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Connect-123 Dublin Internships
Liat Feldman, a Dublin native, grew up in Toronto and graduated from Glendon College, York University with a BA in French and History. Shortly after, she moved to Israel on a scholarship and earned a Masters in Education. Having lived there for 3 years, she decided to return to Canada but got side-tracked and moved to Italy and taught and managed English courses for four years. After too much pizza and wine, Liat decided to head to cooler climes and lived in Oxford for 1 year and then returned to Ireland. After a few years heading up English courses, Liat got involved with an organization promoting the value of studying and working abroad. Connect-123 allows her to continue and extend the experience to international students who want to work in her favourite city. Liat is an avid rower, educator, cyclist, foodie and citizen of the world.
What makes interning in Dublin a unique experience for participants?
Liat: While Dublin is a European capital, it is still quite a small city with a population of just over one million. With its position between North America and the European continent, Dublin is the European headquarters to some of the largest international companies, including Google and Facebook. At the same time, however, there are smaller Irish companies that offer similar services yet with their own unique way of doing business. Ireland is also a charitable nation, providing crucial services to underprivileged communities both at home and abroad. This gives interns the opportunity to work in many of the NGOs, who always require extra hands.
What can you tell us about the workplace culture in Dublin?
Liat: It is fair to say that the atmosphere is very relaxed. There is a social aspect to work life in Dublin, in that there are tea breaks, coffee breaks, drinks after work (Fridays). There is also a lot of teasing (slagging), which is the way how we show warmth towards a friend or colleague. And last but not least, there is a lot of swearing. Don't be surprised if the 'F bomb' is dropped frequently around the shop. We call it the Irish comma.
Do interns need prior work experience in order to apply for this internship? How does Connect-123 ensure a rich professional experience during this internship?
Liat:The internships are suitable for undergraduates and graduates, with little or no work experience required. It's really a matter of matching the intern's academic and career goals as well as their personality to the actual internship.
Connect ensures a rich professional experience by taking our time to connect the intern with the right host organization right off the bat. We take into account both the interests and skills of the intern as well as the needs of the host organization, to ensure that we are creating a win/win situation. And then we make sure to get written feedback from the org., and face to face meeting with the intern in order to make sure that they are making the most of their internship, and give them career and resume counseling.
What are some extra-curricular activities participants enjoy while interning in Dublin?
Liat: As pubs are historically and culturally the centres of social interaction in Ireland, we base a lot of our evening events at some of Dublin's many pubs and clubs. A lot of the tours that are available for tourists are also centred around the central pubs, including: The Irish Literary Pub Tour, The Viking Pub Tour, The Irish Musical Pub Tour, The Rural Pub Tour. I think you get the idea. There are other interesting tours to take around the city centre, including a visit to Kilmainham Gaol or The Guinness Storehouse. We would also encourage students to take day trips outside of Dublin in order to explore their adoptive country. There are daily coach tours to Kerry, Cork, Belfast, Giant's Causeway, Galway and even closer to Dublin, Wicklow, Glendalough.
What is one piece of advice you would offer someone considering interning in Dublin?
Liat: Just do it. Dublin is a lively and friendly city. People are so welcoming and companies love the enthusiasm and determination of our interns. This is an experience that you would regret missing.
Anything else you would like to share?
Liat: No matter where in the world you decide to do an internship, you will gain an invaluable experience that never leaves you.
Connect-123 develops and administers internship programs in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cape Town, South Africa; Shanghai, China; Dublin, Ireland; and Barcelona, Spain. In all countries, internship opportunities are hosted by local companies, non-profit organizations, schools, research institutes and health care clinics. In South Africa, study abroad programs are offered through the University of Cape Town.