Class, Eating, Eaton, and Getting Lost in Dublin

First, and most importantly, the sun came out yesterday! Another busy day in Ireland, first, we headed off to a lovely little café that’s been handling our breakfast needs while we’ve been here. Next it was off to visit our hosts at Griffith College, a small university by U.S. Standards about 3000 students. It was an interesting little ‘Uni’, we were told when we got there it used to be a prison as well as an army barracks . There are even still old wrought iron bars on some of the windows. While at Griffith they lent us a classroom so we could have a space to debrief on our trip thus far. As we reviewed where we’ve been and what we’ve seen it was clear to me just how lucky we are to be on this trip, we have crammed so much in in just the first week.

One of the nice things about the Griffith campus is that its surrounded by a lovely little neighborhood, filled with all types of restaurants and cafés. Unfortunately, my stomach hasn’t made the transatlantic journey very well and I haven’t been able to experience much of what the Irish have to offer culinary wise. We stopped at a French café yesterday that was serving these beautiful, large, fresh chicken sandwiches, I just watch my friends eat them though. Sad face. Although, I did have a croissant and a latte. They hand a cute little outdoor space to enjoy our meals and take in the sunshine, 5 stars for sure. I’ve also be drinking a lot of ‘White Coffee’ over here, I’m not actually quite sure how it’s prepared compared to a latte but it’s a solid choice, f.y.i. The first night we spent in Ireland, before my stomach betrayed me, I did have a traditional Irish dish; bangers and mash. Basically, it’s sausage and mash potatoes, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about my meal, mostly because I pretty much only like my mom’s mashed potatoes, but I felt I should at least try a traditional Irish plate. In the end I cleared my plate, the sausages were fantastic, and the mashed potatoes were okay, definitely not my mom’s. I guess I can forgive them for that. That’s basically the last real meal I’ve had though. Again, sad face.

After lunch we headed over to the world headquarters for a little company called Eaton. This company touches aspects of pretty much everyone’s lives yet most people has never heard of them, but at 20 billion dollars revenue last year they’re no small potatoes. In short they are in the power management business, not power generation. They make the devices that move power from one place to another, whether its a hydraulic pump in tractor trailer or the circuit breakers in your house. The focus of our discussions with Eaton today was on innovation, and how they are trying to change the world by changing the way we think about and deal with power. After a introduction and short presentation by Eaton’s Center for Power Innovation, a newly established team at Eaton tasked with moving Eaton in to the future, they put us through the paces with a whiteboarding exercise.

As an accounting student I really don’t thinking about innovation all that much, with my studies I’m mostly learning how to recognize, record, and track what has happened. We aren’t so much concerned with predicting the future, we have well established practices and procedure that don’t change much and when they do, it is slowly. So, when they first tasked us to come up with some ideas on how to innovate a process, managing resources and finances I really wasn’t sure how much I would be able to contribute to the task. Once we got started though I realized that the education I’ve been getting across the disciplines of business at school gave me a base in which I was able to build off of as we kicked around ideas, and I can confidently say I pulled my weight. Our teams presentation ended up being picked as the judges favorite. When it comes to innovation in the accounting space, I do know we continue to move into the automated age. I really don’t have to any desire to be on the bleeding edge of technology, but I do think its extremely important stay current and aware of where we are going. This is why I’ll be picking up the Data Analytics for business program at Pitt this coming year. I know that its important to keep up, because I certainly don’t want to be left behind.

After the visit to Eaton I unintentionally went on a two hour walking tour of Dublin. The rest of the group decided to do the Guinness tour, seeing as how I don’t drink it really wasn’t something that interested me. I figured after two days I had a basic lay of the land and I shouldn’t have any problem finding my way back to the apartments. Wrong! I started off going in the right general direction, but as I walked from one neighborhood to the next I started second guessing myself. I should probably note, I opted out of paying for a data plan while overseas, which means I don’t have access to google maps. I almost forgot what it was like before we had constant access to this amazing app. Anyway at some point I decided that I needed to turn south. As it would turn out that would be a bad choice and I ended up walking the completely wrong direction for at least 30 minutes. Opps! I will say that I saw a variety of neighborhoods in Dublin on my walkabout, and the more I saw, in the sunlight no less, the more charming it has become. If I hadn’t been so concerned with finding something familiar to orient myself I would have liked to further explore those neighborhoods. Maybe I’ll be able to find my way back, hopefully on purpose this time.

I post this blog sitting on the bus as we travel through the Irish country side, on our way to the Cliffs of Moher. The sun is shining and its a very pretty ride, and I am missing out on it by staring at my screen, so here I leave you.

Final thought: Please, please, please sun smile on us at the cliff. Its the one place I REALLY want to take pictures at!

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