Wow. It’s quite hard to believe that we’ve been back in the good ole’ U.S. of A for over a week now. It truly feels like I just left Ireland. Even harder to believe I’ve been surviving with barely any clothing for that long! To make a very, very long story short, after attempting to stop my luggage from leaving Newark, it still went to Pittsburgh, and I have yet to go back and retrieve it. So, the clothes I wore to the airport and my dad’s closet it is!
Aside from our unprecedented travel time (that I am sure everyone spoke about in their blogs), the trip to Ireland was truly one of the best experiences I have ever been on, both from a professional and personal standpoint.
Professionally, I learned quite a lot more than I anticipated taking away from Plus3. We learned so much about the history of Ireland and their economy, which plays a huge role in how they do business. It was cool to take the things we learned from the classroom in Pittsburgh as well as teachings from our various tour guides, and actually see it in action in the companies we visited. Dublin is definitely not the first city that comes to mind when I think of global tech hubs, but we quickly learned that it has become a major player in the tech world, through encouraging both start-ups and existing tech giants to have offices there. This influx of corporations in Dublin has played a major role in the newfound success of the Irish economy, and it was amazing to see it from an inside perspective.
Going on the site visits not only gave us an in-depth look at what different companies do, but also how they operate, what their culture is, etc. This inside look was one of the most beneficial parts for me. I’ve honestly never been in an office space, let alone get to hear from employees about their company and see where the magic happens. My internship last summer was completely remote, and that made it extremely difficult to connect with people and get a feel for what type of job I would like to have in the future. Through these site visits, I learned so much about what I will now look for in a company, as well as what I will not look for. For example, Thinkhouse is the type of company I would absolutely love to work for. They focus on collaboration, creativity, and being on the cutting-edge of things. Through going to their office and speaking with their employees gave me a new perspective on what I’d like to do with my career and was great to see how companies like theirs function and operate on a day-to-day basis. Though I did not expect it whatsoever, all of the site visits were truly priceless experiences to me.
Personally, I will take a lot away from this experience. Going to Ireland has always been a dream of mine, and it’s crazy to think it’s already come and gone. I came into the trip not really knowing anyone, but I have left it with some great friendships that will undoubtedly continue in Pittsburgh. I enjoyed getting to know everyone, and conquering Ireland together. As Hillary encouraged us to do, we “blossomed where we were planted” and did some amazing things along the way. I will forever cherish my time in Ireland, the people I met, and the memories I made!
H2P and H2Plus3!
Best thing about being home: guaranteed ice in my water.
Worst thing about being home: no fruity pancakes for breakfast.