Considering doing an internship abroad? Find out what Ellie is learning while interning at the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland and the benefits of participating in an international internship in Dublin!
Hello everyone! In today’s blog I will be discussing the internship experience I have had while abroad with CAPA. I will share with you why I chose to do an internship, where I am interning, the internship class that CAPA provides, and the benefits of having an international internship. I will also share with you some of the things that I have learned during this process thus far. I truly do hope that this blog can help you to make the decision to apply for an Global Internship as well!
If you have been following along with my blogs from the beginning, then you might know that my decision to study abroad was quite challenging. However, once I made the big decision to study abroad (as many would say, the best decision of my life) it was time to start preparing and planning for the logistics of my 3+ months abroad. One of the main reasons I chose to study abroad with CAPA was because of the opportunity to complete an internship. As a rising senior, I knew that the more job and interning experience I had the better, so deciding to complete an internship was a no-brainer for me!
Although I knew that an internship was something I was interested in, I was not entirely sure what details it entailed. I had a lot of questions such as, where would I be placed? How would it compare to my prior internships? Would I be interning with other Americans? How would CAPA prepare me for this new and unknown experience? Etc. I was quite lucky to have the resources and contacts through CAPA to get all my questions answered with no issues, in fact I even had some input in where my internship site would be!
My view on my commute to work. I intern in Temple Bar Area which is one of the most well known/visited places in Dublin.
Prior to arriving in Dublin, I was informed that there was a place for me to intern with the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland. I was given an overview of the non profit, as well as a tentative document explaining my job description for the 3 months. In addition, I was quite lucky in having some background insight due to the blog that a former blogger wrote about her experience as an intern with the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland - linked here.
This is where I spend most of my days at my internship. My supervisor, Birch, has a lot of pride in her space and encouraged me to make my desk my own as well!
You might be wondering how I was feeling once I arrived in Dublin and knew that my internship was beginning soon. Luckily, before I even started on my first day, I was already prepped and introduced to a lot of what would be to come by Darren, a CAPA professor who teaches our internship class once a week. Prior to our first day we discussed some key differences we might realize in the workplace compared to the U.S. We discussed the fact that we should be prepared for our supervisors to treat us like full blown employees, the emphasis on building a personal relationship before a professional relationship, the fact that our coworkers might run on a different sense of time than we do in the U.S, and so much more. This masterclass definitely helped calm my nerves before my first day and also helped prepare me for some of the cultural differences I may encounter.
Our internship class is comprised of the 8 students who are all interning at different places across Dublin. Since our class is quite small, we have the opportunity to meet for class at different restaurants, coffee shops, and other unique places. One of the many purposes of our weekly class is to discuss our stories from our sites with others that are going through similar but unique experiences as well. The internship class is quite beneficial for me because it gives me the chance to feel a sense of relief and to feel understood when I hear that other students are also struggling with certain aspects of working in a different culture.
I chose to complete a 6 credit internship, which means that I intern for 20 hours a week, as opposed to the 3 credit internship which requires 15 hours a week. Although it is a big commitment, I was encouraged to do so because the benefits of completing an international internship cannot be beat. The experience that I have already gained from an internship in Ireland goes unmatched to my prior jobs and work experience due to the fact that I am working in a foreign country. We have been meeting weekly and discussing different aspects and key points that we can hit on during an interview to show employers that the skills and experience that we have been exposed to not only benefit ourselves, but are sure to have a major impact on a future company or employer as well.
It was great to finally meet some of the people that I had heard so much about!
In closing, the opportunity to have an internship in Ireland has broadened my horizons in so many ways. I feel so blessed to be a part of a program that encourages us to not only try new and sometimes frightening experiences, but to share them with our classmates and professors so we can all learn from them together. Thanks again, CAPA!
I put together and ran a Speed Pitching event where directors were able to pitch their TV show ideas to RTE members. Hopefully by 2021 one of their ideas will take form on TV. I can’t believe that I got to be a part of such an amazing event!
Ellie LaFountain is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2019, sharing her story in frequent posts on CAPA World. A Media & Communications major at Ursinus College, she is studying abroad in Dublin this semester.
Ellie's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.