Travel, job experience highlighted this J-1’s time in Boston

Luke Doyle, center, with his friends on one of their trips to US sites.

When Luke Doyle was presented with the opportunity to complete his third-year placement abroad, he knew he had to take it. Currently a third-year student at the University of Limerick studying International Business, he just finished up his time in Boston on the J-1 Intern visa.

The opportunity to travel as well as further his career drew him to the J-1 visa. It was a once in a lifetime chance, so he had to take it.

The first step was obtaining his visa. Luke reached out to the team at Rian Immigrant Center to get it sorted. He said that even though the process had a number of steps in it, the Rian J-1 team ensured they were all clear and easy to follow. The templates that Rian provided, like one for the required Training Plan, made things a lot easier for Luke.

He also said that Rian set up numerous meetings to guide him through the process. They were always easy to contact if he had a problem.

When Luke finally arrived in Boston, he was excited. To him, it was surreal to land in such a big city like Boston. One struggle that he had at the beginning was finding accommodations. However, when he ultimately found somewhere to stay for the months he was in the States, things fell into place quite quickly. From there, he began to build his community and make friends in Boston, which he found easy to do. “Big cities always have a lot going on in them,” he said, “so it’s easy to meet like-minded people and find things to do.”

Of course, Luke came to Boston not only to experience the cultural exchange aspect of this visa, but also to gain work experience. He spent more than six months working at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) as an operations assistant primarily providing local operations and project level support to the business services director. He really enjoyed his time at BCG.

About his internship, Luke reflected: “I was very lucky to get to work with some really great people, which made things a lot easier.” He also got to take advantage of some company perks, like free lunch and gym time, which allowed him to save some money.

Due to Covid, Luke worked on a hybrid schedule, splitting his time between the office and home. Being in the office, he said, was great for socializing and brainstormingideas. But he enjoyed having a balance: “I also enjoyed being at home when I had a more complex or technical issue to work through.”

Luke found enjoyment in Boston, his temporary home, and when he was away, traveling throughout the US. One of his favorite memories in Boston was attending the Boston Calling Music Festival over the summer. He also stayed connected to Ireland by watching GAA matches at the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton.

Luke’s top recommendation for future J-1s is to travel. “You really can’t do enough of it,” he said enthusiastically. “Rent cars, go on road trips, book cheap flights. America is an incredibly vast country both geographically and culturally so just getting to see as much of it as possible is a must.”

Now that he is back in Ireland, Luke will finish up his last year of university and travel after he graduates. “I plan to take what I’ve learned this last year with me,” he says.

The team at Rian J-1 wishes Luke the best of luck! For pictures of Luke’s time in Boston and to follow along with what Rian J-1s get up to while they are in the States, check out @rianj_1 on Instagram!