My days in Ireland are counted – unfortunately, living and working abroad and my internship at Careertrotter comes to an end and I’m heading back to Germany soon. Before packing by bags in this lovely city (which are much heavier now due to the great shopping here in Dublin) I’d like to share my experience with you. Just one short remark in advance – living & working abroad is a unique experience that everybody should make at least once in their lifetime.
Why did I decide to work abroad?
Well, I always had the desire to spend a few months abroad and to experience new cultures and because of that I chose the study program “International Relations and Management”, which included two semesters abroad – one theoretical and one practical semester – living & working abroad without losing any time during my studies – Jackpot!
I decided to spend first my theoretical semester in a lovely French city close to Paris and after working on – what felt like 100 documents, questionnaires, apartment requests and bureaucratic stuff I was already sitting in my car on the way to France.
Studying & Working Abroad - Here We Go!
After setting up my things in a tiny room and getting to know other Erasmus - I began to choose my classes (all in French by the way). I was ready to start my new daily life in my new home for 4 months. From early on I had to realize that French lectures are totally different to German ones: no lecture notes – no documents – only oral presentations from the professor - of course with a local French accent. To be honest I took me some time to get used to this different type of lecture but in the end, everything turned out well and I passed all of my exams.
I am so happy that I chose to sit a class known as ''intercultural competence'' where I learned about the understanding of time and I must say, it didn't make much sense until I experienced it for myself in another country. For instance, my fellow French Students and my professors did not consider punctuality as important as I do because for an exam we all had I was 15 minutes early - typical German - and I started getting nervous when the professor didn't arrive on time whereas the other students were familiar with these circumstances and arrived late too.
It was around February that I had my first break, what would be the first thing to do when you live in France? Of course, visit the beautiful capital. Well I didn't do that, I flew to Ireland.
Why? - to be honest, I have no idea but it turned out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made. I quickly fell in love with Ireland and especially with Dublin. At this point in time, I didn’t know where to spend my internship abroad but this question was then answered promptly. Back in France I sent a lot of applications for an internship in Dublin and after a few days Herbert got in touch with me. Just a short time afterwards everything was organised, I finished my semester in France successfully and enjoyed a nice and warm summer back home in Germany.
Adventure abroad no. 2 – Living & Working in Ireland
In August I was already sitting on the plane again and when I arrived in Ireland, it felt like home immediately. When I look back now, my second day in Dublin was actually the one where it rained the most during my whole internship – it poured like from buckets, the streets were covered with water and the first thing I did here in Ireland was buy a rain jacket – “Welcome to Ireland” that’s what I thought. Just to make sure, in general the weather is not that bad in Ireland as every German person expects it to be. Of course, there is some rain but also a lot of lovely, sunny days and to be honest: only because of the rain and wind this island is so green and beautiful.
Before starting my internship abroad I was a little bit scared of only making coffee, sorting files and spending my time at the printer but on my first day of the internship at Careertrotter I knew that this won’t be the case at all and that I will get serious and responsible tasks to do. As the “Marketing & HR Intern” I had the chance to get an insight into two different areas. My lovely colleague Kellie showed me different marketing activities and explained important marketing tools to me – starting from the use of keywords, Google analytics, social media – all the heart could possibly desire while living & working abroad.
Furthermore, I received 6 weeks of recruitment training in my internship at Careertrotter. On the second day I, have already been thrown in the deep end and had my first screening call with a candidate. Herbert’s statement ‘’make as many mistakes in the first days as possible’’ was calming. Not only the screening of candidates, also several reference checks and the interview preparation of candidates were part on my internship. After a few weeks, I also got the chance to see how far I can get with one of candidates in the process and who expected this to happen – I made my first placement – Yaaay! – but afterwards I had to dance with my colleague Maria, who also made her first placement the same day on the bustling Smithfield Square in Dublin. A really funny experience in my internship in Ireland.
Careertrotter is planning to grow and an office will be opened in Germany in 2017 & I had the chance to carry out part of the research on that project. To be honest at the beginning of the research I was quite lost and wasn’t sure which steps need to be taken in Germany in order to open an office there. I dealt with several topics e.g. the different legal entities, the registration in the commercial register, the German tax- and social contribution system, and many more things that Careertrotter need to take into consideration when opening an office in Germany. What did I learn from this? Well, I think I could nearly open my own office now with all that knowledge.
One of the greats things about living & working in Dublin is the cultural diversity – I had the chance to work in an international team and to live in an international apartment, with a Brazilian girl and two Mexican guys. Making new friends in Ireland is definitely easier than in Germany and for me as a German person it was quite weird at the beginning when random people started having small talk with me at the bus stop, in the pubs and in the supermarket – common in Ireland – never happening in Germany - I have never met such an open-minded and outgoing nation as the Irish.
Another important part of living & working abroad is the leisure activities and Dublin had a lot to offer. Each week there are a number of events, tours and trips which I really enjoyed: Belfast, Galway, Wicklow Mountains and as I am a huge Game of Thrones fan I also participated in the GoT-Tour to several film locations. Furthermore, I am really passionate about football and to bring a small bit of home with me to Ireland I still supported my favourite team “Bayern Munich” in a local pub – of course in my red jersey. On the weekends, Dublin offers a lot of different events and concerts & I spent several nice evenings in one of the beautiful pubs in town. Living & working in Ireland has a lot to offer.
Don’t forget about the famous pre-Christmas season in Ireland – I’m really glad that I had the chance to experience that special season in my internship. The Irish are simply crazy about Christmas. A countdown until the Christmas lights in the main shopping streets are turned on while wearing Christmas jumpers – impossible in Germany – a huge event in Dublin.
I will return to Germany definitely with mixed feelings – I will miss the city and my lovely colleagues at Careertrotter but I’m also looking forward to spend time together with my family and friends at home. I guess back in Germany you will find me from now on most likely in one of the Irish pubs.
Living & working in Dublin – it was a pleasure.
Ireland – I will definitely come back!