Review about my 4 week traineeship in Northern Ireland
Visiting the Carrick-a-rede-rope-bridge

Visiting the Carrick-a-rede-rope-bridge

Now my traineeship in Northern Ireland has come to an end I want to tell you about the many things that I have learned in my 4 weeks abroad, living and working in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Let’s begin with working for Watson & Co. Chartered Marketing and
Our usual working place was at the Central Library of Northern Ireland on the 6th Floor called ‘Creative Space’ but we were also allowed to work remotely from other places like coffee shops, other libraries and co-working spaces. During the first week, we were authorised to work from the Mallusk Enterprise Hub co-working space and B Social Deli both at Mallusk Enterprise Park, the Bobbin Coffee Shop by NOW Group (a training client of Watson & Co. Chartered Marketing) and also from 2 Royal Avenue. I found it very cool working from the Bobbin Coffee Shop because it is in the City Hall of Belfast and there was such a friendly atmosphere, the service I found really friendly and the coffee was nice so I enjoyed working there and it was a very different experience than in Austria where working outside of the office is at home and not from a coffee shop!
The English Language
During the first few days I found it very difficult to speak English the whole day, due to the extra concentration and focus needed but after the first week I found it was more normal and easier to speak English 24/7. It was also really hard to understand the locals in NI because they speak very fast and they have got their own dialect too. But it’s no problem for them, if you ask them to say something again because you can’t understand something. They are such lovely people, I really like them.
Christine teaching us WordPress

Christine teaching us WordPress

Wordpress is the programme we worked with when we wrote blogs and published them. I found it like using Microsoft Office Word and much easier to work with than I first thought when I was told that I would be adding content to a website. You can easily add some Photos and Links before you publish online. Because of writing Blogs I got to know the important meaning of “ALT text” ( that’s the text you can see below the Photos). This text is very important because when a blind Person “reads” your blog they can’t see your Photos so the Computer reads out aloud the text that you are writing as “ALT text” to describe your Photo to them.
Instagram is a social media platform where users share photos and videos, apply filters, and interact with others. It is known for its visual focus and is used by individuals, businesses, and organisations to share stories, promote products, and engage with their community. I learned on my traineeship how Instagram works and I did different Stories and Reels. On Instagram from you can see the posts that I created. I also drafted some reels with the ‘use template’ cheat Christine demonstrated for us. 

The Trainer of the Threads for Business workshop at Ormeau Business Park was our Trainer Christine.

On the last working day in Belfast, Johanna and I attended the Threads for business workshop at Ormeau Business Park in South Belfast and over breakfast I learned about how the new Threads platform by Instagram/Meta can be of use for local businesses and brands.
Blogging Skills
Publishing my first Blog, my Learning Plan

Publishing my first Blog, my Learning Plan

So, just look at my first Blog – my Learning Plan, and then look at this one. It is only my second blog and I already feel that I have improved my skills. For example when you look at the featured image on my Learning Plan, I didn’t realise that a landscape picture would be a better fit. For this blog I created a beautiful landscape Photocollage with Canva and you can see, that I also improved my Canva Skills too.
And through writing Blogs I feel that my English skills in writing have improved as well as in speech. After writing my blogs, my workplace Host and Trainer Christine proofed the content and we previewed it to spot some things that I could do to improve the user experience before publishing.
Canva is a programme for free to use. There you can create lots of things like Instagram posts, presentations, invitations, menu maps and much more. But you can also use Canva Pro – if you pay for the Pro service then you get to choose from additional and more advanced design options. My work experience included designing some Canva graphics to help the business pre promote their business event at Stormont and I also created a presentation template that was used by each the speakers for this event. Johanna, my Erasmus colleague and I also designed some new certificates on our own for Christine – we were able to give free rein to our creativity and we enjoyed this experience.
Today at Apple
On our second day we were allowed to attend the today at apple course which is available free. We completed the workshops on photography and video. The workshop at the Victoria Square shopping Centre in Belfast was very interesting for me, because there were so many functions on my camera on my iPhone that I didn’t previously know about. I also learned that I could do Portrait Photos and when I should take Portrait Photos, before this experience I had never taken a photo in Portrait mode.
Because my traineeship lasted for 4 weeks I also had a lot of time for sightseeing. Especially in the first week after our English school we looked at some very nice places.
Places that I really recommend visitors to Northern Ireland to take the time to see are:
And if you have enough time, then I also recommend visitors to take a bus trip to Dublin. It’s also a very beautiful city and I found it very different to Belfast.
We enjoyed a bonus adventure, because we were living and working in Belfast during celebrate St. Patricks day, it was such an interesting and funny day.
Celebrating St. Patricksday

Celebrating St. Patrick’s day

There was a Parade through the whole City centre and also a bagpipe orchestra played. So when you are going to Ireland then I would recommend visiting over St. Patricks day. Because I found this a once in a lifetime experience. Moreover the inhabitants of Northern Ireland are very friendly people and they can really understand if you ask them to repeat their words (this is because they all do speak very fast).
As my Host company Watson & Co. Chartered Marketing is a Marketing Company we were able to go with Christine to a Photoshoot for one of her clients. Our first was on Tuesday the 12th of March at Mallusk Enterprise Park in the B Social Deli. It was really interesting seeing how this goes because there was a professional Photographer and Christine directed him – guiding which Photos he should take.
Johanna and I were taking Photos at the “backstage” from the Photoshoot. That was also a very interesting experience because we could use our new knowledge from the today at apple workshop.
We were also entrusted to take our own photographs of clients and various work for our host company, this meant that I was able to practice and showcase my skills improvement from the time invested in the Today at Apple Course. Check out a few of the photos that I took via iphone below:
Everything must come to an end
So, yes that’s it. The 4 weeks did pass really fast and I can’t believe just how quickly the time did pass. I want to say, when you have got the opportunity to do an Erasmus traineeship abroad then don’t think about whether you should, just do it – because you learn so much, like how a company in another country works and also what it is like to work there.
Visiting the Giants Causeway

Visiting the Giants Causeway

But there is also much you learn for yourself. For example I was living at a host family for 4 weeks, in the home of a retired lady. It was a really beautiful adventure because you get to experience “family life” as well but a little bit different from back home in Austria. Learning about the culture of Ireland was enlightening and I also got to make new friends because of this experience with Let’s Walz.
So at the end I only want to say:
” When you have the chance to do an traineeship, take the chance. Don’t overthink it and just do it, because you get chances like this once in a lifetime.”
About Me
That's Me

That’s Me

My name is Anna-Lena Wippl, I am 20 years old, and I am from Lower Austria. There I am doing an apprenticeship as an industrial clerk. Wittur Austria GmbH produces some parts of an elevator. So, it’s very different to a Marketing company. Now I am in my 3rd year of my apprenticeship, and it will complete at the end of August 2024.  
In my free time I like to look after my niece and my nephews. I also like to go horse riding or go hiking with my boyfriend. But what I also love is to meet my friends to socialise.

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