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Rachel Harrison, Dublin Summer Internship

The Burren, the coast of Ireland

The Burren, the coast of Ireland

Interned in the marketing department of Gourmet Food Parlour, a small restaurant chain, after freshman year, summer 2015.

Internship: For my internship in Ireland I worked in the marketing department of a company called Gourmet Food Parlour. Gourmet Food Parlour (GFP) is a small restaurant chain in the Dublin area that focuses on fresh, local and sustainable food with a great price point. Working in their head office in the marketing department, I got assigned a variety of tasks, small and large. A daily task I completed was sending out the daily specials menus to all 4 restaurants. With this task, I had to pay attention to detail for spelling and word choice along with marketing these dishes to the best of my ability. A larger task I completed was creating a database of all the local businesses in a certain area that we could target for catering orders. This was a tedious job but could potentially get GFP many more catering clients. There were also fun, creative tasks like designing new bakery tags and posters. No two days were the same in the GFP office.

I Learned: Working at GFP and being able to compare it to my parents local business in Virginia gave me great insight into just how similar small companies are around the world. Every entrepreneur has the same dreams and aspirations for their new company and will work hard until they’re achieved. GFP was just as focused on locally sourced produce and healthy food as my parents’ company is in the US. These similarities might seem obvious, but I was surprised at how much small companies are similar across the world. Living in another country and initially not knowing anyone really makes you depend on yourself and be self-sufficient. I think studying abroad made me grow up even more than moving to Boston did. There was no meal plan, so cooking for yourself, grocery shopping—all those simple tasks that you now have to do in a different country—make you more independent. Also, taking the initiative to research cool destinations and booking flights makes you realize that there are so many opportunities out there to take advantage of.

What Surprised Me: Traveling to Ireland, an English speaking country, I didn’t think there would be much of a culture shock and for the first week that was true. However, as you live in a different country, all the minor things they do differently (driving on the opposite side of the road, the faucet turning in opposite ways, different words for things) really start to surprise you. I was surprised about how much I kept discovering was different and new, but this also made the trip that much more of a great experience

Hardest Part: The hardest part of my experience was the internship. Having just completed freshman year I had never had an internship before, so I didn’t know what to expect much less at an Irish Internship. The commuting was a struggle at times. I worked in Swords which is a little bit away from the DCU dorms, and my commute sometimes took an hour and 15 minutes including all the walking. Prepare for a potentially long commute to work on the public transportation. Also, the Irish workplace runs a little differently, than the American, so prepare for a different work culture (not a bad culture, just different).

Best Part: The people and the relationships I formed were the best part of the trip for me. The best friends I made on this trip were from Villanova, UNC and Williams, so having the opportunity to meet people from different colleges was great. Also the locals that I met at work were so open and friendly and wanted to make sure I was enjoying myself. Ireland is a country full of immigrants, so not only did I meet Irish people but also a lot of the individuals I worked with were from all over the world (Hungary, Spain, Slovakia). Talking to them about their cultures was a great experience.

My Tips: First of all, don’t make the same mistake I made. Get a credit card/debit card that does not charge you $32947392487 in international transaction fees. Remember, it’s Ireland, and the sun might not shine. Pack some sweaters even in the summer. Take advantage of every opportunity. If there’s a group of students traveling someplace, go with them and enjoy your time!

Hidden Gems: 

While you’re in Ireland take some weekend trips to other European destinations (Copenhagen was amazing). Try local coffee shops and local pubs (finally a 19 year old can drink legally!). Dawson St has great restaurants, Harcourt St has fun night life and the Temple Bar area has good local pubs.

Yi Zeng, Dublin Summer Internship

IYi_at_GuinnessFactorynterned in marketing at KamaGames, a global game developer and publisher for mobile and social platforms like Xbox, Steam, PlayStation Network, and more in Summer 2015.

Internship: I worked at KamaGames, a global game developer and publisher for mobile and social platforms like Xbox, Steam, PlayStation Network, and more. As the Social Media Intern of the company, I was in charge of monitoring and updating the company’s social media pages (Twitter and Facebook), researching and analyzing competitors’ marketing strategies, and implementing initiatives to increase company exposure and audience engagement. Last year, KamaGames became the Official Social Casino Games Partner of Manchester United Football Club. Because of this, I worked closely with the Club trying to further expand its fan base in the Asian and European markets. One major project that I worked on was a social media contest where the winner would receive a signed Wayne Rooney soccer jersey.

I Learned: Studying abroad allowed me to discover an adventurous and spontaneous side of myself. I was always independent but never the risk-taking type, but my adventure abroad really opened my eyes to a whole new world. I realized how much I like to travel and try new things. From new food and music to new friends and connections, it was truly an unforgettable experience.

I also grew more mature and confident after studying abroad. I realized that life is short and that it is important to live in the moment. I found myself constantly looking for new adventures and wanting to communicate with the locals. Between schoolwork, internship, and traveling, I have learned how to be a more responsible adult.

