Category Archives: Global Professional

Record number of professional placements in Dublin

BY DR. Caroline elbay // ADJUNCT FACULTY & internship manager, CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE

The increasingly popular Study Abroad Internship experience course (SAP 390) offered by Champlain Abroad Dublin continues to grow from strength to strength with a record number of professional placements this semester.   Apart from offering myriad opportunities to expand your networks and gain actual workplace experience in your professional field, students are also empowered in terms of intercultural competency through their professional engagement – a vital and much-sought- after skill by employers in an increasingly globalized world – and one which sets you apart from others.  Our host organisations in Dublin are consistent in their evaluations and praise of our student interns whose ‘Can Do’ attitude and professional commitment remains exemplary.

Rose Marshall (PWRT ’20) Champlain College intern with ShoutOut in Dublin.

Rose Marshall is currently interning with ‘Shout Out’, an education-based charity that focuses on LGBTQ+ advocacy, understanding and acceptance.  Rose explains how they: “mainly put on workshops for schools around the country together with workshops for teachers, social workers, and parents, mostly individuals who work with kids, though, they will sometimes be invited to work with different companies and their workers. 

So what happens at these workshops?

“These workshops go over the different identities in the LGBTQIA+ acronym, talk about how the students feel about their school’s level of acceptance of the community, and go over possible scenarios that can occur when it comes to people coming out or being LGBTQIA+”.

As well as facilitating workshops with ‘Shout Out’, Rose – a professional writing major – is also overseeing much of the organisation’s social media platforms and using her writing skills to communicate via Facebook and Twitter posts, writing press releases, and following up with schools after workshops.  In terms of professional development, Rose states that:

“Being in a new country and having to write for an organization that works closely with schools has really tested my ability to create pieces that will come across to those who receive it in the correct way.”

Alex Herter (PWRT ’20), Champlain College intern with Fighting Words

Similarly, the importance of effective communication and writing skills plays no small part at ‘Fighting Words’ where Alex Herter’s skills are being put to full use.  Established by renowned Irish author, Roddy Doyle, ‘Fighting Words’ is a creative writing center that works to foster the power of storytelling and creativity with children, teens, and adults alike.

 Alex explains: “When I take on the role of Writing Tutor during primary school workshops, I work with a group of secondary school boys on the “Book Project, helping them prepare an anthology of their own short stories, and I work with a volunteer to lead a Saturday session of Write Club that melds the game of Dungeons and Dragons with exercises that focus on the craft of storytelling.”

While ‘Fighting Words’ provided some initial training, according to Alex  “I have learned through doing at Fighting Words”.

On the subject of cultural differences between the Irish and American workplace, Alex states “I feel that in an American setting, I might not have been given this much responsibility this quickly. While I appreciate that the American work culture provides tremendous support to its workers, I feel that my independence and the trust that my supervisors have in me allows me to grow in confidence, skills, and abilities.” – a exemplary reflection of an organisation who tirelessly promote ‘The Write to Right’.

 

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Trip to visit Amazon Web Services

BY Dr. Renaat Verbruggen // adjunct faculty, CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE

Last semester I took my Global IT Ethics (CSI 320) and Computer Architecture (CSI 370) classes for a field visit to Amazon Web Services (AWS) at their new Dublin office – the Shannon Building in South Dublin just near the Grand Canal.

Champlain College students on their way to visit the Amazon Web Services HQ in Dublin

Matt Pye, Operations Manager with Amazon Web Services, hosted us. Matt’s talk began by explaining the history, background and current structure of Amazon. The founder – Jeff Bezos – despite starting by selling books from his garage, always saw the company as a technology supplier and not a bookseller. Matt then gave an overview of the type of Services (more than 1500 now) provided by AWS and how they allow companies such as Netflix to operate from the cloud and dynamically utilise extra capacity when needed. The list of services now is vast and also includes a specialised game development engine, secure authentication servers and dedicated platforms for the Internet of Things. One interesting fact was that the Amazon web selling sites are also hosted on AWS but treated as any other paying customer.

Importantly there is an AWS Educational Programme which provides free experimental use of AWS for student projects. He also described in-depth the Amazon approach to graduate recruitment and more generally the types of background research that applicants should do before attending any interview with any company. AWS currently employs 1700 people in Dublin and Cork and has released plans to hire 500 more over the coming years.

We were introduced to Bruce Shackleton from who is a manager in the Security division who spoke about AWS security and even answered GDPR questions. Finally we  had discussions about the use of AWS for the hosting of a start-up and its evolution to a multi-site cloud-based system the afternoon concluded with a question and answer session. It was fantastic to be allocated so much time and it was much appreciated. All this and a free lunch too! While he had to be circumspect, Matt forecast that there would be some very interesting announcements from Amazon at their annual get-together coming up in Las Vegas at the end of November, when AWS “take over” the town.

