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October 2014

1. Have an open mind
Go into your internship without any expectations of what it's going to be like. You'll always wind up being surprised by what your job obligations are once you arrive.

2. Come in with a positive attitude
Happiness is contagious! Being happy and positive during work shows that you're interested in what you're doing and people will want to be around you more. You don't have to milk being super excited about everything, but coming into work each day excited and enthusiastic will go a long way.

3. Make friends, not just work colleagues
I was able to get close with the other interns working at the office with me, which made work a lot more enjoyable. We passed the time getting to know each other and sharing experiences from school and life in general. It was a great way to bond with some people I would have never met otherwise!

4. Ask Questions
This may sound silly, but I found myself always second guessing the questions I asked my supervisor. Always ask questions even if you think it might be a dumb one. You're there to learn new things, and sometimes that means asking basic questions to get a general sense of what's going on.

5. Have fun!
Your semester abroad should be enjoyable and challenging. While your internship is technically work, it should still be a fun and enjoyable experience. Suggest going out to lunch with your supervisor, or get drinks with fellow interns after work.

First off, stay motivated. It is not easy to move to a brand new place and balance classes with an internship, especially in a place that you want to explore. It doesn't help if the internship might not be a paid one either. However, stay motivated with what you’re doing and it will be easier to do.

Stay focused. Obviously while in a new country part of the experience is to get out and explore the country. This is completely acceptable to do even if you have an internship. However, stay focused on what you need to do, whether that is classes or work. Do not allow yourself to get distracted while in the workplace or even the classroom because then you could miss something that could be very beneficial for you to learn.

Stay positive. It is very easy to be overwhelmed when in college. This is no different while abroad, in fact the risk is greater. At times it may seem that it is impossible to balance work with studies and friends and travel, but it is important to keep a positive outlook through these times. The point of being abroad is to experience the culture, and you can’t do that while worrying about a hundred different things at once. Take a deep breath and take life as it comes at you.

Learn. This is why we are here, make sure to soak up as much information as you can, especially in the workplace. The classroom is not the only place for education. By watching how people act and do things in the workplace will give you a lot of insight on how to conduct yourself in the future.

Relax. Most important of all, you are here to enjoy your time in a new country. Do not be afraid to have a social life. It is very important to meet new people and expand your social network. You will not get many opportunities like this again, so you must make the most of it. You don’t want to go back home thinking of what you could have done.

Time has a funny way of escaping those who enjoy life and make the most out of their opportunities abroad. As we approach the end of the semester with only one final project left and heavy hearts filled with experience and adventure, I have only one last piece of information to impart. It’s something that Kate and Jonathan could explain to you over and over again but can only be felt through the commitment to a continuous journey of lifelong learning.

You will change.
You will grow.
You will become the person you always knew you were meant to be.

The internship experience abroad has changed my outlook on how I view business and the professionals steering the ship. As a young journo working at a business school, I never knew how much integrity and passion marketing and communication experts had. Watching my co-workers dedicate themselves to their jobs out of their commitment to improving the business school for students, made me fall deeply and utterly in love with those who have heart and believe strongly in what they are accomplishing.

Every day serves as a chance to jump out of your comfort zone, an exhilarating experience you learn to crave and enjoy. The new tasks and assignments you receive challenge your ability ‘to do’ not by experience, but by researching and adapting to innovative methods. You’ll grasp these new skills and find career and personal growth throughout the process.

I always knew I was an adventurous person with a passion for telling the lives of those who were positively influencing this world, but I never knew that I would one day want to be in the forefront – not just behind the scenes. This internship has provided me with a new found confidence to proudly exclaim that I am more than just a writer. I am a liaison for those who have heart and those willing to feel. I am the change I wish to spark.

To learn more about interning abroad email kate.boyle@sydney.edu.au and jonathan.sheeran@sydney.edu.au

Take care,

Jenn

Have you had one of those moments when you wake up on a Monday morning a little too early for any sane human’s comfort only to get dragged into the daily dose of what-am-I-doing-with-my-life moments while getting ready for whatever it is that you do? I have not had one of those mornings in a while. Working is kind of awesome. Chilling abroad is kind of awesome too. Working abroad is definitely awesome.

Switching countries brings with itself a range of stories that every one back at home wants to know about. Funnily, being abroad also makes the nationals in that country wonder about your experiences - of your home country and their home country, both. Quite frankly, everyone will appreciate a hard worker, but everyone will surely approach a walking-talking foreign species with stories from faraway lands. You may even call it the boon of exoticism of your foreign accent.

