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Raushan, Sydney Internship

Interned in Consulting and Information Systems at Happily Organised, Spring 2015RaushanatTheReef

Internship: I worked at a small firm called Happily Organised, which was founded and is still run by Laurel Grey, a BU alum! It’s a consulting firm that helps small business clients looking to develop an effective web presence, migrate their business to cloud systems, and market their products or services online. While I was there, my projects included developing websites for clients, providing support to existing clients, and managing the CRM system.

I Learned:

  1. Don’t be afraid to try something new. It can only make you more of a well-rounded and experienced individual.
  1. Traveling is one of the best mediums of education.

What Surprised Me: How much I loved Australia. Up until a few weeks before my application was due, I was sure I would be going to Europe for the “classic” European study abroad experience. For a few reasons, I ended up applying to Sydney and was never really sure how much I would like it. Now, I tell everyone that, out of the 13 countries I’ve visited, Australia is undoubtedly my favorite.

Hardest Part: The hardest part of my experience was adjusting to being in a completely new country where I had to form new relationships. I got into such a routine in Boston with my friends and my activities that when I went to Sydney it felt like I was starting college all over again. That, coupled with the fact that there was a 16-hour time difference separating me from my family, made it extremely hard for me to adjust and be happy during my first few weeks in Sydney.

Best Part: The best part of my experience was being able to be fully independent. Because of how far I was, I wasn’t able to call my parents with every little problem or question. I had to solve many things on my own and learn to provide for myself. It was sometimes scary, but looking back I can already see how it has helped me mature and learn to embrace unfamiliar situations.

My Tips:

  1. Your semester will fly by – get out of your dorm and make the best of it. Go to new places and meet new people.
  2. Travel as much as you can – you are in a part of the world many from home wish they could be in. Take advantage of it
  3. Immerse yourself in the culture – it can be easy to surround yourself with Americans and essentially be a tourist on an extended stay. Immerse yourself in the Australian culture and meet Australian people. It allows you to see the U.S. culture and customs through new eyes.

Hidden Gems:

The Skywalk at the Sydney Tower Eye – it’s affordable, and you will get unforgettable views of Sydney. Go early, and it will excite you for the semester that lies ahead.

Haymarket Hotel – one of the most relaxing atmospheres to go and chat with some friends for a while over cheap steaks and drinks

Luc Durrett, Sydney Management Internship

Luc Australia ScubaInterned in consulting with Happily Organised, Spring 2014

I arrived in Sydney, Australia on January 8th to start my two-month internship downtown just a couple days later.  The company I worked for was called Happily Organised, which is a business organising consultancy founded by and comprised of only one person, who became my mentor through the first two months abroad.

Although the office was officially in the Central Business District, over half of the days were spent traveling to client locations either to meet them for the first time and hear about their technological or workflow problems or to revisit clients paying for ongoing projects.  For one recurring client we visited weekly, the work consisted of sifting, reorganising, and simplifying the client’s Customer Relationship Management system, which is a web-based application integrating contacts, calendars, and email.  For each other client, though, there were an infinite number of ways to resolve business organising concerns. The challenging, and perhaps most engaging, part of the job was effectively communicating technology-based solutions to people who generally were not all that tech-savvy.

The client-facing position was not only an invaluable work experience for future endeavors, but also exposed me to a large sample of Australian ways of life, lingo, and perspectives through the clients with whom I worked.  Another aspect of the internship opportunity—which I wouldn’t have preferred any other way—was working in such a small organisation/start-up.  Immersion in every client account gave me exposure to and experience with many skills that are proving their worth already during my first month back in the US.  While the expectations and level of responsibility were quite high, it served as the perfect first step to understanding the work-life perspective in Sydney prior to starting the semester at University of Sydney.

Luc Australia BeachMy advice to anyone planning to study in Sydney (or anywhere abroad, for that matter) is to explore everything about the neighborhoods in which you’re living and working.  There are so many hidden gems to be found: shops and cafes on back alleys, small events known only to locals, and anything of the beaten path.  The mid-semester break trip I made to the Great Barrier Reef was a solo vacation, which turned out to be a huge turning point in my perspective during my time abroad.  Traveling solo encourages (and almost necessitates) your mingling with locals and fellow travelers, finding friends, and taking part in spontaneous adventures.  During that mid-semester break, I even became friends with a potential business connection for work in Sydney after my senior year of undergraduate studies.

Do not pass up the opportunity to get involved with the campus life and organisations.  Not only does it provide a good environment in which to meet Australian students, but it also can lead to your discovery of lesser known places to see and things to do.  If you remain as mentally and socially open as possible,  the study abroad internship experience in Sydney will be the time of your life.

Kandyce Graber, London Internship—Econ & Finance Track

Kandyce_Big Ben

Interned in Economic Consulting at Europe Economics, Spring 2014

Internship: I worked at a firm called Europe Economics. They do economic consulting for an array of European clients. In fact, two of their largest clients are the European Commission and the European Parliament. I did various different research projects, from browsing news stories on Bloomberg to researching supply chains. I also drafted reports, created excel files, and made phone calls.

