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.

Tips & Bits In A New City

Photo credit: Daryan Shamkhali

By Lauren Mhyra

 

So you’ve taken the leap to head abroad, new country, new city, fresh start! It’s exciting but can be nerve-racking to head somewhere with a clean slate.  Much like heading off to college for the first time there are those things you wish you knew from the start. So, here are my tips and bits for starting life in a new city.

Don’t expect things

My biggest recommendation is to not set expectations for yourself. You probably have done countless hours of research and scrolled through hundreds of Instagram pages and have a must-do-list. If you block out every minute of your stay you’re likely to miss out on the hidden gems you had no clue about. You’re going to be integrated with others in a similar situation as you as well as locals so you’re going to get tons of suggestions that weren’t necessarily on the ‘Top 10 must do in Dublin’ list.  Go with the flow, try out suggestions from colleagues and talk to your housemates about their interests.

 

My rule of thumb is if I can get it at home, I tend to pass on it.

 

Additionally, mentioning expectations, completely forgo any notions about home. Dublin is a modern and diverse city. There’s going to be tons of the same things that you can find back home. But you will come to find out that your regular order from Starbucks doesn’t exist here. You’ll be in a for a BIG let down if you are constantly comparing things from back home. My rule of thumb is if I can get it at home, I tend to pass on it.

 

Get the touristy bits out of the way first

Photo credit: Trevor Cole

 

The first few days you’ll likely have some free time. Do those big-ticket tourist items first to check them off so when people ask, you can say you’ve done it.  If you make friends with locals, they are likely not going to want to do the leprechaun museum with you. This also opens up your schedule to do other things when you begin to meet people. This is also a great way to learn your new city’s history and culture so you’re well immersed when you make friends with locals. When people are talking certain historical events, you’ll understand and you can point out an awful Guinness pour.

 

Learn the public transit system

Photo credit: Nico Baum

 

Learning to use the public transportation system is going to save you so much time and make your life easier when it’s down pouring rain. I was intimidated by the bus and afraid that I would look ‘stupid’ not knowing what to do. For 6 weeks I walked everywhere and if I couldn’t walk I said forget it.  I could have slept in a little more in the mornings and think about all of the things I was missing out because it was ‘too far’. Don’t let this happen to you, it might take a try or two to get it right but after a few rides, you’ll be able to do it in your sleep.

 

It’s okay to do things alone

Photo credit: Milan Popovic

You’ve already taken the leap to move to a country on your own. Don’t be afraid to go do the things you want to do regardless of if there’s someone to do it with. There are many ways to find events happening within Dublin, utilize them! Going off on your own allows you to step out of your comfort zone. You’re not shielded by the comfort of familiarity.

 

The best stories are found in the pages of a passport!

 

Travel Travel Travel

Photo credit: Paolo Nicolello

You’re living in a country that is accessible to so many wonderful places. You could have stayed home and watched Netflix in bed for free, why come do it in a foreign country? Whether you take a bus to the next town over or you splurge on that €50 Ryanair flight, just go somewhere. I like to head somewhere new at least once a month. The best stories are found in the pages of a passport!

 

If travel planning on your own feels overwhelming, you could always consider traveling through a program. At Stint Ireland, we provide experiences for those wishing to intern abroad, take a gap year or a combined experience. Our enquiry form is non-committal and we aim to ensure you are supplied with all the right information that you will need to make that travel dream a reality.  

Stint Ireland Adventures

Alumni Catch Up With Sarah Moffit

Last week caught up with Stinter & University of Utah graduate Sarah Moffit. Whilst in Dublin, Sarah interned with vStream Digital Media as a member of their production team. Sarah gained vast experience throughout her time with vStream. Whilst her hard work and passion did not go unnoticed! vStream rewarded Sarah’s efforts by allowing her to take the lead during the production of one project. Enough from us, let’s hear Sarah’s news…

 

Tell us why you chose to do an internship in Dublin?

I wanted to go to Ireland desperately, but I wanted to do more than just visit for two weeks. I wanted to know the locals and work with them. When my school connected me with Stint, I knew it was going to be the perfect set up.

 

(Sarah enjoying dinner with fellow Stinters!)
Did you enjoy your time in Ireland?

That’s a crazy question! I loved it!! I loved living in a house full of interns talking about our different work experiences and our family and friends back home. I loved traveling with these same strangers turned family. I loved our nights out on the town and our nights in with a glass of wine and a good movie. I loved working at my office and with my coworkers. I learned so much in those three months, about myself and what I want to do. I got the chance to be on set with a project I worked on all summer and play a necessary role as well! I saw each coast of Ireland and a few places in between 😉 I made lifelong friends and built quality relationships with my coworkers. I loved my time in Ireland.

 

I loved living in a house full of interns talking about our different work experiences and our family and friends back home. I loved traveling with these same strangers turned family.

What are you doing now?

I am actually continuing what I started in Dublin! I work for a post-production studio in LA and have recently been offered a role as a post-production assistant working hands-on with projects! It’s similar to what I did in Ireland and I’ll add that my experience during my Stint played a huge role in getting my foot in the door. I keep in touch with my coworkers, my supervisor, fellow Stinters, and my favorite admin at the Stint HQ 😉

(Sarah made the most of her time in Dublin)
Did your internship help you reach the job you’re at now?

