The 2 weeks that we spent in Ireland felt extremely short, but were absolutely packed with information, lessons, and experiences. My one biggest takeaway from the trip was, “I’m not quite as smart as I think I am.” Now, all though this may seem self-deprecating, it is actually quite a positive. For starters, there are my peers. The trip got me connected to 19 other young professionals, all with tremendous experiences and ideas. Getting to know them was truly humbling and hearing their stories got me thinking of what I can do to push myself personally and professionally.
Aside from my peers, meeting the Irish professionals had a similar affect. Aside from the skill sets and work ethic many of these people possessed, what was truly inspiring was the pride they took in their country and how that reflected in their careers. For such a small country, Ireland has enough pride for the entire world. Every business we visited, including the large multinational companies, had a “Pro-Ireland” attitude. Seeing the specific government/semi-government agencies like Enterprise Ireland and Bord Bia further enforced this idea and challenged my perspective and opinion on the American system of government assistance towards entrepreneurship.
The idea of my perspectives on the American way of operating being challenged was not limited to government assistance towards entrepreneurship. Ireland has its own unique policies regarding corporate taxes, income taxes, Universities, and regulations many of these differ drastically from the U.S. I have often thought that, given the size of the U.S. economy, U.S. policy is the best regarding economics. However, Ireland has done extremely well in the past years and their success is something that has really weighed on my political perspective.
Overall this trip has been an amazing experience that has both humbled me and challenged my perspectives. There is no way I could have learned what I did from the classroom. I am very grateful to have met such wonderful people and to have learned so much.