Internship Abroad to Career

 

By Lauren Ponsi (photo credit: Daria Nepriakhina)

Internships are a vital part of building your resumé and developing skills. Internships are an investment in your future because ultimately it is creating the foundation of your career. I have completed a series of different internships in a few different companies, across different sectors, but it all ties back to help my career choice in the end.  

Here are 3 reasons why my internship helps me choose a career path.

Real world experience

Doing an internship gives you an opportunity to work hands-on in your field of choice. You get to see a day to day view of what a certain job might be like and teach you more about that job. Think of it as taking a job for a test drive- internships are a way to try out different jobs and explore different options. When choosing to do internships, try out positions from different departments.M internship was in marketing, PR, community relations and events. I gained an insight for the various roles but all created a foundation of skills that I can use in any of those roles in the end. I found my passion as well as became a well-rounded individual.

 

 

photo credit: Kyle Glenn

 

Personal Development

All experiences we go through, shape us to who we want to be. To know yourself is to know your goals and you’re going to achieve them. An internship is a great way to test your boundaries and learn from failure. You’re placed in a position where you might not know how to do things, and that’s okay. You not only learn about the necessary skills for the job but you learn about yourself and how you work in a workplace environment. Internships gave me confidence in my work, I was given tasks outside my comfort zone that led me to showable skills on my resume. I no longer fear making cold calls about sales but know sales probably not my strong suit. Whereas the fast pace of an event was stressful and scary but now is something I love to do.

 

photo credit: rawpixel

 

Network Building

Building a strong professional network early on is critical on any career path. Sure anyone can attend a networking event and chat up some recruiter at a booth but creating connections through an internship can be even more beneficial. Your supervisor and other employees can see your work in real life and see how you work with others. By interacting with professionals you make new connections and learn how to communicate in a professional environment. You never know who people might be connected with. Your internships might not have availability for a full-time position but your supervisor may put you in contact with someone who does and can give a reference for your work ethic. My internship in Ireland allowed me to put an Irish company on my resume and my supervisor gave me a reference for a future job in Ireland.  

 

photo credit: Helena Lopes

Internships are a great way to test the waters with what you want to do. You can develop your personal and professional all while investing in the foundation of your career. Utilize internships to try out different roles and find exactly what career you want to do.

Why Intern in Dublin?

By Lauren Ponsi

Main photo credit: Katherine McCormack

 

It was my final year of college, company recruiters were in and out of our lecture halls. Job fairs seemed more frequent but as I walked up and down the booths nothing seemed to pique my interest. What was I going to do after graduation, the most commonly asked question but in all honesty, I had no clue what I wanted to do. I was not ready to settle down into a boring 9-5 job but I also couldn’t afford to take a year to just travel.

 

photo credit: Scott Webb

Back Home With No Plans

After graduation, I headed back to my hometown with no sudden plans to do anything. My sister was heading off to England for a year study abroad and I was having major FOMO. I never had the opportunity to study abroad because an adviser told me it wasn’t feasible. So I didn’t even bother doing research which was my biggest mistake.

As I witnessed my sister have the time of her life abroad, I was stuck in my hometown working a job that really had no benefit to me. The year previously I had traveled to Ireland, and absolutely fell in love. So, one slow day at work I jokingly searched ‘how to move to Ireland’. I browsed some websites and found Stint. It seemed pretty cool but I thought I can’t afford this. so I saved the link and moved on.

 

photo credit: Toni Moeckel

It’s Easy With The Right Help

After a few more clicks to the website, I thought why not inquire about some more information. I thought an internship abroad might be the best thing for me. I get international experience and get to live in Ireland, a win-win!

As I had already been graduated from college, choosing to do an unpaid internship was a risky move. We always think of interns at the bottom of the totem pole doing work that no one else wants to do. I had 2 internships and a paying job under my belt, so getting coffee and filing papers would have been a waste of my time and money. The first chat with Stint made me confident that I would be in good hands during my time in Ireland.

 

photo credit: Justin Luebke

A Stree Free Experience

From my first chat, I made it clear that I wanted an internship where I could gain “real” experience. What I got was a tailored internship towards my skills and needs. Other programs had a set of internship placements with preselected companies, whereas with Stint it varies person to person.

An internship abroad is ultimately what you make of it. Stint does all the work from housing to your placement but you get to have a say. It was great to be included in the process. I ultimately choose to intern abroad because you can gain both work and life skills. It was Stints tailored placement that sold me. These skills have landed me back in Ireland on the gap year, so I can say my decision paid off.

Your Ireland To-Do List

By Lauren Ponsi

Photo credit: Photo by Madelon 🇫🇷

 

Your bags are packed, visa in hand and you’re off to start a new adventure in Ireland. Going to a new country can be a little bit scary and maybe even a little overwhelming. But, you’ve already made the biggest leap by taking a gap year.  Taking a gap year allows you to transition from tourist to local and after spending almost a year in Dublin, here are my tips and tricks to a year in Ireland

 

Dublin is an ever growing city with great diversity.  There is something always going on for everyone.