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Internships Abroad Expand Students’ Horizons, Both Personal and Professional

BY margot nelson, ’20 // PROFESSIONAL WRITING, CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE

It’s no secret that students at Champlain get internships, sometimes starting as soon as sophomore year. Internships and field placements are a great way to expand your professional network, get some hands-on experience in your industry, and build an impressive resume. Getting an internship abroad offers an invaluable opportunity, allowing students to become global professionals before they even graduate.

Photo credit: Nicko Clinton

When Nicko Clinton, Graphic Design ’20, got to Dublin, he was more excited than nervous for his internships at Park PnP and Krust, an online parking reservation company and a catering wholesale and bakery café, respectively.

“So far, I am in charge of creating marketing prospects for both companies, and designing promotional materials for Krust, including the graphics on their menus,” explains Nicko. “During my time here, I want to try more fine arts graphics for Krust in order to develop my art skills. I hope to build up my portfolio.”

As part of any internship abroad, students must take the Study Abroad Internship course, taught in Dublin by Dr. Darren Kelly.

“I’ve learned a lot about Irish etiquette that helps me communicate with my internship hosts,” says Nicko about the course.

“We learn about how we can present ourselves in the most professional ways to prove that we are going to succeed,” adds Malena Groves, Filmmaking ’20, who is also taking the course. “We talk about intercultural intelligence because we are trying to integrate into a culture we aren’t familiar with. It’s great because it helps us understand how we can improve in our internships and our futures.”

Photo credit: Lena Groves

Lena is interning at the Dublin City Intercultural Language Service creating a documentary to share the stories of migrants living in Ireland and learning English. She is also helping these students learn English from an American perspective through a mobile filmmaking class focused on creativity and storytelling.

“At first I was a little nervous because I wasn’t sure how the students would take to me,” she says. “Someone just coming in with a camera can be really intimidating, so I came in a few times before filming just to get to know the students and introduce myself. This helped them feel more at ease and more comfortable sharing their stories.”

One of the most important parts of her internship, to Lena, is the community.

“I hope to create some really nice friendships with the students,” she says. “By getting to know my students and learn bits and pieces from all their cultures, I can communicate their stories and make them accessible to everyone in order to show the great impact that migrants can have on a society.”

By doing an internship abroad, you’re not only becoming a global professional with a diverse, international network, but you’re also giving yourself the chance to experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make friends and connections you might not have had otherwise.

Does an internship abroad sound like the right choice for you? Applications are due by February 15 for all those interested in interning in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020. Click here to get started!

 

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Break out of your comfort zone and join a MeetUp

Hi, my name is Meghan Donovan and I’m a third year Computer Information Technology major at Champlain College. I have had the incredible opportunity to study abroad in Dublin, Ireland this semester, and I have been having such a fantastic time. Studying abroad means something different for everyone. I wanted to not only explore Europe, but to immerse myself in Dublin’s rich community. This was an extremely intimidating thought. How was I supposed to attend events as if I was a local when I am definitely not a local? This thought crippled me for my first two months in Dublin, and come November, I realized I had to overcome this fear in order to start doing the things I wanted to do.

Her+Data

Meghan Donovan in the mountains of County Mayo during Champlain College’s West of Ireland Tour.

So, I pulled up my MeetUp app and began searching for events. Fortunately, MeetUps are extremely popular in Dublin so there are a wide variety of events for everyone’s interest. I found the group Her+Data, a group designed for women in data technology to meet and share ideas and network. They were having an event at the Google Docks in Dublin, so I took a leap of faith and signed up, not really sure what I was in for.

I was nervous at first, but at the same time extremely excited to finally break out of my comfort zone. I found my way to Google, and checked in. I had never been inside of a Google office building before, and its modern architecture reminded me that this side of the city was a part I had never experienced before.

 

Meet-up setting at the Google HQ office in Dublin

I arrived to the meeting to find data industry professionals and students evenly mixed throughout the group. I even made a friend within the first few minutes. We were given free food (always a plus) and a half hour to network. Then, we all sat down and listened to three women speak about their projects and experience in the tech industry. Afterwards, I even got to meet one of the speakers, who was Director of Analytics for Eir (Ireland’s major telecommunications company) Overall, this MeetUp was successful because I got to meet industry professionals, visit the Google offices, and meet other data students that are living in Dublin!

