to get my job done but I was often timid, as my personality has always shown itself that way. Gradually, I was able to emerge out of my shyness and speak up for myself slowly but surely, because I knew I had to. I was pushed out of my comfort zone, but am grateful for it.
All in all, I am so grateful for the experience I had interning in Dublin. I challenged myself by diving into the program, and am so glad that I took that leap of faith. I have met some of the greatest people along the way, and have learned life lessons that I will carry with me forever. Until next time, Dublin!