Kelly O'Donnell


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Bio Summary
Cohort Year: 
Home Institution: 
Chatham University
Heinz Programming Area: 
Arts & Culture
Study Abroad Country: 
International Experience

Being a part of the 2017 Vira I. Heinz cohort, Kelly travelled to Dublin, Ireland for 8 weeks studying with Arcadia University in their Dublin Internship program. While in Dublin, Kelly completed a Business and Entrepreneurship class and a Sales and Marketing Internship at Mediateam Ltd, a small Irish marketing company. During her time abroad Kelly focused on women in the Irish economy and studied what barriers they faced when trying to gain agency and what forces are still enabling the barriers. Through her business class Kelly researched the reason causing a wide pay gap for Irish women. Kelly found that cultural influences such as religion have caused many women to stay home taking care of children.  One of the barriers for women to re-enter the work field is the “motherhood penalty”, which is when women leave work to take care of children and lose work experience that employers look for. Another factor is the outrageously high prices of child care in Ireland.  Kelly connected her research to real life stories from employees at her internship. Kelly’s Heinz Programming Area was Arts and Culture and through travel Kelly visited the many counties of Ireland. During travel she saw many musicians perform within pubs, met locals and visited art galleries and museums. Kelly experienced true Irish culture as she visited small villages, towns and cities. Through the Vira I. Heinz program Kelly accomplished her lifelong dream of tracing her family history back and seeing where her family originates. 


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