Studying abroad is what you make of it

I believe that studying abroad is what you make it. For me, traveling through Europe is a big part, but I also want to feel as though I am a part of the city I live in. Volunteering in the community, as well as participating in a MeetUp has made me feel that I am absorbing into Dublin’s rich culture and community. While my time abroad may be ending soon, I am glad that I have been able to attend so many different events that have made me feel like Dublin is home. So for those who are preparing to study abroad, make a list of what you want out of your semester in Dublin. If you want to immerse yourself in Dublin’s community, I highly recommend getting yourself out there and breaking out of your comfort zone… I promise it will only do you good.

 

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Champlain students volunteers at ZeroDayCon

BY Patricia Sanchez, ’19 // International Business, CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE Being in Dublin this spring semester, Champlain College and the cybersecurity firm SmartTech247 offered abroad students the unique opportunity for volunteering at ZeroDayCon 2018. This annual international tech conference takes place at the beautiful Dublin Convention Centre and draws corporations as large as Microsoft and IBM. […]

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Have You Considered An International Internship Experience?

BY Kerry Cunningham, ’19 // Professional Writing, Champlain College

If possible, studying abroad during college is something everyone should try and do. Yes, Champlain is career-oriented, and it might make you nervous when they tell you to get an internship before graduating. If that’s your reason for not planning on studying abroad, fear not! Champlain Abroad offers an international internship experience! To reiterate Champlain’s website—not only does an internship offer an invaluable opportunity to build your professional skills and advance personal growth, it also offers a unique way to immerse your self further into, as well as encourages, understanding a different culture.

“Danielle Hazelton, Assistant Director, works with (from left to right) Aron Meinhardt (Producer), Michael Jacobs (Line Producer) and Jeremy Lee MacKenzie (Director/Writer) on short film Hidden Blueprints: The Story Of Mikey, expected to make its festival rounds later this year.”

But you don’t want to hear what Champlain’s website has to say. When asked about the process of applying for an internship abroad, Filmmaking major Danielle Hazelton ’19 said that there are a couple different steps you have to go through. First, you have to fill out your course schedule, including the internship course. “Once that’s on your schedule,” Danielle explained, “you’ll get an email asking you to prepare your application.

Part of that application is your resume and a cover letter. When you’re building those Irish resumes and cover letters, they’re different than the U.S. ones, so it’s highly recommended that you go to the Garden House to help get that taken care of.” Having a meeting with your career coach about interesting internships, interviewing methods, et cetera is a very important step in applying for internships or jobs anywhere. “You’ll usually hear back about a week or two before you head off to [wherever you’re studying], and they’ll let you know where you’ll be placed.” Internship placements are not guaranteed but the Dublin staff is doing their best to meet student requests. 

Danielle Hazelton ’19, on a hike in Bray during her study abroad semester in Ireland with Champlain Abroad Dublin.

Lots of students and people applying for internships are always worried about internships that don’t have them doing anything valuable, but Champlain does a good job at making sure your internship is worthwhile. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Danielle said. “I’m not treated like an intern or like someone who’s ‘Hey, go get me coffee.’ I’m treated like a member of the team, which is really great.”

Danielle is a production coordinator for a film and is given a lot of responsibility to help contribute ideas to the pre-production process, as well as getting to listen in on different meetings and discussing new ideas and concepts for the film itself. “During production, I’m going to be filming in Dublin, Wales, and Rome, so I’ll be going to three different places in Europe to be able to film.” Continue reading

Teaching Frost and Plath to Irish students

BY KATHRYN GESSER, SECONDARY TEACHER EDUCATION’18, CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE

Kathryn Gesser'18, Education, Champlain College

This semester I was one of ten Champlain Abroad students enrolled in the Community Advocacy and Inquiry class (EHS 300) provided by Champlain Dublin’s curriculum. Part of the requirements for the class was to complete a semester-long placement in a community facility. Some students volunteered at after school programs or other youth-centered organizations. As a Secondary Education major, I was placed in Mount Temple Comprehensive school in Clontarf, Dublin (where U2 went to school) to teach three classes and help facilitate a Literary Magazine editing team of students. Though it was a requirement for both the class and my major to complete these hours of student teaching, I was able to end the semester with a feeling of not only an academic gain and added experience, but a personal accomplishment as well.

 

Mount Temple Comprehensive SchoolAfter speaking with the head of the English department at Mount Temple, I was placed with the responsibility of teaching American Poetry – Robert Frost and Sylvia Plath – to Irish students. Being two of my favorite authors, I was initially excited to hear I would be teaching their work, while at the same time, intimidated by the challenge. I was sure that, being American, these students would have high expectations of me to know all about these American poets. The task came with the added notion of their knowledge being imperative to passing the English portion of their national Certificate Exams which all but dictated what colleges they’d be accepted into. The concept of these exams was brand new to me upon my joining the Mount Temple community. I must have spent an entire weekend in Starbucks going over lesson plans and analyzing poetry.

