Today was as exciting as it was exhausting. In one day of site visits, we got to compare a smaller family-run business, Pearson Lyon, to huge a multinational corporation, Google! Both were so exciting and so unique. It was a really great opportunity to see both sides of Irish business across two different but hugely important industries. Even with all the excitement from these visits, I still think my most impressionable moment from today with talking with Darren, an economist, professor, and part of the CAPA faculty. I think that Darren did a wonderful job of making Irish economics approachable, engaging, and exciting without overwhelming us. Through listening to his experiences and explanation of the current economic climate in Ireland, I think we all got a crash-course on the background behind what we came here to study – Ireland’s tech industry. Most importantly, I think that learning from an Irish person and hearing him dissect exactly why Ireland is so attractive to foreign investors and huge tech companies right now was so powerful.
Darren attributes Ireland’s attractiveness to a few things: 1) an educated workforce 2) the low corporate tax rate of course and 3) their national language, English. He also highlighted the importance of Irish culture in business. The Irish are extremely well spoken and their emphasis on relationships inside and outside of business settings has helped them tremendously. The Irish know when to be formal, when to crack a joke, and when to poke fun at others without overdoing it. They are lively, bold, and perhaps most importantly, they are adaptable. The Irish are comfortable and often times prefer to go with the flow; they have grit! Even before I came to Ireland, I knew there was something that I admired about the Irish but could never quite put my finger on it but I think Darren did a great job at glorifying these attributes of Irish culture. I hope that through this study abroad program, and my upcoming internship in Dublin, that I will be able to adopt these characteristics as well. I would love to be able to look back in 5 years and know that I learned all I could from the people of Ireland. I hope to become more confident, personable, and a more colorful but concise conversationalist by observing and interacting with the Irish during my stay. I really admire Darren for his ability to make a daunting topic like economics approachable and being to quick witted and sharp in his analysis of his own country’s culture!