Tag Archives: Emily Mazzara

Emily Mazzara on her international internship with Books Ireland

By: Emily Mazzara, ’21 // Professional Writing

As part of study abroad with Champlain College, one of the many opportunities you can take advantage of is working an international internship. In the year of 2019 alone, 25 students applied, interviewed, and finessed their way into internships with companies and organisations in Dublin. It’s a huge opportunity that will not only look good on a job application later down the line, but will also teach you many valuable skills. I’ve been asked to share my experiences on what an international internship in Dublin might entail, how it differs from American internships, and some of the projects I have gotten up to.

Where am I working? 

My internship this semester is at Books Ireland, a literary review and news magazine. Books Ireland focuses on publishing all the up-to-date news on Irish published, written, and interest books. The piece of the magazine that makes it unique is the comprehensive list of Irish published and written books called First Flush

Cover of the Books Ireland November/December 2019 issue

What have I been working on? 

I have gotten to participate in and work on a myriad of different projects since I started working for Books Ireland in September. I would list them all here because they have each impacted my experience in a different way, but I’ll stick to the highlights. For the November/December issue of the magazine I had my hand in three different articles. I got to contribute to the first flush by writing short 30 word descriptions of the books that came in from publishers. I wrote an 800 word piece on the fiftieth anniversary of the bookshop and publisher Veritas Bookshop. The piece focused on how the company has changed and evolved over the years. I got to go in and interview the head of marketing for the publishing part of the company in order to write the piece. The last major project I got to work on was writing the copy and doing the design for a book catalogue for Wordwell and Eastwood publishing. Wordwell is the parent company of Books Ireland so I was brought on to do the project for them. 

 

What is the most frustrating part so far?

I have been incredibly lucky and haven’t had very many if any frustrating things happen. I think the biggest frustration I have come across is that I have not been able to attend all of the events that my internship has invited me too. Classes and other things have been keeping me quite busy outside of my allotted internship days. I just wish I had the ability to attend and see everything they have on offer.

 

What’s the biggest difference between and Irish internship and an American one?

The biggest difference that I have noticed is the workload. In an average American internship you will be placed on one or two projects for a three to four month period and that would be all you would do in that time. Here, things get turned over pretty fast, so I have had to speed through a few projects that I wished I had more time to work on. The other big difference is in how the higher-ups interact with the interns. Everyone is much more casual about both their speaking manner and how they ask their employees to do tasks. They will never be as bossy as you can see American bosses be. They are more likely to ask you kindly if you wouldn’t mind doing something “if you have the time” than they ever would be to directly ask you for something to be done. They will also be vague in their directions. The bosses expect you to be able to handle a certain level of work coming into the internship and will not spell things out for you every time. 

 

What have I learned about my career from my internship that I didn’t know before starting?

I have learned a lot of valuable information and skills from my internship so far this semester. The one thing I learned that stood out the most is how to market a book in a crowded market. Wordwell produces beautifully crafted and written books on Irish history, but Irish history is a very crowded market in Ireland. There are many competing publishers how create books in the same genre but with a higher budget. What I have learned through this is how to find and make contact with the niche audience that will be the main buyers of the book you are producing. 

 

Final Thoughts:

I have done nothing but enjoy myself during this internship. I cannot recommend doing an Irish internship enough. Not only will you have the chance to meet some really cool people and make some amazing contacts, you will also have the chance to learn something about how your future industry runs halfway around the world. 

 

To keep up with Champlain Abroad’s programs this semester and beyond, be sure to follow @ChamplainAbroad on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

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Up the Dubs!

Up the Dubs! The crest of Dublin GAA

emily mazzara, ‘21 // professional writing, CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE

Every country and culture across the planet has a sport that brings people together and connects communities. In America it’s football. In most other countries it’s football (or soccer to us States people). In Canada it’s hockey eh. As I found out during my first few weeks, Ireland’s sport is football, but yet another variation than the two I have already mentioned. Now, I have gone from not knowing this game existed, to having played it and cheered on the Dublin home team in the national finals all in the span of two weeks.

On Friday September 30, Tony, Champlain Abroad’s Student Life Manager, took a group of us out to a Gaelic Games club to learn about Irish sports. While American kids are playing soccer, football, and baseball at age five, Irish children are learning to play hurling, Irish football, and handball. These three games are the backbone of community pride all across Ireland. A few of the older club members very patiently taught us how each of the three games are played before releasing us to duke it out in a match. Suffice to say, they probably had a good laugh or two at our expense. 

Champlain College students lined up to learn the rules of hurling. Photo credit: Emily Mazzara ’21.

Alongside teaching us about how the games are played, one of the club’s coaches also explained the cultural significance to the sports. Unlike in the US where players are bought and traded like the collectable cards their pictures are on, in Ireland the only team you are able to play for is the one in the county where you grew up. If a player is asked to join their county’s team it is considered an honor to be a representative out on the field. But the biggest difference of all…players aren’t paid. Every athlete has a year-round day job, on season and off. Because of these two facts, people are extremely invested and proud of their hometown sports teams. It is less like cheering for a group of athletes in a game and closer to the pride felt when watching a group of warriors win a battle. The loyalty and dedication of both the team and the fans is intense. 

The classic group photo! Happy Champlain College students after a day of learning and experiencing gaelic games.

All of this learning about and experiencing of the games helped to prepare me for going to watch the Gaelic football national finals that Sunday. The game was between Dublin, our honorary home team (Up the Dubs!) and Kerry. Almost the entire Champlain group went down to a local pub to watch the game out in the community and get the full experience. If you think your dad is loud when he shouts at the football players on the TV, he is nothing compared to the Irish when their team is one point down and overtime is running out. It was incredibly fun feeling like a part of the action, even as a Dublin transplant. Attending the Gaelic Games outing helped me to better appreciate going to the match later because I not only knew how the game was played, scored and won, but how important it was to the people of Ireland. It’s an experience I cannot wait to have again when the rematch game is played in two weeks. UP the DUBS!

 

To keep up with Champlain Abroad’s programs this semester and beyond, be sure to follow @ChamplainAbroad on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

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