Working on the Footy Field

Hello again from the Land Down Under!

It’s evening here and I just got home from another work day at my internship. As I am writing this, I am reflecting back on the weeks I have spent in Sydney at how much I have already learned by interning and how far I have come from my first day in the office.

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For those that do not know, I am currently interning for the Greater Western Sydney Giants Football Club, which is a member of the Australian Football League. My position on the team is within the Membership Department as a Membership and Ticketing Intern. Although knowing very little about the rules of Australian Football, I have the opportunity to be able to go into the office and work with the rest of the membership team and sell memberships (which are equivalent to the US version of season tickets). While I am confident in selling the products now that I have had a few weeks to practice, the first day I was totally clueless.

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Flashback to my first day going to the Giants Headquarters in Sydney Olympic Park and I am wandering through this huge Olympic sports complex in search of my office. When I finally arrive, I am excited, but also nervous, for the day to come. As soon as I walk in the door, I am greeted by the receptionist with a warm smile and instantly feel at ease. Next, I meet my manager, supervisor, and other coworkers with whom I would be spending most of my time with. All of them instantly welcome me into the Giants family and make me feel right at home, despite the fact that my actually home was miles away. We are able to quickly find common grounds, particularly on our love of sports, and are able to build solid relationships from there. The rest of the day goes by without a hitch and I go home already looking forward to my next day in the office.

Back to the present, I still feel the same excitement about showing up to the office every workday. Despite quickly building relationships with my coworkers, I was challenged in the beginning of my internship with adjusting to the new workplace. The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was that I had no clue how the game of AFL was played. Originating from a country that loves the National Football League, the process to understand a totally different sport and be able to sell it to customers was a tough task. So, in order to face this challenge, I decided to do some research on the sport and ask my coworkers as many questions as possible. I decided to be inquisitive and not be afraid to ask them for help. I found this method to be very effective and enhance not only my knowledge of Australian Football, but also my knowledge about the Australian workplace. I am grateful that all of the people surrounding me in the office had the patience and kindness to help me through this challenge, which has helped to make me a better Giants intern.

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If I were to give advice to other students transitioning into an international internship, it would be to not hesitate to ask a ton of questions. Even weeks later in my internship, I am still constantly asking my coworkers questions about AFL or how to work the database or even just Australia in general. I have found that by being inquisitive and open minded in the office, you are able to learn much more quickly than if you would have tried to figure everything out yourself. You will be much happier when you understand what is going on and you will be able to gain much more from your internship experience.

Being a Membership and Ticketing intern at the GWS Giants has been such a rewarding experience. By continuing to ask questions and learn from those around me, I am able to build my relationships with the members of my team and learn a lot. From that first day, being a part of the Giants team has been a blast that has helped to shape me into a better businesswoman and student.

Well, that’s all for now, mates! I hope you stay tuned to read about my last weeks in beautiful Sydney, Australia!