Summer in Sydney

For my STEP Signature Project, I interned in Sydney, Australia this summer for eight weeks through the Fisher Global Internship program. This project gave me the opportunity to have my first business internship while also learning the Australian culture.

During my time abroad this summer I learned how to step out of my comfort zone and do things that I normally wouldn’t do.
 While I was in Australia I noticed a lot that was different from the culture that I am used to here at home. I realized that it is important to experience cultures other than my own. Australia has a different government, different laws and regulations, and a different lifestyle that made me more open minded after experiencing these differences first hand. This was my first time living in another country, and because of this I understand how to adapt to new situations and overcome obstacles while leaving my comfort zone.

The main event that led to my understanding of myself was at work. At work I was challenged everyday and my boss would give me different projects that I had to complete. These were things I had never done before like using excel to make graphs and charts on my own and using access to download data to make tables that would be used in meetings with my supervisors. After I would complete a task I would gain confidence and realize that I could overcome these challenges I was given.

Traveling halfway across the world and going to a place you have never been before can be intimidating. I had never been that far away from home and I didn’t know anyone else going on the trip. When I first arrived in Sydney I had no idea where I was going, how to use public transportation and I couldn’t understand some of the terminology they used. After a couple of days, I began to meet new people and adjusted to these differences, so Sydney started feeling more like home to me.

In Australia I was able to step out of my comfort zone, interact with people and participate in activities I normally wouldn’t. This was my first time being in an office setting and communicating with people who were my supervisors who by the end were my friends that I still keep in touch with. By stepping out of my comfort zone and reaching out to new people, I was able to grow even more as a person.

I believe this transformation is valuable for my future because I realized things about myself that I don’t think I would have recognized without this experience. I can now be given tasks and complete them with confidence, communicate better in a professional setting, and step out of my comfort zone, so that the next time I am faced with these challenges I will already have the experience. I believe this internship transformed me and gave me the necessary tools that I needed to learn in order to succeed with my future professional goals.

Cailin Downie

Education Abroad