On my first day, I was introduced to many of the teachers in the English and Language Arts department. They gave me a true Irish Welcome, which I’ve learned by now includes many smiles, an offer of Tea, food or sweets of some sort, and a “You’re very welcome here!” The students, to my happy surprise, were just as warm and welcoming. They were genuinely interested in where I was from as soon as they heard my accent. I told them about myself and what we’d be doing for the next few weeks together, looking over poets, getting them ready for their exams at the end of the school year.

In the following weeks after that first day, I began to look forward to my early Wednesday mornings at Mount Temple. It was even a relief to me when the weekend came, not only because it was a small break from my own classes, but because I knew I’d once again be able to sit in one of the many amazing Dublin cafes and plan the lesson for the coming week. I thought to myself several times, ‘Can I really be having so much fun doing this? Isn’t this supposed to be my actual job someday?’ I was presented with a new perspective on what it could actually feel like to live each day in my career field of choice.

Mount Temple Comprehensive SchoolAfter looking back at my time in Clontarf, I am now also able to look forward on my future with less wincing and churning in my stomach at the sheer inevitability and closeness of next year’s graduation date. I have a better idea, thanks to my experience at Mount Temple, of what I’d like to do as a next step: continue my schooling and work with students who wish to be writers, in a college setting. This was a conclusion I may not have come to as easily, or at least not have had so much fun coming to it, had I not decided to study abroad in Dublin this semester. It made the trip over the ocean worthwhile, and I would recommend the class to any future study abroad students who are looking for a way to get fully immersed in the surrounding community of Dublin.

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Champlain Abroad students visit Amazon Web Services

blog-csi-320-2016On November 16th the Global IT & Ethics class (CSI 320) class went to visit Amazon Web Services (AWS) on the canal at Grand Parade in Dublin. We were hosted by Matthew Pye, Operations Manager and two of his colleague engineers one specialising in security and the other in game development in the cloud. Matthew’s talk began by explaining the history, background and current structure of Amazon. The founder – Jeff Bezos -despite starting by selling books from his garage, always saw the company as a technology supplier and not a bookseller. Matt then gave an overview of the type of Services provided by Amazon and how they allow companies such as Netflix to operate from the cloud and dynamically utilise extra capacity when needed. The list of services now is vast and also includes a specialised game development engine, secure authentication servers and dedicated platforms for the Internet of Things.

They also provide free experimental use of AWS for student projects. He also described the Amazon approach to graduate recruitment and more generally the types of background research that applicants should do before attending any interview. Amazon currently employs 1700 people in Dublin and Cork and has released plans to hire 500 more over the coming years. Finally after discussions about ways to prevent Distributed Denial of Service attacks the afternoon concluded with a question and answer session. It was fantastic to be allocated so much time and it was much appreciated. All this and free pizza too! As an aside the meeting took place on the 7th floor of the old Nationwide Building Society offices which was the previous home of their CEO Michael Fingleton and now contains pool tables and fantastic views across the City – changing times indeed.

Renaat Verbruggen
Adjunct Faculty
Champlain College Dublin

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Champlain Students Share their Dublin Internship Experiences

BY ZACH PAULSEN, PROFESSIONAL WRITING’17, CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE

There are many reasons to study abroad. At almost every turn it’s hard to find a downside. One of the most engaging opportunities offered to Champlain Abroad students is the range of international internship experiences.

8 Dublin students took advantage of this chance during the Spring 2016 semester, and the application process is part of your regular study abroad application. You need to work together with Champlain Abroad staff and be able to provide them with an updated resume as well as taking part in pre-interviews with the Dublin staff. Some students may even need to meet a potential host over Skype pre-arrival. Champlain staff will seek out suitable host organisations and companies on your behalf.

Champlain Abroad Dublin - Internship class Fall 2016

Champlain Abroad Dublin – Internship class Fall 2016. From Left: Laura Anderson, Jeffrey Zeleny, Bianca Roa, Jeremy Partyka, David Fiddler, Tyler Bedard, Meghan Neely, Justin Covey.

Take it from me, though, you need to be fairly proactive and focused when it comes to helping the Burlington and Dublin staff. I would have had an internship as well, had I not failed to see a few crucial emails over the summer. As long as you pay attention and make regular check-ins, the process will go smoothly.

Having said that, I am going to highlight the particular internships of some of my Champlain Dublin compatriots, Bianca Roa and Laura Anderson. Continue reading