In this post, Kaitlin shares her experience interning abroad for an entertainment company in Sydney and some key takeaways from her internship.
When I think about my time studying abroad in Sydney, Australia, my mind immediately wanders to one thing: my unbelievable internship. Of course, I had an incredible time wandering through the beautiful global city, the Sydney Harbor, the beaches, the mountains, and the various popular destinations, but my internship truly changed my experience abroad. In Sydney, I was an Entertainment and Sport Marketing intern for Ticketek, the largest ticketing and live entertainment provider in Australia and New Zealand. To give you a little background, my dream is to work in the entertainment industry later in life, and this internship was my first opportunity to get my foot in the door! So basically, it was an extremely big deal for me, and I could not have been more excited when I received my placement with Ticketek!
Me at my desk in the Ticketek office.
Going into the first few days of my internship, I had no idea what to expect since I was given very little detail on my position within the company. Though I have a good amount of experience in the workforce, I had never worked in marketing, the entertainment industry, or in a different country. Despite my nerves, my coworkers along with the organizational culture at Ticketek welcomed me with open arms and immediately made me feel right at home. They were eager to teach me as much as they could about marketing, ticketing, and the entertainment industry and were more than willing to help make this the best experience.
The marketing department at Ticketek consists of five teams: Entertainment Marketing, Sport Marketing, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Partnerships/Groups Marketing. Throughout my internship, I was able to work alongside each department in order to get an overview of the various sides of marketing and the general tasks that go along with each of them. This presented the opportunity to truly gain hands-on experience in all areas of marketing, such as creating marketing schedules for concerts, musicals, sport games, etc., working with the email marketing team to brainstorm and create featured emails and weekly newsletters, writing post-campaign reports to compile all marketing results for an event from start to finish, brainstorming and copy-writing various social media marketing channels, and my favorite task: working at concerts with the Ticketek Event Coordinator on the day of events.
One of the major perks: free tickets for events such as sports games, concerts, and musicals!
Now you might be reading this blog thinking, “Yeah, that internship sounds cool, but it doesn’t seem that great!” Working in the entertainment industry isn’t for everyone, but I personally loved that I was able to research current entertainment events, write about them, promote them, and actually attend them! Along with loving the work content, here are three learning objectives that helped make this internship an overall incredible opportunity:
1. Gain an overview of the different areas of marketing
With no previous marketing experience, I saw this as a great opportunity to learn first-hand what marketing looks like in the business world. My favorite part about my internship was that each time I felt comfortable working with a team, I would be placed with a different area of marketing the next week and would have to start all over by learning the basic tasks and objectives within their department. This tactic seemed overwhelming at first, but it really helped me understand the importance of each team as well as how they all fit together as a whole.
2. Gain real-world experience within the marketing industry
This fast-paced environment was completely foreign to me, but I easily adapted. Almost every time I completed a marketing schedule, the promoter would push back the pre-sale or on-sale ticket dates, the artist would cancel a show, or the tickets would go on-sale without ever informing the marketing team. Working in entertainment is so unpredictable, but my supervisor made sure to explain every single task and concept I did not understand. This experience has taught me how important it is to be flexible, goal-driven, and energetic each day.
3. Create Lasting Professional Connections
From the beginning, I knew I had to step outside my comfort zone to create connections that would last. My coworkers were extremely knowledgeable in entertainment and sport which was quite intimidating, but I made sure to engage in conversation, be relatable and outgoing, and be willing to go the extra mile to show dedication to my work. I pushed myself and created opportunities that I would not have received if I had acted shy and completed the bare minimum. Towards the end of my internship, I realized that I loved every second of my internship because of the people I was working with and the environment they created. They shaped my experience, and I am so happy that I still keep in touch with them today.
The Ticketek Marketing department on my last day!
Since this was my first internship in my area of study, I was very concerned about how I would perform and whether I could adapt easily to new environments. Looking back, I can positively say that is no longer a doubt, and I am so happy with myself for doing something that I truly love. This internship has also shown me that my strong work ethic from school transfers into the workplace quite well. Upon my departure, the marketing department threw me a farewell party at the office and many of my coworkers cried. I did not realize how much of an impact I had made on the company until two coworkers stated that I was one of the best interns the company has ever had and jokingly (maybe not?) offered me a job if I ever wanted to return to Sydney. Although I did not realize it in the moment, my internship with Ticketek helped me grow in more ways than one. I am so grateful for this opportunity that honestly changed my life and sparked an unwavering love for working in the entertainment industry as well as studying abroad.
Meet Kaitlin O'Brien, a Augustana College student studying Communication Studies. She studied abroad in Sydney during Spring 2018 and is a CAPA Ambassador this fall.