In his first post, Brandon thinks through his past travel and internship experiences as he prepares to study and intern abroad in Dublin this spring semester.
I have traveled abroad before, but never for such a long span of time and never alone. I have been to Mexico, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Grand Cayman, and Costa Rica. All of these trips were with family and typically lasted, at most, two weeks. I have always wanted to study abroad since high school because I see it as a chance to enrich myself further and see the world in a way that would be otherwise impossible.
When else can you go abroad and experience being a student, a young adult, in a foreign country? I am especially excited to become immersed in a new culture and make local friends outside of my study abroad group.
My family has always supported my desire to study abroad, which I am extremely grateful for. My mother was originally nervous about the idea of me going, but eventually warmed to the idea and is now very excited to come visit me following the end of the semester. My family sees it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the world outside of the United States during one of the most formative periods of my personal growth, and were overjoyed when I was accepted into the CAPA Dublin program. My friends were a bit less enthused, but were very supportive of my decision to go abroad. They were happy for me, but sad that I would not be around for the next semester.
While abroad, I will be taking part in an internship at Food Cloud, a recently-created organization based in Ireland dedicated to eliminating food waste by connecting food retailers with surplus foodstuffs to local charities. I will be working on the business management side of Food Cloud rather than with food chain collection.
Food Cloud created a smartphone app through which stores with excess, but perfectly edible, food can upload a description of the food and be connected to charitable organizations that receive notifications and carry out food collections. In my opinion, Food Cloud has addressed an important issue facing modern-day society (food waste) with a forward-thinking solution that eliminates both an environmental and social ill. It is a win for everyone, as the store is able to donate to their local community and shed their leftover stock, while charities have access to a constant supply of fresh food to give to those in need. Food Cloud is expected to expand immensely over the coming year, with a recent growth already underway in the United Kingdom and plans to further expand the number of donating partners.
In order to prepare for this internship, I have brushed up on my Microsoft Excel skills, which I have been told are critical for the position, and educated myself on the issue of food waste and how Food Cloud is working to eliminate it. I would like to apply the interpersonal abilities I developed at my past internship at the Worcester County District Attorney's Office and my drive for helping the common good at this internship. I look to gain valuable work experience from an up-and-coming organization, which entails more insecurity but greater reward, and to realize my passion of fighting for the cause of environmentalism within the sphere of ethical business.
I hope you have enjoyed my first blog post! Next post will be written upon my arrival in Ireland, and I look forward to bringing you along on my journey abroad.
Brandon's journey continues every Friday so stay tuned.