First Time for Everything!

6:30 am came way too soon. Katie, Quinn and I decided to step out of our comfort zones and hike around the peninsula of Howth. The morning was off to a little bit of a rough start. We got on the wrong bus so it took us a little longer than normal to get there but we eventually made it. Now I’m not much of a hiker so this was a little out of my comfort zone, so I wasn’t quite prepared to hike the hard trail, which was 6.2 miles, but my goodness was it worth it. The views we’re stunning and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky so imagine my surprise when I got home and had a horrible sunburn… Who get’s a sunburn in Ireland?! Me… We all had a wonderful time and felt very accomplished once we made it back.



This trip has been full of firsts. We made our way to the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) to learn how to play Handball, Gaelic Football, and Hurling. These sports are played all over the world but are most commonly played in Ireland. We spent the whole day learning the rules and fundamentals of each sport. I’ve grown up playing sports but nothing like these. Handball reminded me almost exactly of racquetball except without the racquet. They use a small soft ball to hit it with across the room. Hurling was a challenge. We used helmets and sticks for that and spent a long time learning the basic moves. We continued this for a while and it’s safe to say that my future in hurling is not looking too bright. At the end of the day we played a game of hurling against each other and it ended up being so much fun regardless of how bad I was at it.

Once we finished our day up at the GAA, we made our way over to Croke Park, which is where Gaelic Football and Hurling is played. The stadium holds around 85,000 people. Our tour guide explained to us the dynamic of the fans. Wherever you’re from is where your loyalty will lie when rooting for a team. If you ask where someone is from you can guarantee that’s their favorite team. We got a tour of the locker rooms and made our way up to the very top of the stadium. Our tour guide told us a story about how years ago he went to a final with his dad and someone offered them 1,600 Euros for their tickets and they declined- that’s how much some love their teams!




Cultural Differences

06/20/16 – 6/22/16

I’m amazed at how quickly this trip has gone by. I’ve learned so much over the course of this trip. We continued to learn more about Ireland with a lecture from Professor Sean Cassidy. He is an economist who explained to us about Ireland’s identity and the global impact/ why the cultures attractive for U.S. companies. He expressed the positive and negatives of the Irish society (for example, the people can be easy going, talkative, flexible, friendly as well as too self critical).  The lecture offered extremely valuable information and he gave me a better knowledge into the Irish culture itself. One reason Ireland is such an attractive culture is due to the fact that so many people come from Irish decent and there is so much accessibility to the government and responsiveness of government agencies.

It was a really eye opening lecture about our culture differences as well as learning to adjust to different perspectives and ways of life that people around the world have grown accustomed to.

One of the coolest local things I’ve gotten to be apart of on this trip was attending Ukulele night with Ms. Terrell and Dr. Leflar. It was just a giant jam session of local players. They had a large book of songs and about 50 people were playing the same song all in unison. It was very crowded but so much fun to be apart of.

Throughout the week, we continued with another business lecture. These lectures are extremely beneficial to helping us understand why things are the way they are in this country. Our professor presented on the women of the 1916 uprising and how their involvement in the uprising was beneficial/ a major improvement for the justice of women’s rights. Many people were torn between putting feminism or nationalism first. 77 women were arrested for their involvement in the riot but they were seen as major influences in the advancements of Ireland.

After the lecture, we had some down time to go back to the dorms and relax for a couple of hours. That night we attended a play called The Wake at the Abbey Theatre. This play was unlike one that I had seen before. It portrayed a women struggling with her own internal battles and the prejudice she receives from her peers. Art is a great way to address difficult issues/ complicated topics to the public. It offers, especially through acting, a better understanding of what someone might be going through. You get to see the raw emotion and pain. This play didn’t end with a happy dramatic ending. It was more about leaving you to wonder and think about how it was going to end. This play was an eye opener to be open to people and things that might be different and to avoid judgements because there’s too much bad in the world to worry about what other people are doing with their personal lives.


The Adventure Continues

Bloomsday was an interesting one. It’s celebrated every year on the 16th of June. The day consists of tributes to the Irish author James Joyce and excerpts from his book, Ulysses, are relived and reread. It’s not really celebrated by the whole community but by people who really enjoy Joyce’s literature. Those who do participate get really into it and dress up in these old fashioned costumes and over the top hats. We celebrated at The Bailey where they gave everyone there very own Bloomsday hat to enjoy the celebration with.



