Summer Global Internship Program in Sydney, Australia
- For my STEP Signature Project, I travelled to Sydney, Australia through Fisher’s Summer Global Internship Program for over 8 weeks. During my summer as a Food Safety marketing intern for 3M, I worked on various projects within the marketing support role. These projects included updating their customer database, SalesForce, with accurate, up-to-date contact information. In addition, I performed various market research of the Meat, Poultry, Dairy, Seafood, and Confectionary markets of Australia and New Zealand.
- During my summer, I definitely noticed multiple changes within myself both personally and professionally. Through my time at 3M, I learned the importance of having systems and procedures in place to get tasks done. Since the company is so large (they employ over 90,000 people world-wide), it was essential that all of us knew our main objectives and who felt comfortable reporting to who with questions.
- As an employee of a large, global business I learned what it was like to work with individuals who came from backgrounds, countries, and cultures that were different than my own. An important goal of mine that I made for myself before leaving for the land down under was that I wanted to open up more to the people I met, and the various projects I was given along the way. Whether I initially liked the project or not, I was going to work on it the best I could and really try my hardest. By going into the internship with this mentality, I was able to succeed and my boss was easily able to see how passionate I was about the work I was doing. In addition, he also gave me more projects than he expected to since I was getting them done so quickly.
- The closest relationship that I developed with a co-worker while working at 3M was with my boss, Hashitha. He came from a very different background than mine. He grew up in Sri Lanka, and had lived in Australia most of his life. He came from a family with lots of children, and he knew how to speak multiple languages. His life was clearly very different than mine. However, I think we were able to work so well together because we both accepted each other’s differences and took those as a way to learn more about one another. Instead of being rude, or getting frustrated when I couldn’t communicate with him as clearly as I wanted to, we were able to find a middle ground and actually accomplish way more than we thought.
- Another important event that helped to change my view of the world and myself, was Sydney’s Vivid festival. While we were living in the city, they were having their annual two week long Vivid festival around the Sydney harbor. All of the OSU interns participated in the special event by watching the light shows, walking around the parks, and seeing shows throughout the city. This was beyond a neat experience for me, and really opened up myself to a city that was completely different than my own.
- Lastly, our mentor throughout the summer, Kaitlin really helped to change my view of not only myself but the world. Kaitlin grew up outside of Louisville, Kentucky and knew she was passionate about traveling and wanted to see as much of the world as she could. She went on multiple study abroad programs in college, including the Semester at Sea program. After graduating from WKU, she got a position with a study abroad office and eventually changed roles, and began working for GAV (Global Academic Ventures… aka our internship placement company) in February. This was beyond inspiring to me, as I couldn’t believe her passion for other cultures and her bravery for leaving everything behind over 9,000 miles away. Every chance I had, I spoke to Kaitlin about all of the transitions she’s had to go through and what she thought about her whole experience. I definitely believe that Kaitlin helped to inspire my love for travel and seeing the world, and I love that I can reach out to her if I ever needed someone to talk to.
- Since returning to the United States, my view of the world and specifically, business, has definitely changed. I already knew I had an interest in global business before embarking on this adventure, but since finishing my internship and returning home, I know it is the right place for me. I came to love going into work every day and meeting the most unique people imaginable. In addition, I had the special opportunity to learn all about the Aussie culture and embrace what makes it so special. Even though it took some time to adjust to the differences, it was well worth it and made my experience 10x better. Through traveling and interning in Sydney, I have developed a greater appreciation for the world around me in the United States. I’m so thankful for STEP for giving me this opportunity, and sparking an interest in international business and marketing that I don’t see going away anytime soon.