A big city with a small town feel

Dublin is an ever growing city with great diversity.  There is something always going on for everyone. Utilize social media to find out what’s happening within the city.  If you’re like me you want to find the Instagram worthy hot spots. I like to use the explore page on Instagram to find different places to go.  You can find great brunch spots, or those little coffee shops that wouldn’t pop up on your average tourist guides. Also, the events tab on Facebook is another great way to find what’s happening in Dublin.  This allows you to filter by where you’re living or even by your interests.

My favourite Instagram finds:

The Jar: Bottomless pizza on Sundays

Eat Yard: Food Truck like spot

Platform 61:  Insta worthy brunch

The Comedy Crunch: Free comedy show (with free ice cream) at the Stags Head

The George:  Amazing Drag shows

 

 

Photo credit: Adam Markon

‘Round the Island

With the whole country the same size of the state of Indiana, it’s not hard to get out of Dublin for a day.  Ireland is made of 26 counties and 6 counties part of Northern Ireland. Each county is unique to one another and you’ll find that such a small country is full of so much culture.  There are tons of day tours that will take you to the popular hotspots around the country. But, the public transportation around Ireland is also really simple to use. You can get to most places by bus or rail and sometimes just getting out of the hustle and bustle of the city is relaxing.

My Favourites:

Cork & Blarney Castle: Get the gift of gab and make sure to pick up some fresh finds at the English Market in Cork

Galway & The Cliffs: Travel along the Wild Atlantic way and see the breathtaking views of the west coast of Ireland

Belfast & Northern Ireland: layered with troubled past and Irish folklore. And fun for you fans of Game of Throne fans.

 

Photo credit: Cathal Mac an Bheatha

A Hop, jump and skip Away

Centrally located, Ireland makes traveling mainland Europe super convenient. Dublin is the home to budget airline RyanAir which you will have a love-hate relationship by the end of your gap year.  Utilize RyanAir’s frequent sales to travel on the weekends. With most destinations being no more than an hour to two away you can find yourself wandering the streets of a new city on a Saturday and be back in Dublin by Sunday afternoon.  At the beginning of your gap year create a list of all of your dream countries and cities to see, then list out your bank holidays (three day weekends). Bank Holidays are the perfect weekends to schedule that weekender away. I personally like to use flight and travel apps on my phone to set alerts on certain flights for bank holiday weekends.

My Favourites:

Skyscanner: Finds the cheapest flights available and allows price alerts

Hopper: Predicts the best time to book flights

EuropeWSA: plans guided and unguided weekend tours (great if you’re lazy at planning like me)

Now, this is only a peek into what to do on a gap year. Ultimately, the year is what you make it and the possibilities are endless.  Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something you possibly never imagined. Transform from being that lost tourist to that knowledgeable local.  

Stinter Chats

We recently caught up with medical intern Téa Sue and asked her to tell us about her experience abroad. Téa interned at the pediatric hospital in Dublin. Outside of her internship, it seemed Téa had an awesome time traveling Ireland, making friends and exploring the city. So with further adieu, over to Téa…

Explain your internship in a nutshell

My internship was honestly unlike anything I had ever expected. I was excited but as the date got closer I got anxious and started to second guess my decision to go away. However, being and Ireland with the people I was with and getting to go to work everyday was amazing. I worked at one of the paediatric hospitals and the amount of new things I was exposed to was surreal. Not only was I exposed to many new things, but I also got to work with professionals in the field I would love to work in. How welcoming, informative and kind they all were really focused me in more on what I would like to pursue in the future.

 

How welcoming, informative and kind they all were really focused me in more on what I would like to pursue in the future.

What have you learned from your internship?

Academically, I have expanded on all my previous knowledge, not only by going into more detail about various concepts but also by being able to really understand everything I had learned by applying it to real practice. Professionally, I was fortunate enough to see the day to day life of a doctor, their schedules and how much work goes into what they do. 
(Téa exploring Dublin with some fellow Stinters)

What has been your favorite aspects of Dublin

I loved living with the people in the house and exploring all over Dublin. The atmosphere was brilliant, I loved how it was always lively and how there was always somewhere to go. Everything was within walking distance especially the historic buildings. I loved how much it contrasted with the city I grew up in. It really showed me the diversity that exists from country to country.
(Friends for life- Téa and Clare biking in Galway)


What has Stint helped you with?

Stint was a great welcome and support system throughout. I am very thankful for the internship placement I got. It was something I always imagined but knew I wouldn’t be able to get at home.


Your advice to anyone considering an experience abroad?

My advice would be to just go for it. Everyone has apprehensions, everyone’s in the same position. But speaking from my experience and others I know who have been abroad, everyone loves it and marks it as one of those experiences that really directs their future.