For my STEP signature project, I was fortunate enough to be a sports journalist intern for one of the biggest newspapers in Sydney, Australia: The Daily Telegraph. I was able to shadow veteran journalists around all parts of Sydney, learning about everything there is to know regarding Australian sports culture. My internship allowed me to visit training sessions and games of various Australian sports clubs all while writing and researching for the Sydney newspaper. I was even given the opportunity to write my own articles, which were published in The Daily Telegraph‘s online newspaper.
Considering this was both a study abroad and an internship program, it was an interesting dynamic having a work schedule while simultaneously being a tourist. That said, I think the biggest transformation from my experience was actually having a work routine and getting a strong glimpse of how life is like after college. Previously, I never had the opportunity to have a structured job or a real resume builder other than a few tutoring and babysitting jobs. From this internship, I was able to gain more knowledge and tips from people who have been working longer than I have been alive. The real transformation was soaking in all of this knowledge from my coworkers and referencing it to my personal career goals. I didn’t know how confident I was choosing sports journalism as a potential career path, but this trip absolutely confirmed that I have the capability and passion to pursue sports writing if given the opportunity in the future.
I think the biggest spark to my transformation was being around another culture in both a working environment and as a visitor. I learned the ins and outs of what it took to become not only an Australian sports journalist, but also a contributor to the operations of a major news outlet. Dealing with having no prior internship experience wasn’t a huge hindrance because I was more focused on adjusting to the culture of Australia and constantly comparing it to the culture of the U.S. Moreover, being around the Aussie lifestyle always presented me with new opportunities and chances that made the internship unique. For example, covering all of the different Australian sports allowed me to learn something new each and every day. I didn’t have a day where I repeated the same procedure. I was always typing up new stories, researching possible leads, or traveling any given time I was working.
Another key component were my coworkers. My boss/mentor was the chief sports editor for the paper and he taught me countless lessons about Australian sports and its culture. He was a huge help to me adjusting for a job in the media and offered me tips with how to succeed after college. He also gave me opportunities to explore other career options by setting up mini internships with The Daily Telegraph‘s marketing firm as well as an Australian professional basketball organization. The other journalists were also incredibly helpful too. I shadowed many of them as they chased stories all around Sydney. I was able to visit tons of sports stadiums, team practices, sports owners, and other journalists from various newspapers. Having that firsthand experience was priceless because I can now use all of the knowledge I gained to further my career goals in situations like interviews or networking.
The last aspect that impacted my transformation was the environmental class I took during my program. The class didn’t have any relation to my work, but that was the very reason it had a significant impact on my transformation. It was nice to take a break from sports journalism and learn about a topic that I was completely unfamiliar with beforehand. The class allowed me to take in a side of Australia few know about as well as the challenges Australian wildlife face during this influential climate change period. I was able to work with professors, environmentalists, and government workers to see how they handled life outside of school. The one commonality I witnessed was passion. Everyone I met loved their job and could talk about it for hours along with the impact they are making to better Australia’s environment. This inspired me to reevaluate my attitude post-college to be certain I am able to speak with the same amount of passion as those that were involved with teaching me about the Australian environmental impact.
To me, this new view towards internships and towards my life after college is important simply because getting a glimpse of the real world is such a beneficial perk. Knowing I would like or dislike certain career paths allows me to have some confirmation of what I want to do that will make me happy. It gives me an advantage since I won’t have to waste my time with careers I might think are fun during school, but in the working world might actually be the opposite. I also valued everyone I met during my time in Australia. I ran into all types of people and that furthered my understanding of how the world works outside of school and outside of my own social sphere. I can use all of my experiences and newfound life lessons towards bettering myself in academics and with future employment opportunities. I can steer my academics to replicate what I want my career path to be and I can use this maybe once in a lifetime opportunity to share with others.