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.
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.
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.
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.