What Surprised Me: I was surprised by how laid back and down to earth the Irish people were. Living in the U.S. for the majority of my life, I became so accustomed to our busy and fast-paced lifestyle; however, being in Ireland, a country where people embrace a slower lifestyle, allowed me to take a step back, learn about myself and appreciate my surroundings.

Hardest Part: The hardest part of my study abroad experience was leaving Ireland. I honestly had so much fun that I did not want to leave at all. I wish my program were longer because I felt like I needed more time to fully absorb the Irish culture.

Best Part: It is hard to choose the best part of my experience abroad because I loved everything about Ireland. If I had to choose one, I loved how Ireland has the perfect combination of traditional and modern. On one hand, the country has thousands of years of rich history; on the other, it is also one of the most vibrant cities in Europe, comprising of an abundance of young and ambitious people.

My Tips: My best advice is to be open-minded about everything. Always be willing to try new things and take risks because great things don’t come from comfort zones. Don’t knock anything down without trying it first. Also, Ireland is quite an expensive country so make sure you save up!

Hidden Gems: I would recommend that you definitely go to popular tourist attractions such as Howth, Cliffs of Moher, Giant’s Causeway, and Northern Ireland. I would also highly recommend you try out the less well-known restaurants, clubs, and pubs (The Back Page McGowans, Workmens, etc.)

Erin S., Dublin Management Internship

ErinatInishmoreInterned in marketing at Marketing Network, Spring 2015.

Internship: I interned at the Marketing Network, an advertising, digital marketing, and PR agency. I loved my internship, especially the people I worked with. I was able to help with a variety of projects across the agency’s different businesses. I did research for current clients and new client pitches. I was also able to attend client meetings. One of the bigger projects I worked on was organizing the consumer press ads for the launch of Eircode (Ireland’s first postal code system).

I Learned: I learned to be more spontaneous while I was abroad. I booked my trip to Edinburgh about a week before I went. While planning is still crucial, I learned that embracing spontaneity is just as important and can lead to the best adventures.

I also learned to be more independent while I was abroad. I was away from my friends and my BU comfort zone, so I had to adjust to that. There were so many things that I wanted to do while I was studying abroad, so I learned to do things on my own and be more comfortable stepping out my comfort zone to get the most out of my experience.

What Surprised Me: As cliché as it sounds, I was surprised most by how fast my time abroad went. I was able to travel lots around Ireland and Europe, so time flew by. The program is longer than most at BU, but the time still passed quickly.

Hardest Part: The hardest part of the program was after UCD finals ended when my study abroad friends from other schools left and I still had to finish my internship. It was hard to say goodbye and watch everyone else leave before me.

Best Part: It’s hard to choose the best part of my experience because I enjoyed all of it. I loved meeting new people, from Irish students to other students studying abroad from different countries. One of my closest friends that I made there was from Australia.

My favorite trip was when I went to Galway with the international student group the Erasmus Student Network. When I was there we went to Inishmore, one of the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland. We biked across the island to a cliff side. It was rural and beautiful. It was an amazing experience.

My Tips: One tip is to attend orientation events at UCD. I met some of my best friends from the program at the study abroad events. It was a great way to meet new people, and there was always free food.

Another tip is to join the two societies that cater to international students. They organize affordable trips around Ireland and provide a good community. In addition, I’d recommend joining at least one other society or club to get to know more Irish students. I joined the ski club and had a great experience with it.

Hidden Gems: In Dublin, one of my favorite places was Fallon & Byrne. It’s a specialty food store with a café in it and a wine bar in the basement. It’s in the city center and has great coffee, so I always loved to stop by when I went downtown.

In Ireland as whole, I would highly recommend making a trip to Kerry. It was the most beautiful county in my experience. There are a lot of great parks and beautiful scenery. I think it’s worthwhile, even just for a day trip.

Collin K., Dublin Management Internship

Cliffs of Moher

Standing at the edge of the Cliffs of Moher. This was the only time I wore my winter jacket because it was so cold from the wind at the coast.

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.

Jen Bernier, Dublin Management Internship

Jen Cliffs of MoherInterned at Bentley Systems International.

I studied in Dublin, Ireland during the Spring 2014 semester with the Dublin Management Internship Program. I attended University College Dublin and took classes in the Lochlann Quinn School of Business. I worked on the Campaign Management/User Engagement team at Bentley Systems International. Bentley makes software for infrastructure (civil engineering projects, for example). My projects included the scheduling, promotion, moderation of webinars, and updating social media platforms with upcoming events.

I learned: I learned the value of navigating an international business environment. From the outside, it doesn’t really seem different until one is immersed in a new culture. I’ve improved my communication and collaboration skills by acclimating to new standards, procedures, and work ethics. More specific to the content of my projects, I learned new digital marketing tactics that will be invaluable to me in my academic and professional field.

I was surprised by: I was constantly taken aback by how friendly the Irish are. They are outgoing, always looking to have fun and willing to help out strangers. I will definitely miss the people more than anything!

