Work experience is a great way to boost your CV and give you an advantage over other candidates when it comes to applying for a dream job. If you’re looking to improve your English, an internship is an ideal way to boost your language skills and gain experience in an Irish workplace. At Babel Academy, we have some great tips and resources to help you find your ideal internship – plus we chat with an intern to find out her real experience of interning in Ireland.
Ireland offers a number of internship programmes through the social welfare system (www.welfare.ie) but for the foreign student looking for work experience, an unpaid shorter internship might be more suitable. These can be found through several websites including www.connect-123.com, www.eliabroad.org, www.theinterngroup.com, www.xperience.ie and https://ie.indeed.com. Simply Google “Internships in Ireland” to find more.
When it comes to interning, it’s worth remembering that you are providing work in return for experience; it’s not “free labour”. If possible, talk to people who had previously interned in your chosen company to find out how they treat interns and what you can expect to learn. Interns also have basic employment rights, such as protection from excessive working hours, adequate breaks and rest periods, protection from harassment and discrimination, fair procedures and holiday leave. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel your basic rights have been infringed.
Meet a Babel Academy Intern
Patricia Garcia, from Spain, has completed an internship with Babel Academy of English (Ireland). She shares her experience and offers some job tips and advice for those considering working in Ireland or doing an internship here.
Why did you decide to come to Dublin/Ireland to work?
I decided to come to Dublin because it’s a great place to live in. Multinationals have their headquarters in this city so there are better professional opportunities here than in my country.
Why did you choose to do an internship?
I chose to do an internship because I think experience is one of the most important things that recruiters consider when you are applying for a job position.
How did you look for/apply for internships in Dublin?
I think the best way to apply for a professional job or internship is online. I consider indeed.ie the best website to find internships but now I would use Linkedin too. There are a lot of websites to apply through.
Why did you choose your current internship?
The first thing that actually attracted my attention was the fact that it’s a start-up (I believe you will learn more in an start-up than in a multinational company). The second point that kept me interested was the industry. It’s a very competitive sector and dynamic, always changing, students come and go...
What are the advantages of doing an internship?
The advantages of doing an internship is the fact that you are learning everything from scratch and people take into consideration that you are new so there is not the same amount of pressure as there would be if it was a proper position. I think what you can get is the fact of working in an English-speaking environment and learning all the vocabulary and related business terms as well as gaining experience in a professional field.
Is there anything people should watch out for when applying for/accepting internships?
They might watch out for those companies that only want free employees and they don’t care about the intern or if they are learning or not.
How do you think people can get the most out of doing an internship in Dublin?
You shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand something (remember you are there to learn from them). They know English is not your first language so don’t think twice before asking them to correct your writing or your speaking skills, they would prefer well done work rather than bad written work.
Thanks for the wise words, Patricia!