Leaving Ireland was bittersweet for me. I am writing this from my hostel in Amsterdam 2 days after leaving Dublin. I am so excited to continue traveling around Europe, but I definitely will miss the beautiful landscapes and vibrant culture that Ireland had to offer. I had an amazing trip full of company visits, tours, and sheep, and every day of the trip made me learn more about both the country of Ireland and myself.
Every aspect of the trip had some sort of lesson in it. Whether it was a site visit, an actual lesson, or just navigating with the group through the city, I felt like I was constantly learning new things. I learned a lot about networking, personal growth and branding for recruiting, sheep farming, and Irish history. The history of the country inspired me because of how passionate and determined Irish people are. Throughout their history, there is never a moment of giving up. Staying determined and always wanting the best for those who come after you is an important lesson and one that I truly believe in. I think that this trip has taught me that even if it feels like something isn’t beneficial to you in the present, there is a good chance it will change the lives of those who come after you.
Reflecting even more on my absolute favorite day of the trip, the trip to Kilkenny and the sheep farm, I learned so much from Rob Cullen (I mistakenly called him Rob Collins in my initial post) and his way of life. I appreciated that he learned how to do what his family has been doing for generations, but he made his own mark on the farm. Mr. Cullen gives tours and innovates many traditional ways of sheep farming, which provides the lesson that it is always important to make your mark. Mr. Cullen could have continued to do things the way his family always has, which would have been great, however now he has established a new way of doing things, and he will be remembered for how he changed some of the traditions of his family.
In a business context, I learned more in two weeks than I thought was possible. I think that the presentation that stood out the most to me was Ellie Doyle’s discussion of personal branding and establishing more than just a degree in a hiring context. Ellie taught us that employers care more about your personality and your ability to interact with others on a purely human level than degrees and grades. I have always been scared that my grades mean everything. I have had my struggles with school throughout my life, and Ellie proved to me that not everything is about school. I am going to try to focus more on my personal brand and the skills I have outside of the realm of school in the future when I am stressed about how I look to employers.
Lastly, I learned that not every company os the right fit for everyone, and that is okay! There were some visits that I loved, and that I really could see myself working at in the future, and some that I didn’t love so much. I have always believed that I should just accept the best job that is thrown my way, but this trip has taught me that it is just as important for me to feel like I would fit in with the company and its culture.
This trip was a once in a lifetime experience, and I can truly say I can’t wait to get back to Ireland!! Thank you for following along on my journey! Slán a chairde!!