My Internship in Sydney, Australia

Name: Brittany Hegeman

Type of Project: Internship


My STEP project was centered around my internship at 3M in Sydney, Australia. During my time there I analyzed the current onboarding system in place and created ways to improve upon it. Another component of my STEP project was living and working in another country and culture.

Before my STEP project I did not fully understand what, it meant to work in Human Resources and work in an office full-time. However after I completed my internship I feel that I have a better understanding of what it means to work full time and how much different that routine is to my original assumptions about working full-time. Also during this internship my choices about working in Human Resources and working for a large, global company have become solidified.

Also, during my internship, I was able to learn about a new culture. The Australian culture has many similarities to the culture in the United States, but also many differences. For example, Australians are much more outspoken than Americans, which was an adjustment that I needed to make. However, I am appreciative of these differences because they have made myself much more open to those of different cultures. My STEP Signature Project has reaffirmed my academic choices and has allowed me to become a global citizen.

I believe that my transformation during my internship in Sydney, Australia was because of the relationships that I formed at my place of work. Everyone there was inviting, kind, and, I believe, wanted me to learn and succeed. I learned so much from my coworkers that I can apply to my own jobs when I graduate. In addition to learning about Human Resources at my job, I also learned about Australian culture. My coworkers were always very welcoming if I had a question that was not business related and they were also eager to learn if things were similar or different to that in the United States.

Another aspect that led to my better understanding of Australian culture was being able to visit Brisbane, Australia. During my eight weeks in Australia, majority of my time was spent in Sydney since I worked five days a week. However one weekend, I went to the city of Brisbane with three other girls. During my time in Brisbane, I was able to visit a completely new city and learn more about Australian culture. Also while I was in Brisbane, I was able to hold a koala which was an absolutely incredible experience that I will never forget.

Although I believe that my change was largely due to these two events, I also think it was due to the little things that I experienced in Australia, such as the food, the music, the transportation, etc. These little changes made everyday different and everyday exciting, which is rare to find in Columbus, Ohio, after living here for four years. I am truly grateful for all the time I spent in Australia learning about the country and myself in the process.

This transformation is valuable in my life because I am able to apply what I learned at my internship throughout my career in Human Resources. The experience that I gained during my eight weeks there is irreplaceable. When I first signed up for my internships, I had a few expectations, but I realize now that all of my expectations have been exceeded and I feel more prepared for graduation and to enter the workforce since completing my internship.

Also during my time in Australia, I had the extraordinary opportunity to learn about the Australian culture. This has allowed me to become more open to new experiences, new ideas, and new people. I think that this is also something that I can apply to my everyday life. I know in the future I will go to new cities and meet new people so by learning this skill is something that will benefit my life greatly.


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