Dreaming of Dublin

Looking back on my two weeks in Ireland, I have many fond memories. Within tjose memories, I learned so much, both culturally and professionally, and what I learned has developed myself into a stronger professional and a better individual.

The tech industry in Dublin truly blew me away. Companies like Google and Microsoft had breathtaking headquarters buildings, and it was easy to see all of the strives towards innovation taking place there. I found it really interesting from a historical perspective how Ireland’s history has led to this tech boom. After years of conflicts and emigration, the government lowered tax rates for businesses, attracting many big companies to build HQ in Dublin. Since then, young professionals from all over Europe have flocked to Ireland, positively impacting the country’s economy. However, raising rent prices and gentrification in downtown Dublin has led to some native blue collar workers struggling to make it by in Dublin. Frankly, I did not know the full extent of Ireland’s political and economic history before this trip. When we toured the financial district with Dr. Kelly, his insights opened my eyes to this and helped me understand the global impact of things such as the large Irish-American population. The history is undoubtedly important in today’s business landscape and these issues may not be understood without the historical context that I have gained on this trip.

While historical context is a vital part of business dealings, business culture is equally important. While I did not expect to many differences in American vs. Irish business culture before the trip, I did pick up on some during the trip. While I, and many Americans like to stick to a regimented schedule, the Irish are more laid back about scheduling. This was uncomfortable for me at first, I was able to relax and go with the flow. Also, Irish business culture emphasizes making meaningful connections through asking people that you meet questions about there personal life to form a stronger bond. I felt that I made meaningful connections with professionals on this trip. Overall, I like this concept and think we should adopt this more in the US.

This trip has given me a greater perspective as a professional in many ways. I hope to adopt some of the networking practices that I learned to make myself stand out as I pursue jobs after graduation, and make personal connections with other professionals. Likewise, I learned a lot about myself on this trip. The Irish way of “going with the flow” was a good lesson for me. With the business of the semester and having a strict schedule, it was refreshing to take things with a more relaxed perspective. Flexibility was important to have on the trip with all of the changes that occurred, and I felt like I developed that skill significantly from day 1 to day 14. I also think the cultural takeaways are incredibly important. Exposing myself to a new culture and getting outside of my comfort zone will ultimately help me gain a greater global perspective and become a better person.

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