One thing I definitely wanted to do during my college career was to study abroad. However, I never expected Ireland to be the place to do so. Coming into this trip, my expectations for Ireland were pretty low. I barely knew anything about Ireland and what it has to offer from the business side to the cultural side. I came into Ireland with an open mind and the ability to embrace my surroundings.
This was my first time traveling outside of the country. The whole day of traveling with a layover in Charlotte, North Carolina drained my energy upon arrival bright and early in Dublin. After that the unforgettable experience began. The first stop to walk the trails of a mountain with amazing views of the water and the city. Followed by a multitude of famous tourist attractions in Ireland from the walking and bus tour of Dublin, day trip to Kilkenny, trip to Galway, Cliffs of Moher, Wiklow Mountains and more. On top of that the site visits to companies like Google, Microsoft, GEC, Docusign, FoodCloud, and Thinkhouse. All of these amazing opportunities really opened my eyes and expanded my perspective on different cultures and a new side of things. Especially by going on this trip knowing little to no one and having to do everything with a new group of people I have barely met before, it allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and do things I would have never thought before.
Even though this trip was short and only lasted 2 weeks, we were able to accomplish so much within such a short timeframe as basically everyday was jammed packed with activities. This trip has taught me so much about myself as I heard stories from Darren and our guest speaker Rob Cullen. Some of the talking points they emphasized from networking and climbing your career ladder were really interesting and something that I consider to be invaluable. This journey that I was able to embrace has really gave me a transformative experience both professionally and personally. From essentially being thrown into the fire of a new country and seeing how Irish people adapt to the Irish culture around them to seeing how Irish companies operate compared to the U.S, it has taught me so much about myself that I would have ever learned in a classroom. Learning skills such as communication, networking, and working in teams was really impactful during my short stint in Ireland.
To be completely honest with you, I wanted to back out of this trip last minute because I missed my family and hometown friends a lot. I am so glad that I actually went on this study abroad experience and did not stay home as I trusted my gut to explore and adapt to a new environment. During these two weeks, I was able to meet some incredible people that I am happy to call some of my friends. The friendships, bonds, and connections that I made during this time represents the importance of building relationships and connections and is definitely something I will continue to expand on with my approach to business in the future.
Lastly, I would like to end this off by giving a special thanks to Meade, Phil, and the entire CAPA team for making this experience possible. None of this would have been possible without your entire help and support. Looking forward to seeing you around campus and I will try my best to pay a visit to your office next semester to catch up. Thank you!