My 6 weeks in Sydney were both the fastest and slowest 6 weeks of my life. Whenever someone would mention how much time we had left, we would all be surprised how little that amount was, but also wonder how we had been there for so long when it felt like we had only arrived the day before. Since I’ve been home, I’ve had a little time to reflect on this journey and my experiences. I think I’ve grown not only academically, but personally and professionally as well.
First, I loved my class. Again, 6 weeks was so short – so it was hard to go really in depth on all of the topics that sports marketing includes. Lectures may have only been brief overviews of these topics, but this in no way hindered our learning. Rather than tests and quizzes, the assignments for the class were made of marketing proposals, business presentations and site visits. This was such a good way to take all the class lessons that I’ve learned at Pitt and combine it with the learning I was doing about Sydney and it’s sports culture to get educational and practical experiences. I can be much more confident in the future when researching and writing proposals on solutions for marketing problems.
I talked a little bit about this in my last post, but I also grew professionally while in Sydney. I had previously worked in marketing, but was in more analytical and data-driven positions, whereas in Australia I was able to delve into a content creation position that was less behind-the-scenes than I was used to. I was able to develop my strategy skills and then execute my visions and see them actually put into place to help my company. Aside from the technical skills that I learned, I was able to grow through adaptability and not being afraid of things not working out how I initially planned. After this experience in the Australian work environment, I can definitely say that I feel more well-rounded and ready for any position I may apply for in the future.
Lastly, I think my time in Sydney was most beneficial to my development personally. I allowed myself to be more adventurous and slightly less in control and in turn was able to have the experience of a lifetime. I navigated a foreign country, surfed at Bondi Beach, exchanged stories with strangers in a hostel, became a part of a community while rooting for the home team, swam with sharks and whales at the Great Barrier Reef, problem-solved with friends in some sketchy situations, dined with a view of the Sydney Opera House, and conquered the excitement, tension and exhaustion that came with exploring a new place with new people. I was able to have all of these new adventures while also establishing a routine with work and school and becoming a regular at local places. I am so glad I was able to become a little bit more of a risk-taker, and can’t wait to go back to Pitt with all of the confidence that I gained while in Australia.
My time in the Land Down Under may be over for now, but the experience will be cherished forever. Thanks for the memories – Cheers Sydney!