The rest of the day was filled with exploring and roaming the city. Towards the end of the day we wandered into The Duke and Helen, Annie, Katie and I found our new food obsession. BANOFFEE PIE. Every time we went out anywhere we looked to see if the restaurant had this. It was wonderful.  IMG_1348

We continued to explore the sites of Ireland with an “Extreme Ireland Tour”. Our first stop was at the Powerscourt estate in Enniskerry. It was a beautiful mansion with over 60 bedrooms known for it’s beautiful gardens. It looked like something you only see in magazines or movies.


We had many more stops throughout the day which included St. Kevins early settlement- “The Monastic City”. It was said to be founded in the early 6th century. It was located in Glendalough. The views were breathtaking from the the huge mountains to the to the beautiful lake.

Glendalough Valley

This day was really about embracing the beauty Ireland has to offer outside of the city. It was breathtaking to get the opportunity to see the places we got to see.

Pit stop at the Wicklow Mountains. If it wasn’t so windy and cold I would have sat there all day. The pictures will never do it justice, it was the most beautiful place I have ever seen. 

Lets Get Down to Business


This week was packed with so many activities. We started off our Monday with a lecture on the Irish economy from Dr. Alessia Passagnini in the Quinn School of Business at UCD. This lecture provided us with information on the European Union as well as Ireland’s economic impact/struggles. Some important information we learned related back to Ireland accounting for .9% of the EU’s population as well as before becoming apart of the EU, Ireland depended economically on farming. Although, according to our slides, nowadays global exports as well as hi-tech industry help support the Irish economy. The lecture was FILLED with tons of useful information. All of us left there feeling like we really got a taste of the history and understanding of the Irish economy.

Later on that day, it was time to head over to Ernst & Young! On our way over there I was definitely nervous. While I am not an accounting major I had no idea what to expect and going to one of the big 4 accounting firms was an intimidating thought in the beginning. I was so worried about whether or not I was going to be able to work in this type of environment and if I would even understand what was going on. As we arrived we were put in a large room with all of the other EY interns. We took a seat waiting to be told what the plan was for the day. We found out that we were all going to be competing against each other and be split up into teams of around 9 people, but our teams had to be a mixture of Arkansas and EY. The competition was based off of a case study where we had to analyze different scenarios and decide which would be the best for a company looking to expand. we had about an hour to analyze and put together a powerpoint to present to the crowd. Our team worked very well together and we came up with some great ideas, it just turned out that we didn’t quite have enough time to really organize our powerpoint as well as we would have liked. But the experience itself was a great one. I learned a lot about working with complete strangers and time management as well as what it would be like to be given a project like that and to have to present it to what could one day be a Board of Directors.


Some of the interns in this photo have become some great friends! They were all so kind and showed us around town. At least for me, I felt like this is what studying abroad is all about. It’s about getting a hands on education in places you wouldn’t be able to experience in your home country as well as making friends and embracing different cultures for what they are.

On Tuesday, we made our way over to the Glasnevin cemetery. This cemetery has more people buried in it than the entire population of Ireland (which happens to be around 4.6 million). As we were walking around you could tell how much respect the Irish have for their deceased, especially O’Connel, as well as Michael Collins just based off the flowers still left on their graves. These two have a lot of history built up between them.


That night we were off to watch the Riverdance at the Gaiety Theatre! This was one of my favorite memories from the trip. The Irish Dancing and singing throughout the performance was amazing. The talent was unbelievable to watch. It provided a traditional look into Irish Dance as well as incorporating a modern spin on it. Watching the show made me wish I didn’t have 2 left feet. Below is a picture of the Gaiety Theatre.


The next day we continued with our second stop at Deloitte. I was so impressed with the people and culture there. My ears definitely perked up when they said they accepted people with different majors. The day consisted of another competition, but this time it was all of our study abroad group on teams competing against one another. The competition was not what I had expected.

We were on teams of 3 and there were 4 parts to the competition with 15 minutes to complete each section. My team began at the analytics station where we had to use a computer program to decide if implementing a program to teach undereducated people would be beneficial in a certain area of town by gathering data on a multitude of things. Next, we moved on to tax. This station required us to determine whether or not certain companies involved in different types of situations deserved tax breaks- this was determined by if they met a series of constraints, which is what we were required to figure out. The next stage of competition was the ‘As One’ challenge. It was our job to pitch to “representatives” of the Rio olympics on behalf of Deloitte and express why we would be their best option for handling their financials and logistics. This was challenging because of the time constraint but we managed to put together and present our ideas. Our last stop of the competition was Forensics. We had to decode a message but first had to figure out the key. The message solved was “those who never make mistakes never tried anything new.”

Once the challenge was over we were a bit relieved. It was all non-stop and almost exhausting. It was a great experience and something I’d feel more comfortable doing if I was ever thrown into that situation again.

