Sydney Alderman is an official CAPA blogger, sharing her story on CAPA World. A Marketing and Global Management major at the University of Pittsburgh, she is studying abroad in Sydney.
In today's post, Sydney talks about her marketing internship experience with software company Ordermentum, what her responsibilities were, and how she adjusted to the Australian work environment.
While studying abroad in Sydney, I decided to do an internship along with my classes. Ordermentum is the company I intern with. It is a Software as a Service (SaaS) order management system for wholesalers and distributors in the food and beverage industry (specifically coffee, bread and patisserie, and dairy). It's located right by Sydney Harbour, so I would get off the train at Circular Quay and pass the Sydney Opera House on my way to my internship site every day. On nice, sunny days I would walk a few minutes to the harbor for lunch and watch the boats come in as I ate, and then walk back to the office and see it all through the window as I interned.
During my time as an Ordermentum intern, I was in charge of the email marketing strategy and content creation. I really looked forward to coming up with the strategy; it was the area I enjoyed the most. I was also actually producing the newsletters, designs, and promotions that would be sent to their customers and potential clients. I put a lot of pressure on myself to do the perfect job, so being given the opportunity to do the duties as I saw fit was both a blessing and a curse. It made me nervous because I didn’t want to screw up, but really this attitude just reflected the work culture of the company. Australians tend to be hard workers, but at the same time, extremely laid back in the office. Them giving me that amount of responsibility was their way of showing that they trusted their employees and their abilities to get things done on time and well. There was a reason everyone was hired in the first place.
Once I relaxed into my internship, I realized how much Ordermentum reminded me of the company that I work for at home. Both companies are small, technology-based, and family-oriented businesses. Both my boss in the States and my boss in Australia allowed me to dive right in and get hands-on experience and were instrumental in making sure that I was comfortable. At Ordermentum, they were really accommodating with my schedule and constantly asked if I was okay and if there was anything I needed to make my time with them the best it could be. This was really surprising to me, because I was the intern...and I felt like I should have been asking them over and over if there was anything else I could do rather than the other way around. They constantly tried to include me in the events that were going on, even if it was just an afternoon coffee break.
Being that our customers were coffee, pastry, and dairy suppliers, there were always goodies being brought in from clients and coffees brewing around. When a coworker found out that I had never made a latte before (I use a Keurig at home!!), he instantly brought me over to the kitchen and taught me the tricks of the trade. I made a latte AND was introduced to the most amazing thing in the world...the Tim Tam Slam. A Tim Tam is two cookies separated by a layer of chocolate cream and covered in chocolate. They’re fine on their own, but even better when you bite off 2 corners and sip coffee through the remaining cookie like a straw. The insides melt and the whole thing is so perfect that I had to send a few packs home to my best friend and make her try it immediately.
Overall, even though it took me a little while to open up and enjoy the experience, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’ll miss seeing one of the most recognizable buildings in the world and getting hyped up on caffeine and chocolate every day, but I’m really glad that I was able to create something that was all mine and feel like I made a lasting contribution to the company during my time in Australia.
Stay tuned for more of Sydney's journey in Sydney.