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Jessica Chen – Sydney Summer Internship

ICONIC_InternsInterned in marketing at THE ICONIC in Sydney in summer 2015.

Internship: I interned in the Buying Department of THE ICONIC, Australia’s leading online fashion retailer. My responsibilities included managing order information between internal inventory systems and Excel, analyzing sales data, and writing sales reports. I also sat in on my manager’s showings, where representatives from different brands would introduce next season’s line. For someone pursuing a career in fashion, this experience opened my eyes to the processes that take place behind the scenes of a retail company. On slower days, I would head to the Productions Department and help out with photo shoots. I loved my workplace because everyone was welcoming, and I was given the opportunity to observe other departments.

I Learned: I learned about the prevailing influence that the United States has abroad. American media is everywhere from magazines to movie screens. Every song you hear a bar or club is played in the States as well, so you will have no problem singing along. Australians have an impressive grasp of our pop culture and politics since everything that happens in America has a ripple effect on other countries. Ironically, working at a foreign company gave me a better understanding of the American workplace and why we are such a dominant economic power. While the Australian workplace has an easygoing “work to live” mentality, the American workplace has a much stricter “live to work” lifestyle that is more efficient but at the expense of employee happiness. Both systems have their strengths and weaknesses.

Studying abroad also challenged me to be a functioning adult in a short amount of time. Between class, work, exploring the city, and travelling across the country, I had to find time for basic tasks like laundry, grocery shopping, and cooking (if you want to try it, kangaroo steak is best prepared medium rare). While balancing all of this may seem overwhelming, it becomes second nature before you know it.

What Surprised Me: Australia has a vastly different culture from America, but after a few weeks of living there it almost felt like home. Experiences may vary, but I found it surprisingly easy to adjust to the Australian lifestyle.

Hardest Part: The hardest part was going home after two months. Packing all the cool things you’ve accumulated after two months. The lack of authentic American food (namely pizza and brand name cereal).

Best Part: The best parts were the people you meet and the places you go. Watching Australians’ eyes light up when you tell them you’re American never gets old.

My Tips: Save money and leave the apartment as much as possible. Every neighborhood in Sydney has a different atmosphere that’s worth discovering at least once. Also, don’t be afraid to explore by yourself! Australians will be impressed by the independence. As long as you practice good judgment, it’s an exhilarating learning experience to wander around a new country on your own—it’s the best way to break out of the American bubble.

Hidden Gems:

Sydney – Manly Beach and the Bondi to Coogee walk for quintessential Australian beaches; Mrs Macquarie’s Chair for the most stunning view of the Sydney Harbor; Mary’s for a good burger Newtown; Paramount Coffee Project for Instagram-worthy brunch; Emperor’s Garden for famous Chinatown cream puffs; World Bar for boozy teapots; Standard Bowl for drinks, dancing, and bowling; Pancakes on the Rocks for 24-hour breakfast food; Paddy’s Market for cheap groceries; the Glebe and Rocks Markets for all of your outdoor shopping needs.

Melbourne –
The graffiti in hidden alleyways (check out Hosier Lane); Brighton Beach bathing boxes; St. Kilda pier for wild penguins!

Supriya, Sydney Internship

Interned in Marketing at Staples Australia, Spring 2015

Internship: I was a marketing intern at Staples Australia and did all kinds of projects. My favorite one was the time I organized an office wide event called “Friday Night Drinks” in which about 300 employees came to our cafeteria, paid $2 to get in, bought raffle tickets to win a laptop, and all proceeds went to an amazing charity that helped indigenous children get through high school/college. I organized all food and drinks, sold over $3000 worth of raffle tickets, marketed the event through both internal and external means, and more.

I Learned: The first thing I learned would be to make the most of your days. If you’re in a country where you may not ever be in again, take advantage of that: explore the museum you’ve been passing by, venture out to that beach that might be kind of far, and don’t waste precious time! The second would be to try to interact with locals as much as you can. If they speak a language besides English and you aren’t that fluent, you should try to learn. If they go to certain restaurants or activities you’re not used to, bring some friends and try it out.

What Surprised Me: Just how fast it ended. I had a giant bucket list of things I wanted to do in Australia, and I couldn’t get to all of them because I didn’t realize how fast the time went by.

