I have officially been back in the United States for three days now, and I am already missing Sydney, Australia. My time abroad provided me with valuable experiences and extraordinary memories I know I will never forget. In just over six weeks in Sydney, I have grown professionally, academically, and personally.
Through my internship, I was able to gain international business experience in an industry that I am interested in working in, sports. Working with the Sydney Blue Sox has given me the opportunity to dabble in the sports world all while strengthening my business skills. I was able to work behind the scenes with the team and learn about all the efforts that go into operating a sports team as a business. Not only did I add to my business skills, but I was able to extend my social network by building strong relationships with my co-workers; I now have contacts half-way across the world who I know will always be willing to help me.
Academically, I learned so much in my Sports Marketing class. Through immersive field trips, in class discussions, and research reports I was able to apply the marketing concepts we were taught in class to real world events and the sports industry, specifically in Australia. It gave me an internationally perspective to education and how to apply global concepts to foreign markets and sports leagues.
The most important growth I gained from this program was personal growth. Reflecting on my experiences in Australia has allowed me to acknowledge how much I have grown as a person. It has caused me to become more independent and build upon my skill of adaptability. Having an internship half-way across the world has taught me to be independent and strengthen my skill of adaptability because I was in placed a workplace and country that was foreign to me, which I had to figure out and navigate by myself. I was grateful for the challenge. I now feel more prepared to accomplish tasks on my own and have learned to become comfortable in unfamiliar environments.
I hope to take my professional, academic, and personal growth with me back to Pittsburgh. I will bring my new knowledge to class discussions and assignments to teach others of the information I have learned abroad. I will also use my skills of independence and adaptability and increased global competence in future internships to make me a strong, competent intern. I am returning to Pittsburgh not only as an improved student and employee, but hopefully as a better person too.
I entered my study abroad program not knowing anyone, and I have left with many new friends and priceless memories. I highly recommend studying abroad to anyone who is considering it; it is a life-changing experience. I will be forever thankful for my time in Australia.