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!


Andrew Berkman, Sydney Internship Program—Business & Econ Track

Intern in Sports Marketing with the Australian Rugby Union, Spring 2012

Internship: After arriving in Sydney, I got an interview and accepted my internship with the Australian Rugby Union within Community Rugby, a department that promotes the sport across the country to school-aged children, organizing tournaments and Gala Days.  Another intern and I also had the opportunity to work at the National Women’s Sevens Rugby Championship.

I Learned: The study abroad experience taught me more than I truly expected.  I learned the Australian people are some of the most hospitable and entertaining people I have met, and their culture is truly unique.  I also figured out where I may want to live to pursue a career following graduation.

Comparing/Contrasting My Work Experiences: Since most of my internship experiences prior to the semester were finance related, they were vastly different from my experience with the Australian Rugby Union.  My two finance internships were in much larger work environments with more hierarchical and strict company cultures, while the ARU was more organic.  The Rugby Union was absolutely open to new ideas and opinions from a foreign intern.  On Thursdays we also had the opportunity to play touch rugby with our fellow colleagues including former players and current Wallabies coaches.

Hardest Part: The hardest part of the experience was by far budgeting my money.  Australia is an extremely expensive country; however, the experiences we shared were absolutely worth it.  It’s an amazing place.

Best Part: The best part of my experience was renting a car with two of my friends for the weekend surfing and swimming Byron Bay and then hiking around the rain forests of Southern Queensland.  I also spent a week at the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest snorkeling, hiking, skydiving and bungee jumping. I could go on forever about my positive experience and the friends I made during the program.

Stephanie Pepper, Sydney Internship & LA Internship Programs

Santa Monica Roller Blading

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. 

Celestine Mignott, Sydney Management Internship Program

Sydney Opera House

Intern in Marketing at Top Snap, Spring 2012

Internship: I worked for Top Snap, a property photography franchise which provides realtors, who wish to enhance their visual marketing materials, with quality photos at an affordable price. My responsibilities included researching Australian Territories, planning a conference, organizing an AdWords Chart, updating the franchisee directory, and writing a social media policy.

I Learned: If there are beets on your burger, it’s bound to be scrumptious. Also, there are few things as calming as gazing over a stretch of clear blue waters.

Comparing/Contrasting to Other Work Experiences: In terms of similarities, both corporate America and corporate Australia value the importance of teamwork, although they approach it in different ways. As for differences, corporate America seems to value the idea of working overtime to achieve success whereas corporate Australia seems to value the idea of having a good work, leisure balance.

Hardest Part: The hardest part of the experience was being away from my family and friends. I missed them a lot.

Best Part: I really enjoyed the entire experience, but I’d have to say the best part of study abroad was getting to know the Aussies from Sydney Uni.