It was fun to get a taste of what goes on everyday for those working at these firms. The experiences at both were really unique and beneficial. I feel like this type of real world experience is allowing us to see what it would be like to works for these types of firms one day in the future and to allow us a glimpse at what we may or may not like.



Seeing the Sites

IMG_0245Boredom has definitely NOT been a problem on this trip. This city has SO much history; there’s tons to see and hopefully enough time to do! Here’s a picture of the infamous Trinity College. Did you know that this college was founded in 1592? I have such a hard wrapping my head around that, and yet there are so many places around this country that are just as old if not older. Walking and talking with the locals you can hear in their voices how much pride they have for their country and it’s history. Their kindness and knowledge is inspiring.IMG_0376This summer abroad wouldn’t be the same without the incredible people who are on it.  Our professors and my fellow students are always up for adventure and making the most out of any day/situation- let’s just say meeting the 10,000 step fit bit challenge has not been difficult for a single person on this trip.

We’ve explored the sites such as the Dublin Castle, The Guinness Factory, the Hills of Tara and the Trim Castle. All of these sites have been amazingly fun and educational. However, I think one of my most memorable days would have to be going to Causey Farm. Here, we were thrown into the Irish culture where we learned some traditional Irish dance and played the Bodhran (which is like an Irish Drum), while also learning how to bake traditional Irish Bread– the recipe includes: 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of brown flour, 1/2 tsp of baking soda, 1/2 tsp of salt, 3/4 cup of milk, and 1 egg. IMG_0548

The real surprise came when we went bog jumping!! To be honest I didn’t know what a bog was before attempting to jump in one, so if you’re like me, I’ll give you a quick definition- “an area of wet muddy ground that is too soft to support a heavy body.” These were used hundreds of years ago almost as a refrigerator. Towards the bottom of the bog the temperatures are drastically cooler, so those living in the area were able to make things like butter and seal them shut to preserve them and use them later on. When jumping into the bog it’s like quick sand except with mud, you have to make sure you jump with your feet in the air and land on your back or you’ll sink and have to dig your legs out (speaking from personal experience). Also make sure to bring a change of clothes due to no shower and an hour bus ride back :).



My City for the Month!!

While thinking back on this week I can’t help but feel extremely fortunate that I have this opportunity. The very first day in town was a rough one. Running on (literally running) 36 hours with no sleep, the days have been filled with hustle and bustle. But, this city is already winning me over with it’s beauty and charm and it’s only just begun! One of these days my navigation skills will improve, hopefully soon!



Let the Adventures Begin

Ah can’t believe this is real! My name is Mallory and I am so unbelievably lucky to have the opportunity to study abroad in Dublin, Ireland from June 4th- July 3rd with Dr. Leflar and Ms. Terrell!!! I’m from Little Rock, Arkansas and I am a soon to be senior at the U of A (yikes). I attend the Walton College of Business while pursuing a degree in Retail Marketing with a concentration on Supply Chain Management and a minor in Political Science. Ever since high school I’ve had a passion for travel and trying new things. I had the opportunity to travel abroad 4 years ago and it made me realize how much there is to experience and see. Growing up in the United States has been an amazing experience and it’s my home but I personally feel it’s important to immerse oneself in different cultures if given the chance (so that’s what I’m doing!).

While thinking about this trip I hope to gain a better sense of independence and know that I’ll be alright a month away from home.  If Researching Ireland one will quickly realize how much history this country holds as well as the variety of activities it offers, whether it be from attending a show at the Gaiety Theatre to walking the Cliffs of Moher. Preparation included 3 or 4 classroom meetings that allowed us to explore poetry as well as traditional Irish sayings, movies and their historical events. This trip will also allow me to learn in an unfamiliar environment from unfamiliar people. The combination of school and travel would test anyone’s concentration but I’m confident that the mixture of the two in this beautiful setting will make it all worth while.

I’ve alway thought about what it would be like to live in a city after graduation where you don’t know anyone and have to completely start over. I feel like studying abroad will give me a small taste of that feeling. I come from a very big/close family and being in an unfamiliar city for a month can be a nerve-racking thing. But what I must realize is that a large amount of people are wanting to experience the same thing and I shouldn’t let the fear of being far from home affect my dreams of traveling and learning from people I would have never gotten the opportunity to learn from had I not taken the chance.

Throughout this trip we’ll have opportunity to visit places like Eurofound as well as KPMG, Deloitte and other businesses. Not being an accounting major this made me nervous at first, but honestly this will be an experience to get to see the cultural differences in the business world and how the day to day operations in one country might differ from one another. This will present a chance to try and get to know people in the business world 4,000 miles from my home and learn from them in a setting I wouldn’t get to experience anywhere else!

Talk to you soon!