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A J-1’s journey, from Dublin to Brooklyn



A story about a resilient Emma Collins’s professional development in the Big Apple

For many young graduates, the J-1 Irish Work and Travel visa is a ticket to new experiences and professional growth. Emma Collins, an ambitious Dublin City University graduate, embarked on this adventure to pursue an internship in the heart of the Big Apple – New York City. Her journey has been marked by a desire to try something new, explore a different work culture, and gain invaluable international work experience.

One of Emma’s primary goals in undertaking the J-1 visa program was to break away from the familiar and try something new. The internship she secured in NYC provided her with the opportunity to step outside her comfort zone and embrace a fresh and dynamic work environment. The allure of a younger workplace appealed to Emma, who was eager to be part of a vibrant and innovative team and keen to delve into the work culture of New York City, a place renowned for its fast-paced and dynamic professional landscape.

Her internship not only exposed her to the intricacies of the city’s Public Relations world but also offered insights into the diversity and inclusivity that define NYC’s workplaces. Every day brought a new challenge and a chance to learn, contributing to her understanding of how work is approached in this bustling metropolis.

What Emma cherishes most about her everyday life in the US is the unpredictability of each day. Some may be glamorous, while others are more routine, but the constant variety keeps her engaged and excited. The people at her workplace have played a significant role in making her experience memorable, with their enthusiasm and support fostering a sense of camaraderie.

Emma emphasizes the fantastic opportunities for personal development that have unfolded during her time in New York. The learning experiences she has gained, both professionally and personally, have been numerous. Notably, she points out that these experiences are unique and distinct from what she might have encountered in Ireland. The combination of a stimulating work environment and the chance to explore the city has enriched her journey.

Living in the city that never sleeps has had a profound impact on Emma. The “always on” vibe of New York City has proven to be electric and motivating, propelling her toward new heights in her personal and professional life. Contrary to expectations, she has discovered a strong sense of community, further enhancing her enjoyment of her time in the city. For Emma, the ticking clock in the city that never sleeps seemed to move at an accelerated pace. The vibrant energy and myriad opportunities in NYC made each day pass swiftly, prompting her to embrace the adage that time is a precious commodity.

She encourages fellow J-1 participants to soak up every piece of joy the city, and the US as a whole, has to offer while they can, recognizing that the experience is fleeting. Outside of New York, Emma also hopes to traverse the diverse terrains of Alaska, the cultural hubs of Austin and New Orleans, the charm of New England, and the scenic beauty of Minnesota.

Beyond the professional realm, Emma discovered the significance of community and leading a fulfilling life. Her time in NYC allowed her to forge connections that transcended the workplace, emphasizing the importance of relationships and shared experiences. The challenges she faced acted as catalysts for personal and professional growth, instilling skills that will resonate throughout her career. Emma reflects on the hurdles she encountered during her time in the US, recognizing them as opportunities for growth, both professionally and emotionally. These challenges, she believes, have equipped her with transferable skills that will prove invaluable in the years to come. Emma’s journey exemplifies the resilience required to navigate unfamiliar territories and emerge stronger on the other side.

Offering sage advice to current and future J-1 participants, Emma underscores the priceless value of a simple cup of coffee with someone in your field. In a city teeming with possibilities, she emphasizes the unpredictable nature of opportunity and encourages reaching out wherever possible. Networking, according to Emma, is a cornerstone of success in a foreign professional landscape. Throughout her journey, Emma found unwavering support from the Rian Immigrant Center, with special mention to its manager of Intern Placements on the Learning Exchange Programs team. The assistance provided proved to be invaluable, solidifying the importance of robust support networks for international individuals navigating career paths in the United States.

Emma Collins’s time as a participant on the J-1 Irish Work and Travel visa is a testament to the resilience, adaptability, and sense of adventure that define those who seek to make their mark in the global professional arena. As she looks ahead to new horizons and endeavors, Emma’s story serves as inspiration for others navigating the vibrant tapestry of opportunities in the United States.

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