See Ya, ‘Straya

When I was on the plane flying to Australia, I remember being plagued with numerous fears, some more valid than others.  Now, on the plane returning home, I am filled with sadness to be leaving new friends and the beautiful country that became home.  The past seven weeks studying in Sydney, Australia were full of new experiences and personal, professional, and academic growth that will stay with me forever.

While in Australia, I completed Operations Management, a Pitt Business Core Class, with GG Hedge, interned for 120 hours at the Sydney Harbour Marriott in the Human Resources Department, embraced the culture of Sydney, and even found time to travel throughout Australia to broaden my knowledge of the country.

Entering this program, I was thrilled with my internship placement. Hospitality is one of my passions, so I felt incredibly lucky to be placed in a Marriott Hotel. This internship gave me hands on experience in Human Resources which, despite being one of my majors, I hadn’t had an internship in yet. My experience was nothing short of incredible and didn’t disappoint me at all. I learned the ins and outs of the office and was even allowed to assist in multiple interviews for potential new hires. The people in my office were wonderful and welcoming and the information I learned and experiences I had will undoubtedly benefit me in my future career.

Before I left for Australia, one of my biggest fears was that I was going to struggle personally. I had never been away from home for this length of time since I went to college only about thirty minutes away from my house.  I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to make friends and studying abroad would be a mistake.  I could not have been more wrong.  I was able to conquer this experience entirely, making new friends, finding the best coffee shops that inevitably sustained me for seven weeks, and even traveling outside of Sydney to see other parts of Australia.

Although there were numerous challenges that I faced while studying abroad, ranging from getting lost on the bus system to having to learn the Aussie slang, the experience was something that I wouldn’t change for the world. I grew both personally and professionally in many ways as Australia became a home away from home.  Although I’m leaving for now, I can guarantee that I will be back before too long. I am so grateful to everyone who helped make this opportunity possible for me.