My STEP-signature project was a two-month long internship in Sydney, Australia with TNT Express. Not only was I at TNT to learn about how a transportation company works but also about what daily business and life is like in Australia.
While I was in Sydney, I learned the importance of experiencing new cultures and the valuable perspective they bring. During my time at TNT, my coworkers and I would often have a variety of conversation about life in Australia and in the United States. These topics would cover everything from sports to politics and everything in between. During these discussions I realized that Americans could learn a lot from going around the world and speaking to people from different cultures. I found out during my time in Australia that Aussies tend to do so things differently in their country that Americans could learn from; including but not limited to stricter gun control laws and the elimination of plastic bags from major stores. Although there were a lot of things that Americans can learn from Australians, I found that my coworkers were able to learn that Americans were much more proficient in offering work experience to college students and positioning athletes for life after sports. Both cultures are very similar and have their flaws but ultimately, I feel that by travelling and interacting with someone different from yourself, you can learn how to ultimately better the person who you are.
One of the things I liked most about TNT was how diverse the work place was. On my immediate team of colleagues, I worked with people from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Jordan, Brazil, and Samoa. Although this was challenging at first since the variances in cultural taste sometimes made for confusion amongst the team, it was a valuable learning experience on how to navigate a multi-cultural team. After settling into my role with the team, I enjoyed getting to know all of their backgrounds as it was interesting to learn about the world from someone’s eyes who grew up in a completely different part of the world from me. It was not only interesting to hear about their stories and cultures, but it also made me appreciate where I grew up all the more as I was never threatened with political unrest or religious persecution.
My job within TNT specifically was with the Workplace Risk department, where we managed injuries and safety concerns of the company’s drivers and dock hands. By working in this department, it gave me a view of operations and logistics that I hadn’t considered before. It wasn’t a view focused on improving efficiency or reducing cost or time; but of one that focused on the most important aspect of the business, the people that make up its backbone. One of TNT’s main focuses is keeping the people it employs safe; and my job was to improve the safety reporting system for the entire country. Although my job mainly dealt with building an excel spread sheet to capture all this data efficiently, I feel that it has revolutionized the way I’ll view my job moving forward. Although profits and achieving maximum customer satisfaction are important, they pale in comparison to the importance of keeping those we are responsible for safe. Moving forward, I hope to bring an emphasis on safety to whatever company I may be working for in the future.
Finally, I feel like my time in Sydney this summer made me much more confident as a person. I mentioned previously that I was in charge of redesigning safety reporting for the entire country. This was the first time I was given a task in any of my internships that was of great importance to a company. I not only felt like an actual employee of the company instead of an intern, but I also felt valued by my fellow colleagues and I hopefully was able to make them feel valued as feel. This was the first time I truly felt like I was part of a company rather than just passing through onto something bigger and better. I feel more confident not because I was able to succeed, but because I was able to push through various amounts of struggle in order to succeed. I look forward to seeing what this newfound resilience and confidence can do for me in the future.
I feel that my time in Sydney, Australia with TNT Express has advanced me not only in my pursuit to enjoy a successful career but also as a person. I was able to make new friends from various countries & cultures across not only Australia but the world; in doing so I was able to gain so many new valuable perspectives on life. I was able to put myself in challenging situations both in the office and while exploring the country that took courage and resilience to overcome which has helped me to believe in myself and be a more confident person. Finally, my time in Australia has shown me the true importance and value of traveling the world and experience other cultures. I’m not sure when my next international adventure will be, but I can guarantee that there will be a next time. My ultimate goal is to travel the world as much as possible because I know that I will be rewarded vastly every time I do.