I Learned: I learned a lot about Europe, its structure, and its governing bodies. I think this was due to my internship and the amount of research that I did in relation to the European Commission. However, much of what I learned is not tangible. I learned about the culture of London and other European cities. Further, I learned what it is like to live so far away from home and not to be able to rely on your parents. It is a big change, but it is absolutely worth it.

What Surprised Me: I had heard from so many people that London is “not European.” Many people say that it has become very American. Because of this, I wasn’t expecting culture shock, but when I got to London that all changed. While the differences between London and American cities are not huge, they do add up. When I was in London, I wrote a blog and I even posted an entry called “Subtle Differences,” which mentioned some of the things that people don’t tell you will be different, but end up being different.

Hardest Part: As I just mentioned, I was surprised with the culture shock. Because of this, I did go through a period of home-sickness. However, there was so much to do to keep me busy and to keep my mind off home, that I quickly got over it. I’m sure many people experience something similar to what I did. It is natural, but it definitely shouldn’t prevent someone from such an amazing experience.

Best Part: I think the best part of my experience was simply learning about all of the different cultures. The world has so much to offer, and until you experience it for yourself, you can’t quite grasp that. Also, I have to say, I took a class called London Architecture and Urbanism, and it was incredible. I was able to learn so much about London and its history, and I would definitely recommend the class to anyone.

My Tips:

  • Have an open-mind to cultural differences. You are only there for a short time, and you should embrace it.
  • Create a budget. London is expensive, but if you budget, you can do/see a lot of cool things without being too stressed about money.
  • Take advantage of London. There is SO much to see, and unfortunately it isn’t possible to see everything in the time you are there. Before you leave, think about some of the most important things on your must-see list and do them early!
  • Take advantage of Europe. There are 4 airports that are fairly easy to get to from London, so that means you have tons of flight options. Ryanair and Easyjet are cheap so be sure to check out some other cool European cities!
  • Visit the British Museum! This was my coolest site in London and it is huge! If you are planning on going, give yourself tons of time

 

Kate Walsh, Paris Internship and Geneva & London International Conflict Resolution

LondonInterned for a small, French management-consulting firm in Paris, Spring 2013. Also studied International Conflict Resolution Program in Geneva & London during Summer 2013.

I Learned: Even though I’d taken French languages courses up to the 300 level at BU, I couldn’t really speak the language until I had to take courses with Parisian professors and haggle over fruit prices with vendors.

I also learned that when all else fails: charades.

Comparing/Contrasting My Work Experiences: The business I interned for in Paris was trying to expand globally, so they had a number of interns from very different backgrounds. Almost all of the businesses I’ve worked for in the US have only had American employees, which leads to a relatively limited perspective in the workplace.  I’ve really only worked with small businesses, but my experiences with coworkers have been extremely positive in both France and America.  Side note: for anyone who will be living in France, the French are much more direct about topics that Americans consider controversial like politics or religion. Don’t take offense!

Hardest Part: Once I was accused of stealing an apple from Monoprix (basically the French Target) by an over-zealous security guard. It was traumatizing.

Best Part: The best part of being abroad was making connections with both the other students on my program and fellow travelers. I’m still in contact with people I met in random European hostels!

 

Deepika Sud, Geneva Internship Program–Public Health Track

Interned in Consulting with Global Development–Advising the Leaders, Spring 2013

Internship: I interned at a boutique consulting firm called Global Development-Advising the Leaders which assists various players such as international organizations, non-profits, governments, company and industry alliances, private foundations, and global public-private partnerships to catalyze and develop sustainable global partnerships in international development. Practice areas of the consultancy include global health, food security millennium development goals, corporate social responsibility and social investments. Clients and stakeholders include the World Health Organization, Merck, USAID, the Global Fund, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

My role as an intern included a wide variety of tasks including working with the president on a daily basis on internal briefings and consultancy proposals, participating in conference calls, and facilitating and coordinating planning for a private sector round table discussion at the Global Newborn Health Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. Throughout my time at GD, I had the unique opportunity to work with people from all different organizations and got to see daily, first-hand how these partnerships to improve international development were formed.

I Learned: One major lesson I learned was how to travel practically in foreign countries with people that you may not know. Once I got over the initial confusion of being in a new place, being open-minded but conscious allowed me to make the most of my travels around Europe and exploring within Switzerland as well.

In terms of my internship, one thing I learned was that hard work really pays off no matter where you work. If the people you work with see that you are trying to learn as much as you can and putting in effort, they will appreciate it and take your contributions seriously.

Comparing/Contrasting My Work Experiences: Since the organization that I worked with was so small, one thing that I was encouraged to do was make suggestions to the president herself, which was something that I couldn’t do at bigger organizations. Adjusting to the slower pace of business here was a challenge at first, but it really allowed me to focus and submit my best work, allowing me to spend a bit more time on projects to make sure they were done right.

Hardest Part: The hardest part was budgeting out time and money and trying to prioritize what I wanted to do. However, planning things out as best as possible early on in the program really allowed me to make the most of my time in Geneva and spend my time seeing and travelling to different places with some amazing people.

Best Part: The best part was being immersed in a new culture and seeing just how different things are from the US. It not only opened my eyes to another part of the world but also made me appreciate so much about things back home, both in and out of the classroom.