The Embassy of Ireland – It’s just like home. Chris Day WIP 2012

Week 2 has come and gone and what an amazing experience it was! I arrived at the Embassy of Ireland on Monday morning to a warm, truly Irish welcome. Walking up Massachusetts Avenue (Embassy Row) was very inspiring and intimidating to say the least, but even before I entered the building, the tricolor outside made me feel at home. Ambassador Collins and his staff are a fantastic group of people who constantly want to help and offer advice. I am delighted to be interning as part of their outstanding team!

My supervisor set me up in my very own [snazzy] office and told me to familiarize myself with the Department of Foreign Affairs intranet system. I was put straight to work writing biographies for the 10 US Irish Presidential Distinguished Service Award nominations. I learned that’s easier said than done – researching people takes hours! On Tuesday, I was given my first intensely daunting assignment – a conference on my own, to take notes and report back on ‘Promoting Travel while Protecting National Security’. The meeting was packed with people, ranging from Homeland Security Officers to Department of State Officials and of course, me, the intern from Dublin. This week see’s the arrival of The Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Mr Simon Coveney to the States on a 7-day trade mission. It’s sure to be another remarkable week!

We had another round of passionate and motivational speakers and events. From the ultra conservative Heritage Foundation discussion, which was intense, to a casual sports day beside the Washington Monument – it was all a nice mix.

George Moore was one of these captivating and enthusing speakers that met with us. He is the founder and CEO of TARGUS INFO, an analytics IT company. When you go onto Facebook or Amazon and you see advertisements at the side that are directly aimed at you and your interests, THAT’S GEORGE. His business collects and reviews data, ultimately to decide what products you like or interests you have. It was fascinating to hear about, but even more fascinating was the fact that only last week he sealed a deal on an offer to sell his business for $.75 billion dollars. The one big aspect I took from his talk was about leadership; “We don’t need anymore managers in the world, we have plenty of managers, we need leaders”. I couldn’t agree more!

All and all it was another brilliant week in DC with so many events and activities that I could never write down. I constant have to pinch myself to check if these meetings and jobs are actually real or if I’m just dreaming. I’m still so thankful of this opportunity that I have in my hands and plan on working even harder next week to do the best I can!