The hardest part: I’d say the hardest part was still living on campus after the semester was over. The Irish students had all moved home, so campus was very quiet, and I was also adjusting to my internship at the same time.  While I was busy every day, it was still a different dynamic.

The best part: The best part of my experience was being so close to other cultures. The physical distance wasn’t very far, but it still felt like an entirely different world when I visited another country. It was nice to travel and then feel like I was going “home” to Dublin. I missed it when I was away!

My tips: Be SURE to see Ireland. Dublin is wonderful and there is so much to do in the city, but make time to visit other parts of the country as well. Northern Ireland, Galway, Cork, Howth, and many more, are beautiful places that offer different vibes and experiences. Take advantage of any international student groups that plan weekend trips – they’re all-inclusive, affordable, and a great way to spend the weekend with your friends and meet other study abroad students!

Haley Spechler, Dublin Internship

Haley DublinInterned at Brown Thomas, a luxury department store, in the buying department, Spring 2014

Internship: For my internship, I worked in the buying department for Brown Thomas, a luxury department store that was exclusive to Ireland.

I Learned: I certainly learned to be more independent.  I had to rely on myself to navigate around a foreign city, book weekend trips to visit other cities, and still manage to find dinner for myself every night!  Being abroad alone in a new city taught me that no matter where I am, I can manage and stand on my own two feet.

Hardest Part: I think that the hardest part of living abroad for so long is always being an outsider.  I felt as though social norms were different in each place I visited, and it was hard to keep up with all of them and still be polite!

Best Part: The best part of my experience was being immersed in the Irish culture, which is warm and welcoming.  The best part of Ireland is certainly its people, and I loved speaking with tons of different Irish people, both adults and teens, about their lives in Ireland.  Turns out, they are just about the same as us, but everyone is much less angry!

My Tip: Bring a raincoat!

Sneha Marathe, Dublin Management Internship Program

Dun Laoghaire

Dun Laoghaire

This past semester I participated in the Dublin Management Internship study abroad program. I had the chance to spend five months studying at University College Dublin and interning at Esave Corporation. My experience taught me that there are many benefits and challenges that come from studying and working in a different country.

The benefits and advantages of studying abroad are far-reaching and extensive.

  • New culture: Experiencing and learning about a new culture is the most enriching aspect of your time in a different country. Before I began my semester, I thought the Irish led very Americanized lifestyles and were not too different from the English. I was very wrong. The Irish have a very unique culture that can includes, among other things, friendly people, beer, potatoes, and step dancing. This cultural experience was one of the best aspects of study abroad. Immersing myself in the Irish culture gave me a chance to experience something different and unique and allowed me to learn new things, explore, and get out of my comfort zone.
  • Classes: Taking business classes outside of SMG provides a new perspective on the education we receive at BU. In this study abroad program, I was able to take my concentration (Marketing and MIS) classes at UCD. Through attending these classes, I was able to learn different teaching styles and gain an understanding of the global nature of business. For example, no matter where you go in the world, you will always learn about the 4 P’s of Marketing. My classes at UCD were that much more interesting because I could see myself learning the same content in SMG. My business teams at UCD gave me a chance to work with Irish students on projects. Teamwork and collaboration is very different in Ireland than it is in America, which was an interesting aspect of business to understand.
  • Traveling: Having an entire semester to travel around Ireland and Europe is an opportunity that I won’t have again. Going abroad gives you the chance to explore without having to worry about time and other considerations you will have as an adult. On my weekends, I would travel throughout Europe in cities such as Paris, Barcelona, Zurich, London, and many more. Going on tours, eating new food, and sightseeing beautiful places are all experiences that are fun and worthwhile.
  • Learn more about yourself: As a study abroad student, I learned a lot about myself from the different challenges that I had to deal with. Whether it’s getting lost in a new city or doing everyday tasks, being in a different country gives you the chance to grow independently and to get out of your comfort zone. Plus, you will also gain an appreciation for things back home that you didn’t consider before.
  • Fun: The abroad experience is a fun time for students because you can meet new people and travel to different places. While classes and studying are important, it is fun to be learning in a different city.

I had a great time in Dublin and would recommend it to anyone that is considering going abroad. It’s an experience that you won’t regret.

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

Simon You, Dublin Internship Program

Interned in the venture capital field, Spring 2013

I Learned: I learned that it’s pretty difficult to break into venture, so working at a venture capital firm abroad really increased my understanding of how that industry worked. I also learned more about the country of Ireland and its amazing culture.

Comparing/Contrasting My Work Experiences: One difference was that the businesses in Ireland had more casual hours; they also have a big tea culture. Other than that and their cool accents, I found the businesses to be rather similar.

Hardest Part: The hardest part of my experience was getting adjusted in the beginning of the program. I didn’t know many people, but that soon changed as the classes and field trips started.

Best Part: The best part of my experience was the traveling. Ireland’s a small island, so I got to see a lot. I traveled to Northern Ireland, Southern Ireland, and Western Ireland.