Doing an Internship abroad is more than just a way to see if you could imagine working and living abroad. It can be an unexpected eye-opener and a fun way to find new opportunities right in front of you. Patrick, our student of the month for Dublin recognises that Life is full of good surprises if you just stay open-minded and he has a very refreshing way to talk about it:
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background.
My name is Patrick, I am 28 years old and I am from Hattingen, Germany. In Germany I am doing my apprenticeship in a banking institution in Essen. I am an introvert but very kind person. I love to read books and to acquire new skills and knowledge. Furthermore I am very ambitious. I have two cats and I love to play with them when I come home from work. It is pretty relaxing, if it was a stressful day. If I am not reading or playing with my pets, I love to watch TV series or movies.
What sparked your interest in Office Management?
After my successful completion of secondary school I started my working life as a warehouse clerk. I soon realised that I got unlucky with this kind of work so I switched to a Vocational College for Economy and Administration and did my graduation there. At that point I noticed that office management fits well with my expectations of what I want to do for the rest of my life. I love to work in a neat and clean way and enjoy being in touch with clients to find the perfect solution for both sides, the customer and the company I work for. So I started working as an office assistant in a few companies with the goal to get an apprenticeship one day. Finally it worked and in 2016 I started working for the VON ESSEN Bank.
What was the best moment of your trip?
I don’t think there was one best moment, because the whole two weeks were the best moment. From coming to the host family, who treated me like I was part of the family my whole life, a special thanks goes to Marion and her family, to the work at Gary Daly & Co Solicitors, where I felt like I had been working there for a couple of years already. I visited all of the sights you can see in Dublin with the other interns of the Internship Programme. From the Phoenix Park to Trinity College, the Temple Bar, the Dublin Castle and many more. The Pubs with all the live music and most important of all: The kind people living in Dublin. Every single moment I could experience, thanks to ADC College, was my favourite moment.
What was it like at Gary Daly & Co Solicitors?
The first day I came to Gary Daly & Co Solicitors everyone welcomed me warmly and openly. I was integrated into the team from the moment I walked in, which made a lot of things easier, because I am slightly introvert. Overall I can say that they were the best colleagues I ever had, they are all really nice people and I will stay in contact with them. They said I should drop in at the office if I am going to visit Ireland again.
What were your tasks?
I had many and very different tasks. Most of them were normal office work like writing letters, answering the telephone and merging files. But there were a few other tasks I hadn’t done before at my work place in Germany like reception work and bringing clients to the meeting room for Gary. I had to pick up necessary documents from clients and important signatures from other lawyers. The highlight for me was to go into court all by myself, giving important documents to the barrister and taking notes from the trial for Gary.
You were nominated because of your great preparatory essay as well as the great feedback received from your work placement in Dublin and the project coordinators at ADC College. What motivates you in Life?
I think there is nothing special that motivates me in my Life. I think the little things give me the joy to go on and to push me to my limit every day. If you are healthy and lucky, have success and true friends around you it is motivation enough.
How would you compare your work placement to your work or school back home?
I think it is hard to compare the work placement to my work or to the school in Germany. The mentalities in both countries are too different as well as my job in the bank compared to the job at Gary Daly & Co Solicitor. While you mostly separate work and leisure in Germany, in Ireland you can talk with everyone about everything. In Ireland the people are kinder than in Germany. The biggest difference at work is the speed. While you have to work accurately and fast in Germany, you can slow down a little bit in Ireland and talk to each other while working. The work environment is much more comfortable in Ireland.
How has this experience inspired you?
It was a gorgeous experience and first of all I want to thank ADC College and Erasmus+ that they made it possible. I think I will travel a lot more after the internship in Dublin, because I want to learn more about the cultures all over the world. In addition to this I have to say that I was a little narrow minded before my trip, but this changed. I became a more open person who thinks more positively since I am back in Germany.
What have you learnt from this trip?
I was able to improve my English skills and I learned everything about the Irish legal system. Besides this I learned how it is to work for a solicitor. But the most important thing I have learned is to be kinder and more helpful to people that I don’t know.
What have you found most exciting about working and living in a new country?
It felt like an adventure to me, an adventure that was too short. I was in Dublin for two weeks but for me time flew away by the blink of an eye. The most exciting thing about working and living in Dublin was to learn more about the Irish culture. I really liked it and I have to say that I like it even more than the German culture. Everyone was friendly and helpful and this is what I want to take back to Germany.
What are your plans for the future?
At first I want to combine work and study after my apprenticeship with the goal to do my masters degree in business administration. We didn’t have a lot of time to see much of Ireland, except Dublin and I plan to catch up on seeing everything of this beautiful country, so I think my second goal is to get back to Ireland again for a holiday in 2019. I could imagine to live and work in Dublin someday. Further I plan to occupy a leading position in a company, maybe as a team leader, when I get my masters in business administration.
What would your advice be for students who are about to go on the Internship Programme?
The only advice I want to give to the students who are about to go on the Internship Programme is that they don’t have to worry about something they are afraid of before the trip. Just be yourself, give your best and everything will be fine.
Patrick 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.