Reflection on my two month internship in Ireland is very interesting to me. I ended up having more experiences in that time than I thought I would have which is one of my first takeaways.
The way the time passed for me while there was something I hadn’t experienced before. I found it quite strange that overall the experience went very quickly though during it I had days where I was homesick and it felt like it was dragging on. Overall the experience was great but going through those days where I wanted to go home or I missed something about being home time seemed to slow down. Viewing that with the benefit of hindsight I will be able to apply this to experience to times where I struggle similarly in the future. When it comes to more concrete career growth I also feel I grew similarly when integrating into a work environment. I have never had to try to fit into such a structured work environment previously as all my work experience prior was working in fast food or other environments like it. During this internship I learned about how different certain people are in the work space and how best to interact with them. There were some people who I got along very well witha nd was able to be friends with while others I was friendly with but we weren’t actually friends. I imagine this is how it will be like when I start a longer term job. I hope that I can keep the friendships I made in Ireland and maybe even see my coworkers again if I go back to Ireland. I also had to learn how to learn to do different tasks. I had many different things I had to do and I had to try to learn them as quickly as I could so as to not slow anyone else down having to teach me. I was also able to learn how to keep better track of time in the context of an 8 hour work day. I am used to trying to manage my time in a school environment where I have to meet my deadlines but I can do work at my pace as long as it gets done. I found that certain things are on a much tighter timetable in an actual work environment as things that need to get done may need multiple people and if it does your schedules need to align in order to complete the task. That meant that I needed to balance things I could do by myself while keeping track of when others needed me. One of the biggest learning experiences for me was adapting to the new environment that was living in Ireland. Though adapting to the uniqueness of the workplace was a good challenge getting used to living in another country at the same time was probably the skill that will be the most useful to me. It was difficult to get into a routine in a completely unfamiliar environment but by the end of my comparably short time there I was completely comfortable with navigating through Dublin and it even felt weird to return to Pittsburgh. I expect to move again when I start my career and I will be more confident in my ability to adapt after this experience since my environment is unlikely to be as different as Ireland was to what I am used to.
Overall I am very happy with how my internship experience went. Learning how to better adapt to a new environment in both a work and living perspective are skills I am not soon to forget.