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April 2015

The Sydney Abroad Internship Program is almost halfway over. I cannot believe I have been interning with Pandora for almost 2 months now. It feels like yesterday I was interviewing for the position.

I am happy to report that I have loved every second of my internship so far. My internship is giving me real world business experience and I look forward to interning every Tuesday. This internship program has given me such a unique experience that I would have not been able to receive at another program. I am not only getting to learn in a different culture but I am getting international work experience.

I had an easy transition to Pandora's environment because everyone has been so welcoming. Not only working in a different culture has been a great experience but working with a start-up has allowed me to grow with the company. My internship has given me the opportunity to work on a semester long project that can potentially have an impact on the company. No two days of working are the same and I am being challenged with new tasks everyday. It has been great to see my progress over the past couple of weeks and I am excited to see the end result of my project. My time with Pandora has been only been rewarding and I could not be more grateful for my enrollment in the Sydney Abroad Internship Program.

Where are my feet?
Have you seen my feet?
I can’t find my feet!
Oh no! I think I lost them in Parliament.
Well. How is that possible? I never took them off. It is probably the rain. It destroys the umbrellas, make the flags fly away and now… my feet.

What if someone had stolen them from me?
No I don’t think so. Not in Parliament. Why? Because I know almost all my neighbors now! Some of the other Greens MPs know my name, the security guards no longer look at me with suspicious eyes and even the garbage collector recognizes me. Yes, there is definitely a difference between the unsure student who was trying to legitimate his position and the intern who knows the functioning of the office and masters much better the jargon.
I have to confess that my beginning had been difficult because not only did I have to adapt, but my challenge was also to understand what was expected from me. When I say « understand » I mean trying to know where to put my feet but also, being able to get everything in English. Even if obviously after 10 months abroad, it gets much easier, the jargon used in Parliament is not my daily vocabulary. But I improved. Effort and time have been my best friends along this journey. So have been my feet…
Brr. I still can’t find my feet.
OK. They haven’t been stolen. Would it not be a joke from my office colleagues?
They could have taken my feet while I was focusing on a report or writing questions for the first session of Parliament next week.
I got along very well with the other people from the office. We share political opinions, we discuss the agenda of our MP and make fun of the news. Even with my parliamentarian, as we had the opportunity to get less formal I felt more comfortable to speak freely with him. An error is sometimes when you have an enormous respect for your boss, to forget that he is also human…

Oh Well. Sorry ! I found my feet. They were just under my office desk… It is probably that they actually feel at home there.

Time goes by fast, and the end of the semester will be here before I know it. Your question may be: Are you still enjoying it? Definitely, and even more so as the process goes on, as I get a deeper and better understanding of the work we are doing. The link between fieldwork, theory and practice gets clearer, and you start to see the value of the work you are doing. For me, this relevance to real world projects is especially motivating, and makes me feel like I make a difference.

However, no one said it would be easy and at times it takes quite a bit of adjustment. The balance between internship work and academic work with assignments due can be challenging at times, but in the end you always find a way to make it work. Who said a few late nights and busy hours at the library are that terrible? Things may not always go as planned, and changes may be made on the way. A bit of flexibility and a smile will get you a long way. In the end, you’ll always make it work!

The whole internship experience is a learning opportunity where you get to grow, adapt to new situations and a new environment, and challenge yourself within your field. I am looking forward to the rest of this process, the outcome of our project and the learning along the way. Why sit at home and watch television, when you can be interning?!

One aspect of life here in Australia I cannot seem to get a handle on is public transportation, especially the trains. Adjusting to life without a car and relying on a public transport schedule has been a completely new experience for me - and a challenging one in terms of adapting to life as an intern.

If I arrive to the train station early, it seems that the train always comes right away. But, if I arrive a few minutes late, the next train won't arrive for another 10 minutes. How do you get it just right?

While the overall process of adjusting to life as an intern has been a pretty smooth and exciting transition, getting to the office on time has not been the easiest task. This can definitely be a bit stressful for someone like me, who always tries to arrive on time.

Luckily, I have been working hard to get this right and have definitely improved... to an extent. The idea of taking public transportation has also grown on me, as it makes me feel like more of a professional, working adult as everyone gathers on the morning train with brief cases and business suits.

Life overall as an intern here in Australia has been demanding, but extremely enjoyable and manageable. My internship times coincide with my school schedule, which has helped me to find a balance. A busy schedule, in my opinion, is a better schedule and something that should definitely be embraced. I work hard during the week to finish both my class and internship work, and still have plenty of time for friends and travel on the weekends.

