Conversations on Studying Abroad

What Interning for a Startup in Sydney is Actually Like

Dec 12, 2019 10:30:00 AM / by Minh Ta

Minh writes about interning in the middle of a startup wave in Sydney and how this international experience has helped him rack up knowledge about the tech scene abroad. He describes the culture, his duties, and how he's networked with professionals from other industries in this week's post.

Coming into Sydney, I have no expectations for the tech scheme here as I thought I have experienced the best in the States. I was completely wrong, though. For the last 10 weeks, I have had the chance to dive into the startup environment in Sydney; I was surprised about how much the government invests in startups and how great the work culture is.

I am working for Cloudburst Australia as an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Specialist Intern. Cloudburst Australia is a startup in cybersecurity which offers real-time protection for corporations and websites. My responsibility is to monitor and make sure that Cloudburst is always the first result on Google. The startup is located in the Sydney Startup Hub which I think is a really powerful model to help startups grow.

Sydney Startup HubSydney Startup Hub.

The Sydney Startup Hub is a co-working space funded by the Australian Government to help grow the startup culture in Australia. The 1st level is a co-working space where everyone can snag a spot to work on their projects. I noticed that there are a lot of conference rooms and meeting spots too so business meetings are frequently held here. The 2nd level is Fishburners where I mainly work at. Fishburners is a medium-sized office where startups can rent a spot for their company. I think this is a great place to start a company for some reason. For employers, they have exposure to wild talents out there. Aussies are very friendly and they start long conversations with employers if they are interested in the company’s vision. For employees, creating networks in a professional setting helps them discover future opportunities that they did not expect. Whoever you are, engaging in such an environment could impact your whole career. For me, I met some great people in various industries and connected with them on LinkedIn to expand my international network.

Coffee at the Startup HubCoffee at the Startup Hub.

Getting back to my actual work, most of the time I spent optimizing websites so that they rank higher with specific keywords on Google search. Before this internship, I never realized how important SEO is to a website. SEO is a powerful advertising tool that you can’t buy with money (Actually, you still can buy paying Google to be the top spot, but nobody here would click a search result with [Ad] right next to it right?). Like all things in life, I could never fully appreciate something without having to do it myself. In this case, ranking #1 on Google might seem to be an easy task but it takes a lot of work and effort. Once you are #1, the traffic you gained is tremendous and worth the pain it took.

Overall, I feel like I am getting a lot from this international experience. As a software engineer, I learned more about things outside of my expertise and it is good to broaden my knowledge. It is also awesome to participate in the early stages of a startup and learn more about how successful startups earned their achievements today.

Thanks, Minh!

Minh Ta


Minh Ta is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2019, sharing his story in frequent posts on CAPA World. A Computer Science and Applied Math major at Augustana College, he is studying abroad in Sydney this semester.

Minh's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.

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Topics: Sydney, Australia, Internships Abroad