My first week working for a real estate technology startup was interesting. I had no idea what to expect going into my first day because of the initial conversation I had on the phone with my internship supervisor. The first day, I got a tour of the Sydney Start-Up Hub building which is a place where startups can rent office space or receive funding from an incubator, known as Fishburner’s. I’ve never worked in this type of environment so getting used to the feel was difficult. The building that the Startup Hub resides in is funded by the NSW government so it’s a public workspace with free wifi. As a couple weeks into my internship passed, I started to recognize how startups operate. I quickly found out that you won’t be doing the same thing you did yesterday so being able to change on the fly is an important trait. My boss told me he’s had a few interns from my program in previous years. He said that most walked away with valuable experiences and projects which made me more motivated.
Going back to that first initial phone call, my boss mentioned he’d be “throwing me in the deep end” and warned me that it’d be challenging. He said I’d see him once a day, if that. I was not used to this type of management style which required me to have a self-driven attitude. Since then, things have been going a lot better at my internship and I’ve tried to get more face time with my boss so I can get the most out of this opportunity. In a course I’m taking here, we were asked to read an article that revolved around the idea of reflection. From the article: “Individuals differ in the way they think about and make sense out of their challenges in life.” More simply it means, the act of reflecting can come at different times, in different ways, and in different places for people. For example, I was on a run through the Botanical Gardens of Sydney and found myself reflecting about work and actually being here in Sydney. It was such a surreal sensation at first but I’ve gotten used to it all now.
As a Research Associate, my first task was to build an online knowledge base/FAQ for customers to access so as to assist them in buying a home. The platform is mostly aimed at Millenials and first home buyers. However, as a 21-year-old college student, I honestly couldn’t tell you the first step in knowing how to buy a home!…The first couple days I struggled on where to begin so I talked to an associate of my boss. After speaking with him, I definitely had a better feeling about how to approach the task and I felt that his management style was more compatible with me.
Some advice for incoming students participating in internships: 1. Do not hesitate to ask questions. No one is expecting you to be a know-it-all. 2. Make the most of your time in an international business setting! And if you are placed in an internship that’s in an industry that you’re unfamiliar with (like I was), just talk to your boss, and be honest and straightforward. 3. After all, the internship is unpaid and they agreed to take you along as an intern so why not get the most out of it? Ask for tasks to do if you aren’t doing anything and show passion.