Name: Kelly Coffey
Graduation Year: 2017
Major: Mathematics Major with a concentration in Actuarial Science and Risk Management
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Program: TU Dublin Summer Internship Program
Q: You decided to pursue an internship abroad, how did you choose between studying and interning?
The main reason why I chose to intern abroad rather than study abroad was that I could gain firsthand experience in my intended profession while also gaining a global perspective. Interning in Dublin would allow me to see what Actuaries do in Ireland compared to the United States. Also, the professional and educational experiences that I would gain from interning abroad would be beneficial to both my future career and my current education. I felt that interning would give me a more well-rounded study abroad experience through the professional, educational, and social aspects.
Q: Did your internship meet your expectations in terms of work and office experience?
My internship exceeded my expectations in terms of work and office experience. I was able to accurately complete tasks that I did not think I would be able to do without sufficient knowledge in the actuarial field. The employees took time to explain the task and provide me with the knowledge I needed. I gained an immense amount of knowledge about the actuarial field, business world, and social aspects of Ireland. This was my first internship and I feel that I learned so much about my intended profession and the country of Ireland at the same time.
Q: Did you have any unique, challenging or surprising days on the job?
Some of my most unique, challenging, or surprising days on the job occurred during my first week at my internship. Most of the difficulties came from trying to adjust to the culture, learning the new words/ phrases, and adapting to the high speed talking. Due to the fast paced talking speed, I had a huge challenge in decoding what the Irish were saying to me. There were times when I would be in a group of people and they would talk so fast to one another that I was convinced they were speaking another language. Also, when I was asked to do certain tasks, some of the words that were used were words I had never heard or seen before, so I had to consistently for clarification.
Q: You obviously got to play and travel a bit, too! What was the best part about being based in Dublin?
The best part about being placed in Dublin was that I could easily spend hours wandering around the city always finding a new place or travel anywhere within the country in about 4 to 5 hours max. There were certain days that my sister and I would go into to Dublin on a weekend afternoon to just explore, wander aimlessly, and somehow always find our way back to an area we recognized. I also really enjoyed that I could travel so easily from Dublin. There were airports, train stations, bus stops, and the tram that could take you all around Dublin and throughout the country of Ireland.
Q: Will this internship experience contribute to your future career goals? How?
I strongly believe that my internship abroad experience will contribute to my future career goals. In Dublin, I was an actuarial intern for an insurance company and as a Mathematics major with a concentration in Actuarial Science and Risk Management, my future career goal is to become an actuary. My internship displayed what actuaries do on a daily basis. Being able to experience another country’s mathematics industry helped to build my knowledge both professionally and academically which benefits both my future career and current education. I also made international connections within my intended profession that can help me to further my future career goals.
Q: Feel to add any parting words about your experience as an intern!
Take the opportunity to intern abroad! You not only learn about the country, but you also learn about your profession in another country. Being able to intern abroad will give you the benefits of studying abroad while also allowing you to globally broaden your professional connections.