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Finding My Perfect Internship Fit

Sep 15, 2017 11:30:00 AM / by Irene Kanthan

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Hanna is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Marketing, Finance, and International Business major at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, Carlson School of Management, she is studying abroad in Sydney this semester.

In this week's post, Hanna reveals what she looks for in an internship and how she's enjoying her experience at House of Brand in Sydney.

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It has been three weeks since the CAPA Sydney students began their internships. I have so many emotions and thoughts inside that I think it's time for me to share them with you.

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Sooo…I am interning with the House of Brand Group (HOB), a marketing research company. Ever since the first day, I have felt like I was in the right place. In my marketing classes, besides learning about brand image, I also learned the importance of creating corporate culture, which I like to think of as “the brand’s inner personality.” The mission and environment of HOB is exactly a place I could see myself fitting in. Along with the positive atmosphere, I am also fascinated by my coworkers' attitudes and dedication. Working among so many talented and diverse personalities does not only harvest good results for the business, but it also helps me challenge my thinking. Talking to people around me and observing their work and everyday life in general helps me reflect how I can develop and grow.

Last Monday the HOB group took me to an event organized for one of their clients. This was a pre-screening of a movie, for marketing research purposes, with focus groups following after. This was an exceptional opportunity where I had the chance to see in practice how to generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions, monitor marketing performance, and analyze and deliver results to the client. It is surprising how much you can learn from one event. Though staying up late, worrying to finish my homework on time, and maybe working extra, it was totally worth it! My first internship tip is to just make sure you're trying to do your best and engaging a lot to extract the most from your internship.

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On the other hand, I know for many people in the program some of their biggest concerns have been about commuting to their offices and organizing their schedules. I am lucky to have my internship site a 20-minute walk away from my apartment. It is very nice to walk in the morning through Darling Square and take a minute to stare at this beautiful city. Many of my friends are walking to their internships as well, and if not, public transportation is pretty convenient to use (especially if you want to feel like a true Aussie). Just don’t be late for the bus! They don’t really stick to the schedule like in the U.S.…they might be 3-5 minutes late or early. You know, whatever the bus driver feels like that day.

As for the schedule, people are very relaxed and understandable here. My supervisor and everyone I work with have been very flexible. They are all very nice and considerate. The office knows that I am a student and a tourist here, thus they give me a lot of opportunity to manage my own schedule.

Like most, I've had some jobs in the past. I have definitely worked in an office setting both in Ukraine and in the U.S. However, this internship is a completely different experience. The culture created at the House of Brand is probably one of the most unique and well-balanced ones.

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First of all, we have candies probably in every corner of the office…have to keep the sugar level up for brain work and creativity! We also have music playing the whole day which sets up a mood, acts as a great motivation, and just simply makes everyone more energetic. There is also a blackboard with weekly puzzles and quizzes posted by Jacob, one of the guys in the office. It seems like such an odd and weird thing to have in a marketing research office, but ever since I saw it I realized how beneficial it is. Once in a while it can distract you–but in a good way! It challenges our thinking and views, and helps us all learn how to look at situations differently.

Moreover, every Friday we have a social gathering where everyone in the office treats themselves with some snacks and beverages. But what is more important is that everyone has an opportunity to reflect on the past week and recognize someone’s help and exceptional work. This internship sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

Additionally, thanks to the CAPA team for organizing this internship for me and introducing me to this amazing organization. If you are a part of this program, do not hesitate to discuss your career goals and interests. Sydney is full of opportunities! There is always a great chance to find your perfect fit.

Thanks Hanna!

Hanna's journey continues every Friday so stay tuned.

Learn More about the CAPA Sydney Program

Topics: Sydney, Australia, Internships Abroad, Internships in Sydney