Rolling (Donuts) on the River (Liffey)
Only a few days into the three-week program, CIEE Dublin Global Entrepreneurship students traversed on land and sea (sort of) to explore the history, culture, and businesses of Ireland.The Viking Splash Tour vehicle transformed from car to boat to guide us along the Liffey, the river that divides Dublin into North and South.
Students enjoyed taking the Viking Splash Tour, a quirky and informative sightseeing tour that drives (and sails) through Dublin’s streets and river to share the city’s most important sites and history. While our costumed guide began with an explanation of Dublin’s origins as a Viking settlement over one thousand years ago, the tour was not limited to medieval history. From Ireland’s war of independence in the early 20th century to the severe cost of living and housing crisis Dubliners are facing today, the GE cohort gained a wide breadth of knowledge that provided vital historical and modern context to the city in which they are taking residence. The tour also provided the unique opportunity to wear Viking hats, which offered the much needed confidence to then growl at pedestrians when instructed by the guide.
The next day, GE students conducted their first site visit to a local, family-owned business. The Rolling Donut is considered one of the oldest donut shops in Ireland and continues to see great success in Dublin, transforming from a single concession stand in the 1970s into multiple brick-and-mortar locations across the city.Two students assessing the selection at The Rolling Donut in preparation for the quality assurance process (read: taste testing).
At the site visit, The Rolling Donut’s marketing manager presented to students the shop’s history and the challenges of operating in the current business environment. She emphasized the need to anticipate trends, collect data to prepare for seasonal ebbs-and-flows, and perhaps most importantly, personally try each new donut. The visit ended with students each tasting a treat from this iconic Dublin business for… quality assurance purposes (and the cohort is happy to assure you all that these donuts are, in fact, very good quality).
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