Hardest Part: Balancing schoolwork and traveling and expenses all at once.

Best Part: The best part was definitely all the cool cities and countries I traveled to with my friends. It was so enlightening seeing other cultures and participating in activities that are famous to a certain place.

My Tips: If you can, try to go in Spring because Australia’s seasons are switched with the U.S., so you’ll have the best weather. Another is to visit as many beaches as possible- each one is unique and has its own beauty. Lastly, try not to spend too much time in your dorm/apt because there is so much to see.

Hidden Gems: Some places I recommend are Manly Beach, walking along the Sydney Harbour Bridge, taking a visit to the Shangrila Hotel top floor, and doing the Bondi to Coogee Walk.

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

Jessica Wong, Sydney Internship

Jessica Wong Internship_The IconicInterned in Merchandise Planning at the Iconic, an online fashion startup, Fall 2014

Internship: I spent my seven weeks interning in the merchandise planning department at The Iconic, an online fashion startup founded by an SMG alum.  My tasks ranged from forecasting and budgeting different products based on past sales and creating spreadsheets on Excel to track competitor prices and match our prices to theirs.  I spent one week in the finance department dealing with invoices and another in the marketing department sitting in on meetings.  One day we took a field trip to the company’s warehouse to see the operations side of things and helped pack and ship out orders.  This internship definitely helped me prepare for future courses and especially will prepare me for Core next year.

I Learned: I learned that while the world does not revolve around the U.S., American policy decisions have such large repercussions that Australian media covers U.S. issues.

I also learned that there is life beyond digital media by seeing that Australians do not rely on WiFi and the internet as much.  I got used to not checking Facebook and Twitter as frequently and even opted, after returning to America, to delete my Twitter account and rarely go on social media anymore.

What Surprised Me: What surprised me was how in tune Australians are to U.S. affairs, even more so than I was.  It made me feel really self-centered as a U.S. citizen, and often I ended up not telling people I was American upon meeting them although they say they could tell with my accent!

Hardest Part: I had a difficult roommate experience, and it escalated to the point where I had to move out.  There were times when I felt the program was very cliquey and times when I couldn’t connect with people in the program like I could with my friends back at home.  I learned, however, to accept that the other people on my program were probably going through the same thing and admitted that it took more than four months for me to be open with my best friends at home.   What I learned from this is that if you’re feeling alone, it’s alright. It’s a common feeling when you’re thousands of miles and numerous time zones away from your friends and family.

Best Part: The best part was the freedom to travel wherever I wanted.  I would take weekend trips all around Aussie because our class and work schedule allowed it.  To say that I went skydiving, bungee jumping, white water rafting in New Zealand, fed kangaroos, cuddled a koala, saw a wild platypus, scuba dived in the Great Barrier Reef, visited the Olympic Stadiums in both Sydney and Melbourne, went zip-lining in the Daintree Rainforest and climbed Mt. Wellington in Tasmania is probably the best part of my experience.  Being in Australia made me feel alive.

My Tips: Save money because Sydney is expensive, and you’re going to end up broke.  Be your best self and be social within the first few days no matter how jet-lagged you feel.  Try to get acclimated and talk to the locals at your internship or when you go out!  You’re going to be spending all your classes with people in the program, so the only time you’ll meet locals is when you’re out or working in the Aussie workforce!

Brooklyn Hide and Gelato Messina in Surry Hills have the best food.  There aren’t any bagels in Aussie, and Brooklyn Hide is the best substitute for a New York bagel.  Paddy’s Market is open Wednesday-Sunday, and it’s basically a flea market and produce market.  Get all your produce there to save money. Your Opal Card (like a Charlie Card) will tap out after spending 15 bucks on weekdays, but on Sundays it’s 2.50. Consequently, you should go to all the beaches and far away places on Sundays to save money.

Here’s a link to my blog that I wrote chronicling my time abroad.  It goes more in depth about everything I mentioned: www.jesswong94.wordpress.com

Hilary Bokoff, Sydney Summer Internship

hilarybokoff-koalaThe decision to study abroad was not easy for me to make. I did not want to miss out on life in Boston for an entire semester, but I really wanted to experience what else was out there in the world. The study abroad opportunities offered over the summer were the perfect solution to my dilemma, and I would highly recommend this option to anyone else in a similar position.

