Name: Griffin Bailey
Program: 2015 Spring Semester Internship in Dublin
University: Lewis & Clark College
Current Occupation: IT Associate
Did studying with FIE influence your worldview?: "My FIE study abroad trip allowed me to embrace the uncomfortable nature of travel and adventure through a very supportive means and made me feel more capable in novel environments. Splitting my time between an internship and classes facilitated a recognition and appreciation of those opportunities, both by providing contrasting experiences that complimented each other in their differences, as well as allowing myself to experience each setting in relatively moderated amounts. Furthermore, this program greatly enhanced my self-confidence and sense of self by providing a context in which my peers and I could explore a new city as either groups or individuals, then compare individual experiences and bond over mutual ones. While some of my counterparts already had a similar experience prior to Dublin, it was apparent that everyone benefited in their own way, and I consider it an irreplaceable component of my academic career.
One of my most salient epiphanies came directly from my study abroad experience, and it dramatically shifted the way I perceive occupational satisfaction. During my academic career I was able to see the fruits of my labor firsthand, be it a paper or simply having knowledge of a topic. Conversely, my work experience abroad was as a member of the Special Olympics team, helping coordinate participants and volunteers for events. The latter did not afford me the same immediate awareness of my efforts as did my academics, and I originally considered this a negative aspect of the job. However, when I attended the event I helped coordinate I realized my efforts had simply contributed to something much larger, something that would not have been possible without my work. This helped me understand the value of belonging to a larger cause, and the power of collaboration to make great things happen."