Tinkara’s Erasmus+ practical adventure in Ireland

Graphic Design

Impressed by the experience of completing the first year of the Media Production programme, I decided to do 200 hours of practical work abroad and take advantage of the Erasmus+ programme. The epidemic made the whole process of finding a company abroad difficult. My first choice was Germany, where I had already done an internship in high school, but due to the difficult situation this was becoming less and less possible.

As I spent last year in Ireland as an Au pair, my family invited me to spend the summer with them again this year. When I told them I was looking for an internship company, the mother in the family immediately suggested the possibility of an internship with a company of their acquaintances. It is EML, a company that offers card payment solutions in various forms (gift, value, rewards, etc.) that are secure, flexible and give both companies and individuals more control over the payment process.

It helps businesses to spread their brand among their customers and adapts to their needs and preferences in the field of card transactions. They build mobile, virtual and physical card solutions used by the world’s largest corporations, process trillions of dollars in payments each year and operate more than 1,100 programmes in North America, Europe and Australia.

The company is located in a place called Bray, a coastal town in the northern county of Wicklow, Ireland. It is located approximately 20 km south of Dublin city centre on the east coast and is a popular tourist destination, especially for day trippers from the capital. I immediately contacted the school to check this possibility and was not only confirmed but also given the opportunity to benefit from the Erasmus+ programme. I told the person in charge of the company, who assigned me a mentor who is the marketing manager of the company.

My mentor and I agreed via Skype on a tentative internship programme, the necessary documentation and the timeframe for the placement. Working closely with the people in charge at the school, we arranged all the necessary paperwork and I was already on my way on 4 July 2021.

My first appointment at the company was the next day, where I was given a detailed introduction to the company, the staff who were in the office – some of them work from home – and the content of my tasks.

We agreed that in the first phase I would redesign the power point bases used to present their company to clients, which allowed me to work partly from home. My mentor and I are in regular contact so that she can monitor my work, and we meet once a week for a longer period of time to review what we have done and plan the next steps of the work.

The work is very interesting, but it doesn’t allow me complete freedom, as I am limited to the criteria of the corporate identity. But the corporate identity is very detailed, which makes it easier for me to design the individual bases.

Despite doing my internship abroad during an epidemic when there are not many international students, I found the opportunity to get to know the young people who live in this environment. I meet them on a weekly basis and we spend my free time together. Time in Ireland passes by very quickly and we still have a few projects planned, such as designing gift cards and designing a promotional flyer for LinkedIn.

Even though it’s summer back home and most of my friends are spending their holidays by the sea, I don’t regret this experience in Ireland, because as well as learning new skills and experiencing the culture, I’m also improving my English.

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