I chose the Sydney Internship Program for several reasons, but mainly because of the internship component. I was really excited and nervous to work in another country, but I was so lucky with my placement that after my first day all my nerves subsided and more excitement took their place.

By working in the office four days a week, I felt fully integrated into the company’s culture and team. I was trusted with work that any other employee would have done, and, in turn, I learned so much and gained invaluable experience. As a senior in SMG, I have participated in my fair share of team projects and have polished the skills necessary to be a good teammate; however, I was able to apply those tactics in the real world and can now rely on that experience in future job settings.

I was most impressed by the laid back nature of the Aussie workplace. “Laid back” is something everyone will say to describe the Aussie work world, but it impressed me so much because everything still got done even with the relaxed nature. There is such a balance between work and play, friend and colleague, and relaxed and focused, which makes for a much more enjoyable career experience.

 

My internship really was the highlight of my summer abroad, but, of course, being able to travel in a foreign place was just as exciting. Australia is a place I have wanted to go to since age 10, and this gave me the chance to do so. I held a koala bear, snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef, learned to surf, and fed a baby kangaroo. I had a once-in-a-lifetime summer, and looking back, I would have been crazy not to go.

Felicity Chen, Sydney Internship

Felicity SkydivingI’m writing this on the plane from Sydney to Hong Kong and I suppose this is my reflection about by time studying abroad—my experiences, learning, and self-actualization.

I’ll begin with experiences. Sydney is a beautiful, beautiful city. Modern and historic architecture meld effortlessly as one, and the sparkling water brings peace of mind. It is not quite too large, not quite too crowded. There are tourists, but they weren’t obnoxious. The prices of things did freak me out for the first week or so, but I got used to it. The program itself was the perfect size, allowing me to have my own choice of friends, but being able to at least meet once or recognize everyone in the program. We went out quite possibly to every recognizable bar, club, and lounge in Sydney. I made new friends, some of which included owners of restaurants and bars that we frequented, and natives from Sydney and Melbourne. I saw the most beautiful fireworks in Darling Harbor, learned how to Surf, and sky dived across a beach. I had the opportunity to travel to Melbourne, Tasmania, and Cairns (The Great Barrier Reef). And finally, I did a 24-hour last harrah, where I showed my father all the touristy things to do (see my photos) and even brought him to Lednyak and Associates in Chippendale, where I had interned for the last two months.

I learned to budget in order to experience the land down under as fully as I could. I improved my negotiating skills, and taught myself how to stand up for myself, as well as clearly think through delivering my ideas in ways that people can fully understand, both verbally and in writing. I figured out that I’m not very witty, but my friends still accept me anyway. I also realized that every relationship takes time and effort to build, and each one you have, whether it be a significant other or a good friend, truly deserves your time.

And yet with so much that I experienced and learned, I haven’t quite felt like I said goodbye. Usually, I have this overwhelming sense of sadness, regret, and separation anxiety from the people I became friends with over the course of a program. This time is different. I feel like I have developed that blasé attitude that CGS taught us in Social Science, where copious experiences leave you feeling indifferent. At first, it made me feel insecure, as I am used to a wave of depression signifying an awesome trip that I’ll never forget. But I suppose now I realize that being underwhelmed by the end IS really quite beautiful. It may be because I’m still thousands of miles away from home, and haven’t gotten that chance yet to be by myself. It also may be the fact that I just watched Divergent on this flight (awesome movie, watch it if you haven’t), that I’m feeling even more ‘unfactioned.’ I leave Australia with beautiful memories and amazing friends. Those relationships that I have built will last a lifetime, and those that don’t will decide to be a part of my life when they wish to. And in the blasé, I find myself divergent. And perhaps it’s because this plane ride to my next destination is not a farewell to the charming encounters in Australia, but a see you later.

Katherine Yau, Sydney Internship

Bondi BeachI traded my summer for winter this year and thus began the adventures abroad in Sydney, Australia! If you’re on the fence for studying abroad for any reason, just DO IT. This summer I saw the best sights, met great people, and enjoyed the Australian accent.