Speaking of confessions (or now speaking of confessions) I will not deny that I get a kick out of dressing up in slick formals and heels, trotting around the place like I know what I am doing. I will also not deny the superficial pleasure I receive from buying that early morning coffee on the way to work, when by and large, I am immune to the supposed charm of caffeine. I will, further, not deny the little dance my heart does every time my boss genuinely exclaims “great job” after a long, hard day of work.

But the biggest confession shall be the sincere, unnecessarily deep but hugely thought-provoking one: at night, when you lie in bed after a full day of work and reflect on the day, you feel a very heart-warming sense of accomplishment for adding definite, often measurable, value to the economy and the society through just that day’s “trials and tribulations”. Why yes, it is an educational experience for you. Yes, it is good training for you. Yes, it is great exposure for you. But hey- it’s not all about what you “get”. Your workplace is a great platform for you to “give”. Give through your diligence, through your intelligence, through your warmth, and through your smile.

And once I am done imagining my life’s fictional ledgers, I get back out of bed to waste the night on 9GAG and YouTube for yet another futile-coffee-morning start.

Life has always been about balance for me- eating a balanced diet, balancing work with play, and balancing all of my commitments so I can get the most out of each day. While this may seem like a lot of things to keep track of, it gets easier once you get into the habit of making good decisions on how to spend your time wisely.

I try to make sure that when I'm doing a certain activity all of my attention is focused on that particular task. This way, I can get as much work as possible when I'm working, and fully enjoy my time with my friends when I'm not. In addition, I haven't had much outside work to do for my internship, so when I'm there I only have to focus on the tasks for the day.

While the common perception is that study abroad students have less work, I have found that if I just budget my time correctly I am able to make the most of the hours during the day. Finishing assignments on time is also super important. Scrambling to gather research and information for a paper the day before it's due never works out well for me, so I really try to plan in advance to make sure that doesn't happen. Once all my work is done, I feel one hundred times better, and hanging out with my friends around Sydney becomes that much sweeter.

Balancing between studies, work and a social life is a challenge that every student faces to some degree when they enter university life, no matter where you go to school. When you go abroad, managing these things can become difficult and stressful. Studies are an important aspect of why you are abroad as the education you receive while abroad presents you with an opportunity to learn in different ways than you would normally be used to. Work commitments as well are important, because like abroad education you receive unique experiences of being in a foreign country with different practices.

However, your social life, in my opinion, is just as important. That is part of the reason you are abroad, and part of the cultural experience. I would advise future study abroad interns to not disregard the social part of their experience while abroad. Focus on your studies and assignments, work hard and diligently in your workplace, but do not forget to meet new people and experience new things. Reward your hard work and studies with relaxation and comradery. All three of these spaces are areas that construct your learning and education while abroad. Focusing solely on one of these aspects will result in an incomplete experience and education of cultural understanding.

Do not be afraid to meet new people. Do not be afraid to venture out and explore and see new parts of Australia. It may seem daunting, being in a different place and going through different learning and work experiences, but it is possible to maintain a healthy social life along with focus on work and study.

You Are Capable

11 October, 2014

As a 21 year young woman with a keenness for the beautiful outdoors and a tendency of talking at a fast pace, I have found juggling my outside interests with my internship has been more than manageable, rather, it has been convenient.

Back home in Los Angeles, I am used to the hustle and bustle of running from one commitment to the other. On average, I sleep about 5 hours a night because of my list of extracurricular activities, work, and the added rigor of academia.

Therefore, coming to Sydney was somewhat of a freeing experience. Interning abroad combined with my studies have proven to be enjoyable commitments. Being able to learn new skills on the job while being in a new culture has added an element of excitement to my everyday routine.

Although a good portion of my time is dedicated to growing through the blessing of a university education, a large percentage of my time is spent with mates in the spectacular outdoors.

During the week, I dedicate my time to completing all of my assignments in addition to working at my internship in order to utilize the weekends to explore nature, bond with friends and learn by doing.

Some may be deterred by the busy schedule, but I say embrace the craziness and exert every ounce of energy you have. If so, you will learn to manage your time efficiently and will gain the most from your study abroad experience.

If there is one snippet of information you remember, may it be this: If you are passionate about what you do and dedicate everything you have to kindle that passion, it all works out in the end.

Do not be afraid of the journey, embrace it, for you are more than capable.

Take Care,
Jenn