Sarupriya Sadananthan is a 24-year-old from a small city in Germany called Tuttlingen. At the moment, she is working as a trainee industrial management assistant at an automotive supplier. In June, she travelled to Dublin to do work experience at McKenna & Co Solicitors, a project arranged by ADC College. Her supervisor Lisa McKenna was very impressed with her, saying that she found Sarupriya "extremely efficient, hardworking and diligent" and that she would employ her on a full time basis if the opportunity arose.
We asked Sarupriya about her experience in a completely new field of work and why Ireland inspires her the most out of all the countries she has been to.
What sparked your interest for business and administration?
It was in secondary school that I opted for a future in an office. I was always interested in business administration and economics - that is why I decided to do a traineeship.
How did you find the English lessons at ADC College?
They were very good. The lessons were different from our English lessons in Germany. We discussed different jobs, interviews, typical building blocks for a business letter and so on. I liked the way our teacher Pettine structured the lessons.
What was the best moment of your trip?
All of it was so exciting! For example visiting the Cliffs of Moher, Belfast - where I went to the Titanic Museum, the Giant’s Causeway, all trips to the coast like Bray, Greystones and Howth and of course exploring Dublin. I also got the chance to take part in the gay pride parade, which was awesome.
Unfortunately, I sprained my ankle during the second week and had to walk with crutches the following two weeks. But the situation didn‘t stop me to go back to work and go on all of the day trips I mentioned before. It also meant that I had to go by ambulance through Dublin and spent the whole day at the local hospital.
Furthermore, I did all of these things with my best friend. We had the chance to do our internships together in Dublin. It couldn’t have been better!
What was it like working at McKenna & Co Solicitors?
At the beginning I was a little bit frustrated as I have no experience of the field and didn‘t fully grasp the technicalities of the legal language. But my supervisor Lisa McKenna was such a nice person and took the time to help me. Working with her was so educational and at the end it didn’t matter that I wasn’t trained in law.
What were your tasks?
For example, I create files for new clients, scanned documents, wrote different types of letters, went on errands to the post office and the bank, answered the phone, created wills or other legal documents, wrote cheques and lodged them, and created a schedule of title deeds.
Your supervisor says you have been exceptional during your work placement. How do you think you achieved that?
Lisa McKenna has a busy work life and works very hard for the clients. You have to understand the tasks quickly and do everything very neatly. Sometimes she was out of office, which meant I had to manage myself and work independently. I tried my best to assist her in every way I could and I was very motivated to learn from her. I think we were a good match as colleagues and worked well together.
How would you compare your work placement to your work or school back home?
I work at an automotive supplying company, which is a very different kind of industry.
How has this experience inspired you?
This internship inspired me in so many ways. I liked how openminded and welcoming people were in Dublin. Lisa also inspired me and I look up to her a lot as she is very ambitious and professional. I am very excited to do more travel and explore other cultures and countries in the future.
What have you learnt from the trip?
You have to be polite and say “thank you” and “sorry” more than you do at home. Germans aren't as kind and polite as the Irish. Also I have learnt to mind my steps due to my sprained ankle!
What have you found most exciting about working and living in a new country?
The lifestyle in Dublin. I only stayed for four weeks, but it felt like ages.
What are your plans for the future?
Firstly, I want to complete my apprenticeship. I am thinking of going abroad after that and living somewhere else for a longer period of time. And who knows, maybe it will be Dublin!
What would your advice be for students who are about to go on the Internship Programme?
I have to say that everyone has to take this opportunity! You will learn so much about yourself and grow in ways you wouldn’t imagine. Don‘t have too many expectations and try to be openminded. Get in touch with new people don’t be shy. Do a lot of trips out of the city and take the opportunity to explore Ireland - it is such a beautiful country. Do some research as well. Learn about the country, your work placement and what kind of trips you want to do when you are there. It will save you lot of time if you plan your trip in advance. Last but not least, Google Maps will become your new best friend!
Sarupriya visited Dublin with our Internship Programme, a project eligible for funding from Erasmus+. We also arrange work experience projects in London. Don't hesitate to contact us if you would like more information about what we do and how to get funding. Call a Country Manager today on +44 2084249424 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.