My program was the Sydney Internship Program, and I interned at The Festivalists, which is a nonprofit arts and culture organization sponsored by the City of Sydney. The Festivalists mostly coordinates film festivals and specialized events at museums: check those out at http://www.thefestivalists.com/. As the Marketing and Sponsorship intern, I helped the coordinator do market research, develop mailing lists, and I even got to watch 13 of the movies they were going to screen at their upcoming film festival! Alongside my internship I took EC464 “The Pacific Rim – Economic and Political Orders,” and every class was like story time. Professor Mack is great and very worldly. Combined, the class and the internship kept me pretty busy, so plan your weekends with purpose to optimize time for exploring!

Although the culture shock was not as intense as it would have been in a non-English speaking country, studying abroad definitely broadened my perspective. It was neat and sometimes challenging to see the nuances in culture and lifestyle. Australians definitely have their lingo; you’ll hear “good on ya” for a job well done or hear cookies referred to as “biscuits.” (p.s. Eat lots of Tim Tams.) Don’t be surprised if strangers just strike up conversation with you, or when a car stops about an inch away from you as you’re crossing the street. Turns out, the buttons you push to cross the street are actually useful. Overall, though, it was humbling to learn that the American way is neither the only way nor the superior way. In Australia, I became the “foreigner.” I never got used to being asked where I’m from because I had an “American accent.” These experiences are subtle, yet meaningful, and they can only be found abroad.

Living in the city was great; to me, Sydney is this awesome fusion of European, Asian, and even American cultures. The BU Sydney Centre, where you’ll be living and taking classes, is so close to major stations, Sushi Hub (definitely go here), and even the grocery store. Definitely explore the “must sees” of Sydney, such as the Opera House, botanical gardens, and the museums, but don’t forget to spend time in the suburbs. Glebe, Surry Hills, and Darlinghurst are where it’s at. You’ll lose track of time as you explore the quirky eateries, hip bars, and unique boutiques that these suburbs have to offer.

Oh, and one final thing: make the trip up to Cairns, which is where you can find the Great Barrier Reef. It’s a must-see, and Cairns will make you fall head over heels for Australia. And definitely, definitely do Uncle Brian’s Rainforest Tour when you’re up there. You’ll see the beautiful rainforest, splash in waterfalls, and sing car-trip songs until you lose your voice. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had in one day!

I picked Australia because I wanted to see some amazing nature sights, experience a cool city, and because I thought to myself, “I’ll probably never get another chance to go to Australia!” However, now that I’ve been to Australia, I know I’ll be going back someday. Pick Sydney, and have safe travels!

Sheena Chatterjee, Sydney Management Internship

Rubix Cube AustraliaInterned at The Iconic, Spring 2014:

I was an Online Marketing Intern at The Iconic, the number one online fashion retailer within Australia. One big project I worked on was working with the Marketing and Creative Team to design a campaign that announced the firm’s new partnership with Nike. I worked on the brainstorming of activation points, selecting advertising agencies to create copy for the campaign, and creating cohesion throughout all parts of the campaign. I also worked on post-sales reports, showcasing to clients what advertising package they chose with the firm, and how product placement on the website, in the magazines, and on the blog helped their online sales.

I Learned: I learned that there is a balance to be struck between work and play. In Australia, people define the office as a place for work and home as a place for relaxation. I admired how Australians did not make their entire life about their work career. I hope to instill some of this mentality into my own life.

Secondly, I learned to appreciate what I have at Boston University. I spent one semester enrolled in The University of Sydney, and the resources made me realize how much I have at my disposal back at home. At Sydney Uni, their electronic library database is limited and the number of books stocked was a smaller quantity than BU. Furthermore, lecturers are not very involved with their students and I relied more on myself and the tutorial leaders for information on the class. Also, the campus is not a straight line, so definitely not as easy to navigate as Comm Ave!

I was surprised to find: I was surprised to find myself homesick. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to a handful of countries, but only on brief vacations; however, I believed that six months would be too short a time to be abroad. I was so ready to experience abroad life that I did not even consider missing anything back in America. As much as I didn’t want to believe the “Adaptation Curve” shown in the information session before going abroad, it is very much accurate.