100% You don’t get interviews unless you have relevant experience. That’s how it goes. The woman that interviewed me asked specifically about my Ireland experience and reflected that I would be a good fit because I had experience at a post-production company. That same experience also recommended me for the role I was just asked to fill as a post-production assistant. My internship through Stint gave me the confidence to pursue this career path. I gained so much experience at Visual that I felt comfortable applying to jobs I probably wouldn’t have post-grad! When I first arrived in Dublin, I was trying it out to see if it might be something I would want to pursue. Now, a year later, I have graduated from college and am about to transition to a full-time position as a post-production assistant working toward my dreams!

 

Any advice for future interns?

Take advantage of every opportunity! Get to know the people you live with and work with, they could be lasting friends.

 

We want to say congratulations to Sarah on her new job, you are awesome! Head over to our YouTube channel to see Sarah Moffit during her internship and many other intern stories.

Intern Chats with University of Arizona Graduate Lauren Ponsi

Summer 2017 was a blast- what an incredible few months. We wish we could rewind and do it all again! We had a pretty awesome bunch of Stinters and it’s with great pleasure to introduce Lauren Ponsi. Lauren interned at Pure Results Bootcamp, where she got lots of first-hand experience in marketing and PR. Lauren provided us with a little insight into her internship experience in Dublin.

Let’s hear from Lauren…
Tell us why you chose to do an internship?

I wanted to gain real world experience in the degree field. 

 

…and why Ireland?

The country is beautiful, the people are so friendly and the CRAIC (see here for urban dictionary explanation!).

 

The best thing about Dublin is…

You can find something to do any night of the week (Dicey’s €2 pints are also not bad!)

 

(Lauren with Stinter Madison Wallace, enjoying a craft beer)

If you could give future intern abroad participants one piece of advice, what would that be?

Don’t be afraid to venture on your own, sounds scary, but you find the best treasures when it’s just you and yourself. 

 

The weirdest thing about Dublin is…

When you’re crossing the street, cars will actually speed up! Like “Hey mate, I would have crossed in plenty of time but you had to speed up and now I broke a sweat from the mild jog!’. 

 

And of course, the most important question of all- tea of choice (Barrys or Lyons)?

BARRYS!! 

 

Lauren recently graduated and will be returning to Ireland (and Stint) as a gap year participant in 2018. Catch Lauren over on Instagram (@laurenmarie), where you can follow both her internship and gap year journies!

Anis-Blog Main Pic

Irish Adventures: A Cultural Insight

Hi, my name is Anis Raihana. I’m from Malaysia. In January 2017 I became a Stinter and started an internship within the area of chemical engineering in Dublin. This blog outlines the cultural differences between my home country and Ireland. Whilst I also talk about how unique Ireland truly is. I hope you enjoy!

Moving to Ireland for an 11-week internship experience with lots of adventures around the island was the best decision I have ever made, despite feeling heavy hearted to leave my loved ones behind. I had tons of fun and gained heaps of knowledge. I knew I did not regret taking such a big decision almost a year ago when I rejected a local internship offer. Of course, this involved a rollercoaster of emotions and patience but most importantly, I had the opportunity to observe and learn about a new culture.

Due to the fact that it has a long history on monastery sites during the golden age, Ireland is known as the ‘land of saints and scholars.’ The Irish culture is unique in its own way.

 (Some of the Stinters I met) 

Irish Adventures: A Cultural Insight

 

The Irish Humor!

One of the first things I realized about the difference between Malaysian and Irish culture is wittiness and humor. Malaysians typically joke around with their closed ones, unlike Irish people who can joke around with strangers without anyone feeling offended. One day, I was buying a card from Spar at the place where I worked at, the cashier played around with me by not letting me take out my bank notes from my purse. I did not realize it was a joke until I looked at him and he was giggling. My top employer too, teased me when he thought I sailed from Indonesia instead of Malaysia.

Next, Irish or Dubliners, in general, prefer to take public transport rather than driving unless they live far from the city center. On the other hand, Malaysians prefer driving our own cars with public transport being the second option, regardless where we live.

(Walking means you can explore castles!!)

Irish Adventures: A Cultural Insight

Phrases

Malaysians would say ‘okay’ or ‘alright’ after they understand a topic, or ‘Everything will be alright,’ Irish would say ‘grand’ or ‘Everything will be grand.’

Malaysians address customers as ‘sir’ or ‘madam’, Irish addresses their customers as ‘love’ or ‘darling.’

In addition, Irish people are full of praises. Even when it is a small achievement, they would say, ‘Excellent!’ ‘Brilliant work!’ ‘Perfect!’ Unlike Malaysians, we only praise one another when it is a big achievement.

Malaysians say ‘thank you’ or ‘terima kasih’ in Bahasa – a lot but not ‘sorry’ and ‘please’ which are being said for almost everything and all the time in the Emerald Isle.