While I am still, three months later, adjusting to the train schedule and public transportation, adapting to life as an intern in general has overall been fairly easy and rewarding.

Moving to a new country for an extended period of time can feel extremely overwhelming for any individual, especially in such a large and diverse country like Australia. You're immediately immersed in an environment with new people, new slang, new academics... and a top of that a new internship? While all of this may seem like a lot to take on all at once, getting involved in various areas of life in Sydney, including the workplace, can help to make the city feel like a smaller and more personal space, as it did for me.

Generally, I have always been independent and easy-going when transitioning into new areas - as I did at my home university when I moved from New Jersey down to Austin, Texas - though I did face the fear of not having enough time to enjoy Sydney on top of academics and a job. However, while yes, I may not have as much free time as some of my friends, I have what I believe to be a more rewarding experience. I get the chance every week to work within the Australian environment and get a taste of the professional side of life down under (not to mention, it enhances my resume at the same time).

And with that being said, that doesn't mean I am not enjoying life to the fullest, as I just returned from a 12 day study break in Thailand, which I would highly recommended for future study abroad students.

So do I think I am crazy for adding an internship on top of my new life here in Sydney? Not at all! I feel extremely grateful to have the opportunity to intern in this great city. I have enjoyed everyday at my internship thus far and could not be happier with my decision to intern during my time abroad.

I am 4 weeks into my internship and I am loving every second of it. I love working for Pandora internet radio and I am learning something new everyday. It is definitely a challenge to balance my internship, school and my social life. I find it helpful to prioritize my commitments so I make sure I get everything done. I cannot live without my planner because it is what keeps me organized and less stressed. Time management is very important in business and in real life because you have to organize your commitments. My internship is basically a class because I work 9-5 every Tuesday. Luckily I only have class Monday and Wednesday so I have 4 day weekends to travel and explore Sydney. I want to be able to experience as much as I can in Australia but I also want to do really good in school. I do not know when I will be able to come back to Australia so I do not want to take this experience for granted. It is tough balancing everything but I make sure I am doing the best I can. It is good to learn how to multitask because a job can require you to work on multiple projects at once. This experience will be good training for the business world in order to work with teams and be able to work around everyone's schedules.

More...

The busy everyday life in Sydney has started for real. Settling down in a new country, getting used to the academic demands, experiencing the Australian culture and doing an internship. Who said this should be a semester to relax? To start off, the transition to the diverse city of Sydney has gone relatively smooth. A few encounters with spiders and cockroaches in the apartment, trying my best to understand the fast-paced accent (and the slangs!) and discovering different parts of the country make the Australian experience unique.

Adjusting to the academic standards, which can be very different from the ones you have back home university, can be overwhelming enough. So why do an internship in addition? Well, the international work experience on my resume sure looks good, but the opportunity to work in an Australian workplace really appealed to me. This opportunity gives be a broader business understanding, a new cultural perspective, but most importantly some practice to go with the academic knowledge I will take back home.

As the weeks have passed I have realised that this entire experience with a new country, new university and new job is what makes the effort worthwhile. Even though it takes quite a bit of effort, and for sure keep me busy, I will leave this country in a couple of months with way more than I arrived with (and I am not only talking about clothes and souvenirs). I will not regret that I took this opportunity, and neither will you!

Take care,
Vibeke

Pauline.JPG
G'day! My name is Pauline Janeo and I am enrolled in the internship program at the University of Sydney during my semester abroad. I grew up in Long Island, New York and I am a junior at the Pennsylvania State University. I am majoring in marketing and minoring in supply chain and I aspire to work in the digital marketing field. I am inspired by the art of attribution and I hope to work in the media industry. I decided to apply to the Study Abroad Internship program to gain marketing experience and expand my business network. My internship this semester is with Pandora internet radio. They provide a music streaming service through their radio generator that uniquely creates radio stations from your likes and dislikes. Pandora is a well-known company in America and they are currently making their way into Australia’s music market. I am very excited to be the Marketing and Advertising Operations intern for Pandora ANZ this semester! Since Pandora recently entered the Australian market, I am the first intern for the Australia and New Zealand offices! I cannot wait for the opportunities and experiences I have a head of me this semester. They will be fun yet challenging and I hope to learn as much as I can during my internship. Make sure to follow my internship blog to read more about my experiences with Pandora!