The Hardest Part: It was very hard to understand the grading at Sydney Uni. In the United States, each assignment is graded as if we start out with 100 points and you are deducted points for your mistakes. In the Australian grading system, you start out with 0 points and are awarded points based off of how the teacher feels you completed the assignment. To give an idea of what is normal in Australian grading, most are awarded between a 70-75, and 85 on upward is considered great. Rubrics are not as detailed as at home, and grading tends to be a bit more subjective.

Also, dealing with the withdrawal from American pizza. Believe me, you will miss it. A lot.

The Best Part: I loved being able to truly call Sydney my home. I used my weekends to explore all the different neighbourhoods of Sydney with my roommates. I found different eateries, bars, secret graffiti, shops, etc. We came to find our favourite spots as well as constantly stumbling upon new establishments opening up every week. I really felt comfortable navigating the city both on foot and via the city transportation. I honestly feel like I got to know Sydney even better than I know Boston!

My Tips:

  • Definitely save up your money. Sydney might be more expensive than you were anticipating. Plus, I’m sure anyone would get the itch to travel, considering there are so many wonderful places to visit! Budget your money accordingly!
  • Get out into the city and explore! There are so many neighbourhoods and establishments to explore! People in Sydney are very friendly and there are so many people to meet. Get out there and have fun with the city and its people.
  • Wear sunscreen at beach all the times. There is a huge hole in the ozone layer right above Australia. Even if you think you are immune to sunburn… trust me, you’re not.
  • Enjoy the flat whites and TimTams as long as you can.

Tally Sternberg, Sydney Management Internship

Created with Cycloramic by Egos VenturesInterned at a small investment firm, Spring 2014:

I was an investment analyst at a small firm. I was given a lot of responsibility and had the opportunity to work hands-on with clients and projects, which, especially as an intern, is extremely valuable.  I was lucky enough to work on a wide range of projects, but one of the biggest was that I worked with an Australian cookie manufacturer that was hoping to expand their brand internationally.  I was able to communicate with the client professionally, develop an investor presentation, and coordinate and participate in funding meetings. The opportunities and skills that I gained from this internship have been amazing and I am so happy that I was able to work at such a great firm.

I Learned: I saw firsthand how business has truly become international. Almost every project that I worked on in my internship involved two or more countries.  I think that being able to work with people and businesses from different countries and cultures is very valuable.  I also learned that Australia is a lot more relaxed when it comes to the office.  Businesses are still extremely diligent, organized and hard working, but there seems to be less overall pressure and stress in the office.

I was surprised to find: That not everyone in Australia is a surfer. I know that seems odd, but I had this weird vision going to Australia that everyone is at the beach all day, when really life is more similar to the US, especially California.

The Hardest Part: I think that the hardest part was being 10,000 miles away from home. It can be sometimes be difficult coordinating calling home because of the 16-hour time difference. BUT that being said, I never really got homesick because I was in such an amazing place.  The beaches, beautiful weather, and nice people made being so far so much easier.

The Best Part: This was hard to narrow down.  I sincerely loved every part of my experience in Australia, but if I had to choose, I would say that meeting Australians was probably number one.  They are so nice and welcoming and it’s not by coincidence! Living in such a beautiful place with gorgeous weather year round made me a lot nicer too!

Why I Picked Sydney: I was really torn on where to study abroad, but I think that what made the difference in my decision and many other Sydney Management students’ decisions was that you should go somewhere that you wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to go.  If we are being realistic, many of you will have the opportunity to visit Europe at some point in your life; however, what are the chances that you will travel around the world to Australia? Probably pretty slim. Take advantage of this amazing study abroad opportunity.  Let’s look at the pros:

  • Living near the beach.
  • Getting credit for MANAGEMENT classes that actually go towards your concentration.
  • A full time internship: working 5 days a week lets you get to know your coworkers a lot better.
  • Living among Australians: as a whole they have one of the nicest, most laid-back cultures I’ve ever encountered.
  • Facetime, Skype, Whatsapp, and Viber all exist, so you won’t have trouble getting in touch with family and friends at home.

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.