Two and a half weeks ago I boarded a seven-hour flight from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City to Dublin Airport in Ireland. I’ve flown places on my own before, but never out of the country. The furthest I’d been on my own was Florida. It was nerve racking, to say the least. For three months, I was going be on my own in a completely new city, three thousand miles away from home.
My name is Casey McShea and I am a 20-year-old student from New York City. I’m working towards earning a degree in Media Studies at SUNY Oneonta, a small university in upstate New York. I’m here in Dublin working as an intern with 1 Plus Events, an event-planning company in Dublin that focuses on marketing and creating content for its clients in addition to organising events around Ireland. The main part of my job is designing digital content for social media profiles of various clients accross Ireland.
Interning Abroad in Ireland
When I came to Dublin to intern, I had no idea what to expect. While, yes, I had an idea of what I’d be doing at my job, there was no telling what everything else would be like. Would I like the city? Would I get lost? Would I make friends? I had so many questions and no answers, and it was terrifying. Luckily, my internship was taking place at a fantastic company with fantastic people who made me feel welcome and comfortable immediately. 1 Plus Events welcomed me with open arms and eased so much anxiety I had about living and working in a new country.
There’s no doubt that interning abroad is an experience of a lifetime. Not only are you getting real-life, hands-on experience in a field you’re interested in pursuing, but you’re doing it in a completely different country, or sometimes on a different continent. Plus, you might actually get a clearer idea of what you want to do with your life. A year ago, I wanted to go into TV production. Six months ago, I decided I was more interested in Public Relations. Now, my job is digital marketing at an event planning company in Dublin, and I love very minute of it.
Digital Marketing Intern in a Event Planning Company in Dublin, Ireland
Interning at 1 Plus has been such a rewarding experience, and I’ve only been here for two weeks. In those two weeks, I’ve learned how to proficiently use Adobe Photoshop, taken part in an event involving Bray Retail Park in Co Wicklow, and exercised my creativity and design skills to an extent of which I haven’t before. Interning in an foreign country has general professional benefits, as well. You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: networking is the key to career opportunities. Building your network tree by creating international contacts will undoubtedly benefit you in the long run and expand your job field. Another reason to intern abroad is that it’s a fantastic resumé booster. Employers love to see potential hires with relevant work experience, and showing that you not only have relevant experience, but gained it in another country, highlights that you love new challenges and are open to new and eye-opening experiences.
Meet an International Team and Explore the World
Aside from professional benefits, you gain so much personally from going abroad. You will gain an entirely new and strong layer of confidence and bravery, challenge and discover yourself, and go on so many adventures. In the short time I’ve been here, I’ve learned and navigated my way through a completely new city and transportation system. I’ve met people from countries all around the world, from Venezuela to Taiwan to South Africa. I have the opportunity to take weekend getaways to countries I’ve always wanted to visit and see all Ireland has to offer.
There is always going to be a small bit of fear or uncertainty for you to conquer. Fears such as traveling to new places or experiencing new things on your own, unfamiliarity with a new place, or missing your friends and family back home. All of those uncertainties are normal, but don’t ever let it stop you! You will miss out on so many memories and experiences if you never push yourself outside your comfort zone and try new things, even if some of those things are a bit scary.
Interning abroad will expand your professional and personal horizons in a way that no other experience can. I have been in Ireland for two and a half weeks and I already feel as if there is a part of me that will always belong here. I am lucky enough to be able to have this opportunity and even luckier that I have it with 1 Plus Events.