Sheena Chatterjee, Sydney Management Internship
Interned 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!
- 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.