MacKenzie Smith

Mackenzie Smith is an Art major with a concentration in Cinematic Arts and Media Production at East Carolina University. She was going into her junior year at ECU when she interned abroad in Dublin with The Dublin Institute of Technology Hothouse making videos for the start-up entrepreneurs in their program.

Why did you decide to intern abroad with Global Experiences in Dublin?

Mackenzie Smith - Global Experiences Dublin Participant

Mackenzie: I've always known that I wanted to study abroad, but I decided that interning abroad would be more to my benefit. For media production, I felt it was better to have real world experience when it comes to getting jobs. My older sister had interned abroad in Sydney, so that influenced my decision to intern abroad instead of study abroad. I found Global Experiences after doing some research and just decided on Dublin. Why not, right? I am very Irish, but that's not what made me choose Dublin. There was just something about Dublin that seemed different and more unique than all the other cities. It wasn't the typical 'big city.' Paris has always been the city I've wanted to visit, but, against all odds, I still chose Dublin. After spending a weekend in Paris while I was interning, I realized that I made the right choice. Dublin is a great city; it is a big city, but has a small city charm. When I left for my summer in Dublin, I didn't know what to expect. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, by I don't regret a second of it.

What made this experience unique and special?

Mackenzie and her friend in the streets of Dublin!

Mackenzie: The main thing that made this experience unique and special for me was the fact that I was in a different country. I was immersed into the Dublin culture by living and working there. After the first week, I felt like I had been living in Dublin for months; I was no longer a tourist. Having a routine of going to work every day, taking the Luas, and meeting my roommates for dinner made it feel like this was just my typical, everyday life.

How has this experience impacted your future?

Mackenzie: I've always been a big believer in the saying, 'life begins at the end of your comfort zone', and going to Dublin was definitely a big step out of my comfort zone. After coming home from Dublin, I really noticed a change in myself, both professionally and personally. Professionally, it gave me the experience of working in an office with businesses professionals and making videos for clients. I was able to learn about what I really want in a career and how I see my future in the media production field. Coming to Dublin and not knowing anyone helped my grow personally. I'm not the type of person to put myself out there when it comes to meeting people. So Dublin was a way to force myself to do that in many different situations. I had to find a way to deal with being in different situations and figuring out how to get around and meet new people.

What was the highlight of your experience?

Mackenzie: I don't think I could pinpoint a single highlight of my entire experience. If I had to pick, it would be all the opportunities we had to travel: Gelndalough, Kilkenny, Cliffs of Moher, Connemara, Kylemore Abbey, and the Ring of Kerry, just to name a few. There were a few organized trips with Global Experiences, but I took every weekend opportunity I had to travel both in and out of Ireland. Dublin was an amazing city, but having the opportunity to get out and explore the rest of the country, as well as other countries, was an amazing experience.

What is one piece of advice you would offer someone considering interning abroad in Dublin?

Mackenzie: My advice would be to go for it! It's going to be a great experience no matter what your internship placement ends up being. It's going to make you grow personally and professionally. Take every opportunity you have to travel even it it's just around Ireland. Dublin is an amazing city, but there are very different parts of Ireland outside of Dublin.

A beautiful View