So, I’ve been here for three weeks and it feels like it’s been way longer. I’ve been in a constant ‘observation mode’ while simultaneously trying to adjust into the culture that Australians embody. I came here without a clue of what Sydney would be like, just like every other student on this trip. I was unsure of how difficult the classes were going to be. To add to that, I had no idea what tasks I’d be given at my internship, so the combination of these two unknowns made it hard to establish academic and professional goals at first. If I could offer advice to anyone thinking about going on this trip, it’d be to clearly define your tasks with your internship supervisor early on and prepare for courses as much as possible. It’ll give you a rough idea of what your next 3 months will look like.
Anyways, my job is in a very cool spot located in the Central Business District, the heart of Sydney’s bustling business culture. I take a train from Central to Wynyard station which takes about 25 minutes and I work every M/W/F. The building I work in is the Sydney Startup Hub, where over 1000 businesses ranging from small to medium work out of. After the first week at my job, I felt overwhelmed with information and my internship supervisor wasn’t entirely sure what to do with me yet. During the second week, I met a peer who worked in the Start-up Hub for a different company, and he offered some great advice on how to approach interning at a startup company. We actually hit it off pretty well and became friends!
One professional goal that I wish to achieve while in Sydney, would be to expand my network (literally expanding across the globe) so that in the future I’m able to have unbiased, trusted sources to go to for career advice, job assistance, and potential collaboration. I’d also like to start to observe and recognize the differences in social business dynamics and tactics. I’m already seeing that there are different ways and methods of doing business compared to the US. There is such a wide variety of culture and race in Sydney that I see passing by me every day. It’s truly hard to grasp the diverseness! With that being said, I’d like to develop more of an “ethnographic mindset”.
Regarding my academics, I would like to learn more about the way global supply chains function in Australia. Obviously, they are surrounded by water, so I’m intrigued to see how companies overcome that geographical barrier and mitigate against risk that comes with it. My personal goals that I came with centered, mainly, around self-reflection and introspection. I came here wanting to push myself out of the comfortable mindset that I’ve had my whole life. I grew up in a small town outside of Pittsburgh and go to a university 20 minutes away from my home. There was a part of me that would be okay with living in Pittsburgh my entire life and that part of me isn’t necessarily lost. There is also the part of me that wants to leave the comfortable, familiar emotions and feelings behind to expand my parameters and to grow as a person. Now, I’m three weeks into this journey and I’ve already started to hone in on my values and beliefs. By the end of this trip, I hope to have discovered more about who I am, so that when I return I can apply that knowledge to better myself.