Nicole Taylor is a Junior at Lasell College in Newton, Massachusetts. She is currently interning with Olytico as part of the CAPA study abroad programme. Nicole heads back to America on May 28th, 2016.
It is hard to find a place to start because it feels as though I just did – start my internship at Olytico. Knowing this was going to be my first professional internship experience, I had few expectations. My first day on the job was incomparable to any other ‘first day’ I have had. Immediately, I felt welcomed with an introductory pace and relaxed environment. The typical intern chores were always minimal. Alternatively, the team provided me with consistent responsibilities and helped me understand just how powerful social media is through discussion, research, and content analysis.
Coming to Europe and traveling alone for the first time gave me a feeling of enthusiasm – accompanied by some apprehension. That being said, this experience, in full, has been unbelievable. I chose to come to Ireland for a handful of reasons. Originally, at a young age, I was inspired by movies [P.S. I Love You and The Magdalene Sisters] because the scenery was breathtaking and the Irish accent was mesmerizing, but eventually that fantasy turned to reality. My reasons developed. I was drawn by more than culture and iconic, preconceived notions. What really lured me in was the chance to study abroad. Studying abroad is more than travelling and learning. This time abroad has completely transformed my perceptions and has allowed me to gain intercultural competence. I feel educated, reintroduced to an open-minded attitude, positive, qualified, and cultured.
Olytico has been one of the best educational prerequisites [for graduation] to ever land in my lap. I did not have to search high and low for a suitable internship – it was too good to be true. I feel thoroughly fortunate to have been placed with Olytico. My personality and character traits definitely added to the melting pot. Within my first two weeks at Olytico, I was conducting research for my supervisor, Stephen, drafting blogs, deleting unnecessary elements in the software programs, using the software programs to compile search results, analyzing social content emails, and several other tasks that advanced my knowledge of social listening and media analysis. I have come to learn how essential it is to try and understand the vast world of social media and the power it has to define a company or project conceptions of a brand. As the Olytico website states:
“Knowledge is power, but with an overwhelming amount of content and conversations taking place online at a rapid pace, you need understanding to harness that power.”
Aside from the technical insight I acquired from Olytico, I was able to tap into my strengths as a woman in the workplace and where I belong in the field of Journalism. Upon placement with Olytico, I was confused at how the structure of the company was going to be tailored to the concentration of Journalism in Communications, but with time and patience I recognized the importance of social media in all concentrations of Journalism. Social media is nearly everything in this day and age. It is a global network of people and brands; a collection of online communication platforms dedicated to content sharing. Using social media everyday is something my generation is accustomed to; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Google+, etc. While I am an avid user of those specified platforms, Olytico opened my eyes to more than posting pictures, tweets, and statuses. I was introduced to strategy – a skill that is both transferable and valued. Aside from strategy, I have learned subtle business skills and tactics that will benefit me in my future pursuits.
The privilege of experiencing an international internship has been unreal. The privilege of interning with Olytico has been a blessing. The team put their full support in me day in and day out. They never forgot I was there. They were completely engaged in the tasks I was given, they were interested to know more about me than just my Undergraduate major, they gave me reason to laugh and be positive, and they have provided me with some of the best future references. I was able to see first-hand how a start up business operates and what it takes to succeed; all hands on deck. I am happy to know I contributed to different parts of Olytico’s success. I would not change a thing about my experience with Olytico; satisfied would be an understatement.
Outside the office, I took classes at Griffith College which opened my eyes to intercultural education. I also spent much time exploring Dublin and surrounding places in Ireland. I even took the time to travel to several countries to gain more global understanding and see parts of the world I may never see again. That being said, Ireland is an amazing place to be – I do not regret this decision. There is so much to see in this beautiful country and my list would be never ending. Although I did not make it to every place on my bucket list, I fell in love with ones I saw and it only gives me more reason to come back to Europe in the near future. I have accomplished so much in four short months and I normally have a hard time saying it but I could not be more proud of myself. It takes a certain kind of person to study abroad and have the desire to take independence to a whole new level. People told me to make the most of this journey – I even wore a bracelet every single day that said “enjoy the journey” and I know this journey is one I will never forget. I am fortunate to have had this opportunity and I would not trade it for anything.
Olytico is far beyond what I hoped for from my first professional internship. Three months went by in the blink of an eye, but nothing will amount to this.
To the future interns: Good luck and do not let time pass you by; learn, appreciate, make memories, give, travel, live, and make the most of every moment.