Reflecting

I’ve been here one month and one day. I’ve put off the reflection post as long as I could. The time is going pretty quickly – I’ve worked over 120 hours, visited 2 nearby towns, 2 castles, and the ruins of a monastery, walked into city centre about two dozen times, successfully used a Celsius oven with no discernible symbols twice, worked on three different books/projects, made friends, and seen an old man with muttonchops…

…like these.

So, let’s take a look back at the month, shall we?

Work
The good: Great coworkers; new job experience (the alumni project, meeting representatives from other universities); getting exposure to a new school, different work environments, and new programs; and getting to drink so very much tea.
The bad: I’m not really feeling challenged yet, mostly because I’m still not exactly sure how to fit myself into the office. In our meeting, my supervisor assured me that I’m being incredibly helpful, and I know as far as the alumni project is concerned, I’m an asset. But I’m a temporary intern, and they have two or three people like me every year (another one starts tomorrow, actually), so I’m kind of having a low-self-esteem case of feeling expendable in that regard.

Ireland
The good: I learned trains, buses, maps, grocery stores, Euros, and some idioms; I get to follow my own schedule; four or five people have asked me for help/directions, which must mean I at least look like I’m fitting in
The bad: I feel like an outsider often, and I have pretty much no social life aside from my awesome coworkers.

IE3/the internship process
The good: IE3 has been incredibly helpful, and they worked hard to find me a place when a certain nearby island decided to change their rules. Simply being in Ireland and participating in this internship is a great opportunity no matter what comes of it.
The bad: …not much, actually. I mean, it’ll be bad if I come home and never get a job ever and wind up hanging with street bums in Portland, but I think that’s extremely unlikely.

Personal
The good: Learning resiliency, prioritizing, confidence (asking for help, getting involved with work and small talk/conversation); writing a lot; not get mugged or even harassed
The bad: Still no social life…and it’s been brutally lonely a couple times. I still get easily discouraged, particularly at work, if things don’t go well right off the bat.

So overall – things are good. I’m making good use of my time here and learning new things and seeing amazing sights.

My goals for the rest of the internship: challenge myself more at work, don’t be afraid of failure, and don’t get cocky while traveling.

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