Ever since we have landed in the US, I have been thinking about my time in Ireland and what I have taken away from it. I am incredibly grateful for the experience and valuable life-lessons that I was able to gain throughout our various site visits, I realized that this was a once in a lifetime trip considering I will most likely never be able to get that type of hands on experience again and for that I am very grateful. Throughout our visits, I have discovered very useful insights about myself and learned about various skills that will undoubtedly shape my approach to business in the future. Being able to hear from all of the employees from each of the site visits gave me a lot of insight on what needs to be done from now until graduation to set myself ahead of others, along with how I should view the business world and what to expect whenever my time comes to start in it.
One of the most significant realizations during my time in Ireland was the importance of embracing being uncomfortable. Being exposed to a different culture allowed me to challenge my original thoughts of Ireland and expand my understanding of the country. This newfound openness will positively impact my approach to business, as I understand being in situations where you are uncomfortable is where you really grow the most. The value of diverse teams and the different perspectives they can offer was another big realization to me. For example, when we toured Google and Microsoft it seemed like there was a massive focus on diversity and accepting various cultures. This can be very beneficial in the business world since different viewpoints are helpful when looking for different outlooks on a project/objective. Since realizing this, I will actively seek out and encourage diverse voices since I now realize the importance of them.
Another lesson I learned was the power of effective communication. Whether it was from the couple of tour guides we had, or if it was the employees from the site visits, they all seemed to have this innate ability to captivate their audience with their knowledge of whatever topic they were a part of. The first tour guide we had was especially insightful for this lesson learned. He knew so much about the history of Ireland that it was almost harder to not listen to him than to listen. This experience has inspired me to hone my communication skills, to become a more effective and influential communicator in my future business endeavors. I now know that if I am able to encourage stakeholders or executives whenever I start my life in the business world, I will be much more likely to grow. Being able to resonate in some way with whoever you are speaking with in the business world makes you able to connect in a stronger way which can make networking easier.
Lastly, and maybe most importantly, the time we had during study abroad reinforced the value of making strong friendships. Ever since Covid, I feel that it has been harder to make these strong connections. But during this trip I feel like I made a group of friends that I will stay in touch with for a long time. Sure, the visits and tours that we took were super informative and interesting, but the time I spent with the other people on the trip outside of our assignments will forever be my favorite part of the trip. I never thought that spending practically two weeks with a group of people could make you so close; I was wrong. Among all else, this is what I am most thankful for regarding my study abroad journey.
In conclusion, my study abroad journey in Ireland has been a very transformative experience that has shaped me in multiple ways. I have learned the importance of embracing new perspectives, stepping out of my comfort zone, and appreciating the importance of diversity. This newfound openness will positively impact my approach to business, as I recognize the value of diverse teams and the different perspectives they offer. Additionally, the power of effective communication has left a lasting impression on me. I aim to become a more influential and compelling communicator in hopes to engage stakeholders, inspire employees, and connect with people in general on a deeper level. Also, the close bond formed with the other kids of my study abroad group has been the best part of the trip. The friendships and connections I established have shown me the significance of collaboration and support, which will continue to influence my approach to business and personal relationships in the future.
One last shoutout to Meade and Phil, you guys were awesome additions to the trip and I wanted to say it was so nice having you guys there throughout our visits and adventures.