Interning Abroad

While studying abroad in Sydney, I am not only taking a class but also completing an internship. I am working for a company called Ordermentum, which is a Software as a Service (SaaS) order management system for wholesalers and distributors in the food and beverage industry (specifically coffee, bread and patisserie, and dairy).

One of the main reasons I chose this study abroad program over others was for the international internship experience that it offered. Because I am in the Sydney Sports Business program rather than the general Sydney program, my internship was supposed to be in the sports industry, but there was an oversight when I was being placed that lead to me being where I am now. I was specifically looking forward to working in sports, so unfortunately, I came into my position at Ordermentum a little disappointed and close-minded before I even knew the company and people there.

In addition to this, my tasks for the first week were comprised of a few long, boring online certification courses and reading articles upon articles about the company, the industry, SaaS, trade shows, etc. It sort of felt like I was just back at school taking a class – not so fun. I understood that I needed to educate myself on the company and couldn’t really be trusted with more difficult tasks until I was knowledgeable on these topics, but it definitely added to the tough time that I was having. I was really focused on my computer and learning and not as much the people around me and the location that I was in.

Despite the attitude that I may have been giving off though, my coworkers were so amazing and nice. A lot of them sit on the complete other side of the office and wouldn’t have had to see me at all for the 6 weeks that I would be working at Ordermentum but chose to come over and introduce themselves and get to know me. Then, at the end my first week, there was an office party to celebrate Ordermentum’s success, the growth of the company and their new, bigger location that they had just moved into. This gave me a chance to really get to know people and enjoy the laidback company culture. It was also such a good experience because I got to hear all of my coworkers talking about Ordermentum from their perspective and hear why the CEO and CPO founded the company. It solidified what I had learned from all of my research in the past week – that they were more than just an online ordering system, and rather a way to help customers keep up with the technological advances in the industry and spend more time doing what they love.

AldermanS08
Farewell lunch and my new t-shirt!

From that point on, I had a change of attitude and such a good experience at Ordermentum. Not only have I been able to put my global management and marketing education into practice, but I have also had more fun experiences like learning how to use an espresso machine and trying a Tim Tam slam for the first time. For students looking to intern abroad in the future, I would say it’s not bad to have expectations, but you definitely need to keep an open mind and realize it’s okay if things are different than what you imagined.I’ve done a 180 from my first week here, and I can’t wait to make the most of my last week and eat all of the Tim Tams that I can before I go.

AldermanS09
Tim Tam Slam = Cookies and coffee on a whole new level

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