Your Health is Your Wealth in Ireland

In Malaysia, we work like there is no tomorrow or in other words, ‘work comes first before health’. In Ireland, it is the other way round, ‘health comes first before work.’ Even if it means you have a very light fever, you’ll be sent home immediately.

(Howth is a lovely place to unwind- plenty of fresh air!)

Irish Adventures: A Cultural Insight

Food and Social Time

Rice is our staple food in Malaysia whereas potatoes are the staple food of Irish. Hence, why you’ll be able to buy 1 kilogram of potatoes at €1.

Malaysians love spending weekends at shopping malls ( an exceptional case for myself :D) and our shopping malls close at 10pm every day. On top of that, one can also easily spot a person with sunglasses even at the malls! Shopping streets or malls in Ireland generally close between 6pm to 7pm and even though the Sun is shining brightly, it is pretty rare to spot someone with sunglasses.

Random Fact: There are only 11 toll roads or motorways in Ireland. In Malaysia, there are 33 highways or expressways with toll points. Even so, our government is planning for more toll roads!

Unique to Ireland

You can hear Irish music almost everywhere you go including souvenir shops and on tour coaches, whereas Malaysian music is only being played at certain places or occasions like museums, temples or during weddings and local concerts.

(The amazing Cliffs of Moher)

Irish Adventures: A Cultural Insight

 

At home, we love our beautiful sandy beaches, Petronas Twin Towers, and Mount Kinabalu. While the Irish love their green scenery, sheep, and Cliffs of Moher. We have 7Eleven and Mydin all over the country while there are Subway and Spar everywhere in Ireland. Pubs are the norms and hang out spots in Ireland while Indian restaurants or what we called as ‘Mamak’ are our normal hang out spots in Malaysia.

In terms of time keeping, both Malaysians and Irish are somewhat very relaxed about it. For example, when someone arranges a meeting to commence at 8am, this normally mean 8:15am or even an hour later for Malaysians.

Ireland: A Truly Amazing Experience

All in all, my time in Ireland was craic! I wouldn’t want to trade the experience with anything else. I have definitely missed hearing people say ‘grand’ at all times, on top of striking a conversation with strangers on the streets. If I were given a chance to return to Ireland for either a holiday or even a job offer, without any doubt I’d say YES.

Anis became a Stinter in January 2017 and really embraced her time in Ireland. Anis has many talents and being awesome is just one of them! You can catch more of her writings via her personal blog. Stint Ireland would like to thank Anis for her blog contribution. We look forward to her coming back to visit us in the near future. 

My Journey to Interning in Ireland

by Tia Mitsis

For many young students a semester overseas, a gap year or internship sounds exciting. It sounded exciting to me too as a young university student. At the time I didn’t have the financial ability to do it. I yearned to have an exciting international adventure, I looked through the various semester abroad brochures at my university but it was a dream I knew I could not realize at that point in my life. Fast-forward a few years and here I am; an intern in the vibrant capital of Ireland, arguably one of the literary capitals of the world.

 

Decisions, decisions, decisions!

You don’t easily make the decision I came to. It is a risk to essentially walk away from a job and life you know to go overseas and work in an entirely different field. The decision required much soul searching and a keen sense of adventure. Everyone told me I was brave. I didn’t see it that way then. I saw it as a risk. A risk compared to the more predictable goings-on of daily reality. It is the fear of the unknown compared to the known. It was a risk I was willing to take. Now I embrace the ‘brave’ label proudly. It is brave to choose to live overseas for a period, complete an internship and experience a different life and culture.
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Behind the Scenes: Audrey, Our Amazing Summer Intern, Reflects on Her Experience

by Audrey Chew

 

As I am graduating in the spring of 2017, this past summer was my final chance to explore new opportunities with no strings attached.

 

After weeks of research, I stumbled upon an internship vacancy with Stint Ireland. They were looking for someone to help manage their community of international intern and gap year participants. Both nervous and eager, I applied for the position and got called in for an interview.

 

What began as an interview ended up as a hilarious hangout session with newly made friends and colleagues.

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The Best Memories Are The Moments You Can’t Predict

by Katrina Carlson

 

Here I am, less than three weeks from my departure date, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous! It’s a feeling that I’ve come to know well. I welcome it as an omen that I’m doing something good for me and stepping out of my comfort zone.

 

Generally, people call this the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next. As I begin packing and training my replacement at work, I reminisce about working as the records custodian at a local chiropractic office for the last five years; I started there before I could even drive. That job has given so much to me. It is a support group that has encouraged many of my endeavors. It has also provided me the financial means to travel (to France twice and Ireland once before this latest stint for my internship abroad). I am indebted to the individuals who helped me grow into the person I am today.

 

So, to refer to this part of my life as a chapter would be an understatement. Instead, I would say that this is the end of the first book and the beginning of the next instalment in my saga.

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Irish landscape

Interning Abroad Inspired Me And My Art

by Kelly-Ann Desouza

 

Interning abroad was something that I never thought I would do.

 

Actually, it never occurred to me that it was something I could do. The whole process happened so fast that I remember thinking to myself as I boarded the plane: Is this real life? Is this really happening?

 

Yes, it was real, it happened, and my world got immensely bigger.

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