Uhm, excuse me? It’s seriously Week 8 already?!
Since we last talked, I visited Cairns in Queensland and went SCUBA DIVING in the GREAT BARRIER REEF. Yeah, that’s two things I can check off my bucket list right there. It was amazing, but also sad because of how much the reef has been destroyed by climate change and other factors. Much of it was bleached, but we still saw lots of fish, a turtle, and a couple sting rays! My tour guide was pretty cool, and he is actually hired by the government to kill crown-of-thorns starfish, which is an invasive species and is eating the coral at a high rate 🙁 Besides the Reef, we visited some cool waterfalls and swam in a lake created by a volcanic crater! The whole weekend was very much filled with water.
I’m pretty proud of how much I’ve been able to pack into eight weeks. I’ve traveled every weekend for the past five weeks straight, and I have one last trip to Melbourne coming up in two weeks. I’ve talked to so many of my local friends and they’re all so jealous/surprised at how much I’m doing! I guess it’s different when you live here and you don’t really have the urge to travel every weekend. I feel like I’m just trying to beat the clock and do as many fun things as possible before April 20 rolls around….
At about two-thirds done with my program, I believe it’s a good time for some reflection! Specifically about my awesome internship, and I’m sad to be leaving so soon. I remember the first day I walked into the office, pretty much dripping in sweat from the walk to work! I was so nervous meeting everyone, but they were all so nice and welcoming. My coworker, the one I am now closest with, showed me around the office the first day and has kind of been my mentor since. My supervisor is super funny, hip, and down to earth. Australia is known for its flat workplace organizational structure, and being in a marketing agency further emphasizes that, because pretty much everyone I work with is young and cool. I don’t feel weird approaching my superiors for anything, as we work in an open floor space (no cubicles or offices) and the people with the higher ranks don’t really act like it. It’s a lot different from what I’m used to, but I definitely prefer this kind of work culture better. Overall, it’s been an amazing and very beneficial experience. It was a little hard to come out of my shell in the beginning. When we ate lunch together, I didn’t have much to contribute. They have known each other for many months, and they talked a lot about certain Aussie culture things that I didn’t know or watch. But now, it’s easier to socialize with them being in the country for almost two months. I wasn’t really that hard anyways — all my coworkers are seriously so nice and relatable.
My advice for students transitioning into an international internship is find common ground and run with it. All it takes is a “hey, I watch that show too! What did you think of last week’s episode?” to get the ball rolling and make other conversations easier. It’s important to really try hard to come out of your shell if you’re not typically an extrovert. Honestly, all it takes is being friendly and sociable and soon your workplace will accept you as one of their own.
Highlight of my time working at House of Brand – my boss telling me she wishes I could stay and work with them full time!! Yes…I (hopefully) will be back Sydney.