Interned in Public Relations at Heneghan PR, Spring 2015
Internship: I worked for a PR firm called Heneghan PR. It’s the Irish affiliate of the major PR and Communication firm Bursen-Marsteller here in the U.S. My manager and co-workers made my internship experience amazing both on professional and social levels. It was a small firm, so the intern role carried a lot of responsibility. I wrote press releases, managed all media alerts for our clients, made proposals for new client opportunities, and even sat in on a couple client consultations. I was not treated like an intern but as a trusted employee, and that made my worthwhile.
I Learned: One thing I learned was not to be so dependent on technology and to travel throughout Europe with a sense of curiosity and adventure. I did not have data on my phone while abroad so without Google Maps by my side to guide me throughout cities, I had to revert back to actual maps to find my way around. This honestly felt invigorating and allowed me to explore cities like Budapest and Paris just by wandering the streets instead of being on a set agenda.
I also learned to be more aware of my surroundings and possessions. Unfortunately abroad, I lost a debit card, two jackets, and had my phone stolen. While these were not highlights of my trip, it showed me how clueless I acted while in the states. I’m not paranoid that someone is going to steal something of mine every time I leave my apartment, but it helped me appreciate the things I own and to take better care of them.
What Surprised Me: I did not expect Irish people to love Americans so much! I’ve heard all the stereotypes of Europeans hating Americans and experienced some of it to my travels in other countries, but Ireland was completely different. Coming from Boston, Irish people felt a connection to us because they have so many family members living here. They loved our accents as much as we loved theirs, and I truly felt welcomed into their homes.
Hardest Part: I admit that because the program was longer than most, I was pretty homesick by the end. I loved my entire experience in Dublin, don’t get me wrong, but seeing the Facebook statuses and Snapchats of all my friends returning home before I had even taken finals was a bit difficult.
Best Part: The day the marriage referendum was passed was one of the most exciting times in Dublin. The anticipation of the voting date was so prevalent throughout my time in Dublin, and when it passed by a landslide, the country went crazy. I’ve never seen such a united people all celebrating equality. You could not walk throughout City Centre without seeing smiling faces and people embracing each other over the news. I’m so glad I can say I lived in Ireland when they made history.
My Tips: I don’t know where to begin. In Ireland itself, you have to see the Cliffs of Moher and western Ireland. I regret that I didn’t get to see as much of the country-side as I wanted, but what I did visit was unforgettable.
It is so easy to travel Europe while Abroad, I guarantee you’ll make at least three different trips. My favorite two were Budapest and Amsterdam. I will say, though, at the end of all of my weekend trips, I was always ready to go back to Ireland, or as my friends soon called it “home.”
Hidden Gems: There are so many towns right outside of Dublin that are beautiful for sight-seeing, hiking, and enjoying authentic Irish people and culture. Towns like Dun Laoghaire or Howth were some of my favorite places to go on the weekend when I wanted to get outside of the city. Both were right on the water with amazing places to eat seafood, walk on the beach, and shop in small markets.