After a few fast and furious days in Ireland, our group took a breath and reflected on what we have learned. After collecting our thoughts about each site visit and tour experience, we realized that in less than a week, we have learned a tremendous amount about Irish culture and going abroad. I think that moments like this help to ingrain the lessons we learn, like the history of Croke Park and the relational approach to communication in Ireland.
Later in the day, we talked to Ellie Doyle from Talent Hub, a recruiting agency. She mainly talked about tips for job hunting from the perspective of a European recruiter. From this, I began to wonder what I could do to translate this study abroad experience into a job for next year. First, I will look at my strengths and see how they have helped and/or hurt me during my visit to Ireland thus far. My StrengthsFinder results are achiever, discipline, individualization, restorative, and empathy.
As an achiever, I have a strong work ethic and I am constantly pushing myself to do more. On the trip, often I push myself to keep up with everything other students are doing, like going on tours and to concerts. However, I need to realize that it isn’t possible for me to be everywhere at once. Also, if I try to do too much, I will burn out from exhaustion. Beyond this, achievers often like to have a plan.
Disciplined people often are described as great planners. The motto for the Plus 3 Transfer: Ireland Program is “We live in ambiguity”. Not planning for site visits or doing research on companies months in advance was difficult for me due to this trait. However, I think I have developed more flexibility, battling the basement of the disciplined trait.
Individualization as a strength has helped me get to know people beyond the surface level and appreciate one another’s differences. On this trip, there are twenty two people. In the city of Dublin, there is a population of around 553,000 people. It is nearly impossible to meet everyone and get to know them beyond the surface level. Also, being in such a large group, I have difficulty interacting with everyone. Sometimes it becomes overwhelming because I want to get to know people on this deeper level and there are so many of us.
The restorative trait leads to great planners, but potentially anxious and negatively-focused people. On this trip, I certainly have thought about a million things that could go wrong, even when it comes to crossing the street. I will say, I haven’t had much of a chance to do planning during this trip yet. I expect that this trait will become more visible when I am lead on the site visit to Amazon.
Empathy is a trait that allows you to relate to others. This is a wonderful skill to have, and as of yet, it has proved an asset in making connections with my classmates. Risks include me becoming too over-involved, but I think that I have worked on myself enough to know when to back off.
Overall, this trip has been a learning experience, on both a personal and educational level. Despite its short duration, the impact will be lasting. I look forward to everything I will find out about myself and Ireland.