Goodbye to my State of Origin, NSW

It’s been nearly two weeks since my GBI Sydney Sports Business Program ended, so I’ve had time to share my stories and pictures with friends and family, as well as reflect on the experience as a whole. The length of the program was perfect for me, being that I wanted a meaningful internship this summer, but also wanted some time relaxing at home. I’m very thankful to my scholarship donors, who made traveling to Cairns, New Zealand, and the Gold Coast less stressful than it would have been. I also need to give shoutouts to the Plus3 Vietnam program to giving me a taste of study abroad after freshman year and making me want to come back for more, as well as Sports Business Association for shedding light on this great program.

In general, being independent with a job and class in a foreign country was a great opportunity for personal growth. My time management and independency skills were heightened at the start of college, but being abroad for six weeks with multiple responsibilities strengthened them even more. The commute was a valuable part of my internship too, as I hadn’t had a previous internship more than fifteen minutes from my house and this one was about an hour door-to-door. Professionally, I realized I would prefer being closer to my job in the future, but the commute can be as productive as you want it to be and was helpful for me to make a bit of progress on assignments for class. Speaking of this class, sports marketing was a very applicable choice for me because of my major in marketing and certificate in sports management, and it did not disappoint. My professor was very knowledgeable, made assignments personalized to topics we cared about, and took us on outside-of-the-classroom experiences, like a tour of an AFL team’s facilities and going to an AFL game. I am now looking forward to more marketing and sports management classes in the coming years at Pitt.

After the program ended, I stayed for a couple days in Sydney and the Gold Coast. On the night before my flight home, I went to the deciding Game 3 of State of Origin, a rugby series between my home state for the program, NSW, and their rival, Queensland. It was the best sporting event I’ve ever been to, even though I didn’t know the rules of rugby until I got to Australia. The atmosphere, paired with the last-second, nail-biting finish, was electric and it was great to see the passion of Australian sports fans in person. After working at Sport NSW in Olympic Park and taking a sports marketing class, seeing ANZ Stadium crowded and in action was great closure for this sports-related study abroad trip.

Thanks for following my program abroad, happy days!