Despite the cheesy title, it is one hundred perfect true. I went into this trip with little to no knowledge of Ireland, a semi confident business mindset and a few friends. NOW, I have a whole new outlook of business, ten plus new friends and a new potential favorite spot in the world(for now).
Although we were only in Ireland for two weeks, I feel like we’ve accomplished a months worth of traveling, obtained a semesters worth of business knowledge and a lifetimes worth of memories. I started our trip slightly sleep deprived(because of the time difference we were awake for over 24 hours), and ended it the same. On our last day I felt as if I had to squeeze everything in at least one more time before we left and returned home to slightly more polluted sidewalks and duller greens.
My last day consisted of an insightful site visit to Food Cloud, my last bus ride, (probably not but) my last time getting lost with Declan in the somewhat confusing streets of Dublin, an amazing European dinner and 3 am suitcase stuffing- I couldn’t have asked for a better last day. Most days in Ireland consisted of the same amount of franticness, roaming around and fun but NONE of the 13 days were boring. We were always on the move- whether it be running out of Stay City with a chocolate croissant in hand, chasing after buses, or forgetting my walking shoes and having to run around in my uncomfortable business heeled booties- it was always a fun type of crazy!
Being thrown into a foreign city with a new group of people was scary but it allowed me to explore my true self. Not only did I embrace my tourist side, but also discovered a part of myself that loves travel and is itching to see more of what the world has to offer. I found myself embracing Irish culture, singing and dancing with locals, and loving Guinness. Now, as I sit at my desk back in New Jersey, I find myself missing our “family” meals at any and every local pub, where we’d talk with locals over a pot of beef stew and fish and chips- our favorite go-to meals. I can confidently say that my newfound circle of “besties” made my study abroad experience truly unforgettable. One core memory that I will forever hold onto is our group plunge into 40-degree waters at an exclusive swimming area on the coast. The scenery was truly breathtaking, unlike anything I’d ever seen before. The weather was exceptional, the locals were extremely friendly and fun to chat with, and our dinner at the Fish Shack was collectively agreed to be the best meal of the trip- all together it was THE best day.
Additionally, I adopted a whole new way of thinking when it comes to business. I initially thought that the Cliffs of Moher and the Irish scenery would be the most valued aspects of the trip, but it turned out that the site visits and lectures held a greater importance. Typically I’m not one to be overly excited by attending lectures, but with the assistance of a Redbull, I was able to retain almost every word and learn from them. Particularly, Rob Cullen’s speech stood out to me as he honed in on the small yet significant components of business. Despite being capable of carrying a conversation with older individuals or superiors, I would often feel a sense of uneasiness during interviews or presentations. However, Rob made me realize that interviewers, professors, and bosses are people too. Everyone starts somewhere, so why not play by your strengths and use your personality first, and then tackle the business aspect later? I also discovered that I actually enjoy the “business casual/formal” look, so maybe it won’t be so bad rocking the blazer, dress pants combo for my future careers!
Overall, thank you Ireland- for giving me forever friends, a whole new outlook on business, and another country to check off my growing list of the most amazing places in the world!