Blair Sheets, Sydney Internship

Interned in Sales and Marketing with Hayman, a luxury private island resort, Spring 2013

Internship: I interned at Hayman a five star private island resort off the eastern coast of Australia near the Great Barrier Reef. The sales and marketing team is based in Sydney, and they coordinate corporate group, incentive and wedding events on the island. I, personally, was able to cultivate business in both the Weddings and C&I departments.

I Learned: I learned how to adapt to a new social and work culture. Despite the similarities in language and history, it was amazing to see how different Australia is from America.

Comparing/Contrasting My Work Experiences: Working in Australia was an amazing opportunity to let my abilities shine. In the USA most of my internships have required me to file and fetch coffee; whereas, in Australia I feel that my talents were truly recognized and utilized. I was able to connect with customers and prepare proposals and contracts for events that could bring in up to $400,000 in revenue for Hayman.

I also really appreciated learning about the work/life balance in Australia. Australians are definitely work hard, play hard people. For the majority of the week, they work longer hours than 9-5 p.m.; however, when the clock strikes 4 p.m. on Friday, everyone stops to grab a glass of wine together and socialize. Combine this with the required 4 weeks annual leave, and you’ve got a pretty appealing job system.

Hardest Part: The most difficult part of my experience was adjusting to Australia’s “no worries” mentality. While they are definitely on their game, Australians are much more relaxed than Americans. At times I was caught off guard because I was still in the American mentality that every little thing is a big deal that needs to be dealt with ASAP. It was nice to take a step back and breathe.

Best Part: The best part of my experience abroad was getting to try new things and meet people. In Australia an American looks like part of the general population until we open our mouths. Then immediately you have someone wanting to know all about you. It was amazing to talk to so many different people and hear their stories. I also loved all of the adventure available in Australia: bungee jumping, skydiving and scuba diving are experiences I will never forget!