Stephanie Pepper, Sydney Internship & LA Internship Programs
Sydney: Intern in Media and PR at The Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales, Spring 2011
Internship: The Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales is a non-profit governmental organization that puts on the largest set of events in the Southern Hemisphere called the Sydney Royal Competitions. The largest event they put on is called the Sydney Royal Easter show, which is a two week long event in April that took place after my internship had ended, but my supervisor asked me to come back and participate, which I was thrilled about. I worked in the press box on the Sydney Olympic Showground with all the different media outlets. I was able to work one-on-one with radio stations, the local 7 news channel, and the Disney Channel, helping to pitch story ideas they should run. I was also able to make YouTube videos about the different days of the show and host interviews with the show talent to create press releases. To this day I remain very good friends with those I worked for, and even the show talent, including the world’s smallest strong man, “Goliath.”
L.A.: Intern in Publicity for NBCUniversal at Bravo and at Shop Talk Los Angeles, Spring 2012
Internship: I assisted the publicist on site with interviews and live tapings as well as at the NBCUniversal Summer Press Junket. I was also responsible for creating the press book for the series debut of the “Shahs of Sunset.” In addition, I was an intern at a start up called Shop Talk Los Angeles. The founder of the company was a BU alum, and it was such an incredible experience learning from her. I was able to work directly with clients and vendors, creating partnership marketing proposals and recap reports. I also managed pro-bono client Children’s Miracle Network and their Extra Life initiative which is a 24-hour gameathon.
I Learned: Living in another city, whether nationally or internationally, provides tremendous insight on the different backgrounds and cultures of other people. Immersing yourself in a totally new place and living the way other people do is eye opening. Whether you enjoy the experience or not (which I did) at the very least, you learn about different people, you learn about yourself, and you meet people you would never have expected to.
Comparing/Contrasting My Work Experiences: Comparing my two abroad working experiences, given that one was national and one was international, there are a couple differences I have noticed. In Australia, I was able to contribute to the final outcome of significant projects and events. I was pitching story ideas and editorial angels as well as writing full press releases with very little oversight. I enjoyed the creative license I was given. This experience actually was similar to my experience working at the start up company in LA. My boss always encouraged me to participate in contribute ideas during client meetings. While I appreciated the autonomy I was given in Australia, as an intern, it is also important to ask for feedback in order to grow. My business experience in the U.S. may not have had as much autonomy, but the training programs in place provided a great learning opportunity for me. No matter the differences between home and abroad, the one commonality is myself, and what I chose to make of the experience. If given more autonomy, I still need to be proactive and ask for feedback. If given a lot of oversight, I need to feel confident in asking for more responsibility. Unequivocally, Australian and American approaches to work and the respective cultural mind set behind each, are both positive and negative in their own right. With that, no matter what it is that I do or where it is that I work, being proactive and maintaining a balance is key.
Hardest Part: Coming home! I call it “re-culture” shock.
Best Part: All of the adventures we were able to go on. In Australia we went to surf camp, we played with kangaroos and petted koalas. We were also walking distance from some of the most beautiful beaches and nature you will ever see.