To be completely honest, I was a little skeptical when I first applied to the Summer Global Internship Program last November. I knew of a couple students who had travelled through the program in previous years, but for some reason I couldn’t help but to be nervous myself. I had been out of the country multiple times before, but never 9,000 miles and 14 time zones away from home. Little did I know that choosing to spend my summer in Sydney would be one of the best choices I would ever make. Besides the amazing professional experience I gained while working for 3M, I made amazing memories with new friends that I will undoubtedly carry with me for the rest of my life.
After landing in Sydney following a 17.5 hour flight, it was safe to say I was well outside of my comfort zone. I’d like to consider myself a pretty adaptable person that is able to be flexible when need be. However, I had absolutely no idea what to expect from the fellow students I was travelling with, what my marketing internship would look like, or if I would feel comfortable and adjust well to Australian culture. Luckily, my fellow peers and I bonded rather quickly after travelling together for so long. We spent the first couple of days exploring the city, and seeing what all Sydney had to offer us. Turns out, Sydney had so much more than just the famous Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge.
My first day at 3M was full of first day jitters, nerves, and many questions. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the company itself, my boss, or the projects that I would be given. Nonetheless, as soon as my boss introduced himself and gave me a quick orientation to the life of a new 3M-er, I knew I was in good hands. Throughout my internship, I worked on various projects from marketing research, to communicating with the rest of my sales team located throughout Australia and New Zealand, to updating nearly 6,000 of their customer contacts within Salesforce (3M’s Customer Relationship Management System). In-between these daily projects, I also had the opportunity to attend corporate workshops and executive meetings. I truly felt that the work I was doing was not only important to my boss and my department, but the large, global company as a whole. I’m forever grateful that I was given the rare opportunity to intern for 3M, and I wouldn’t have been able to have that special chance if I hadn’t applied to the Summer Global Internship Program.
Another reason I’m grateful for having applied to the program, and more specifically the Sydney location, was the ability to meet 29 new friends. I didn’t know a single soul before deciding to travel across the globe, and I left Australia to come home with a brand-new group of friends. Not only were we able to get along and live together in a foreign place, but we bonded much more than I could’ve ever imagined. I believe travelling shows your true colors, and it takes a special person to embark on such an adventure as the Global Internship Program. Throughout the eight weeks together, we made countless memories, from hiking through some beautiful national parks to attending Surf Camp for an entire weekend. It’s safe to say, we became very close very quickly.
I truly can’t express my gratitude to Fisher, and specially the Office of Global Business for allowing me to travel on this adventure of a lifetime. My trip far exceeded my expectations, and I honestly don’t believe another summer could add up to this one. I applied to the program and left America with a vague idea of what I exactly signed up for, but it turned out I learned far more about myself, my peers, and international business than ever could’ve been described on a website or a brochure.