Alumni Series: Lessons from my production assistant internship in Australia
My name is Hannah Brown and I’m an alumna of The Intern Group’s program in Australia. I completed an international production assistant internship. In the weeks before I left London, England for Melbourne, Australia, I had no idea what to expect. I attend university close to home and I had never traveled away from my family for more than a few days. Spending two months on the other side of the world was a big step for me.
Turns out, my internship with Visual Production Agency has been the best thing I’ve ever done and has taught me a lot about independence and what it’s like to have a full-time job. In this article, I’d like to share some tips for anyone who might be considering an international internship.
1. You don’t need to have experience in the field you’re working in
My degree is in English Literature and many of the people I met were surprised that I did a production assistant internship. This is a role that involves photography, video editing and web design. However, the most important thing that you can bring to your internship is enthusiasm. I told my boss on my first day that I wanted to learn as many new skills as possible and that enabled me to get the most out of the program.
2. You have access to a great support system
When I arrived at The Intern Group’s accommodation, I was feeling uncertain about living away from home. But, I had no reason to worry. Everyone was extremely welcoming and I soon became friends with a group of six interns from all over the world. On the days that no TIG events had been scheduled, we planned our own trips around Melbourne and managed to visit the Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island, in addition to spending a weekend in Sydney.
3. You will come across unexpected opportunities
One day, my boss asked me if I would mind helping him get the office ready for an evening meeting after work. I prepared some food and drink, and agreed to stay late even though I was feeling tired. It turned out to be a fantastic evening with several career coaches, who taught me some techniques to use at work and advised me about my future career options. This led to an invitation to a business launch the following month.
4. You are stronger than you think
I’d be lying if I said there weren’t days when I missed my family, but I was constantly busy with my job and with the weekly events that The Intern Group planned for us. I made time every evening to Skype with relatives and my mother and I would often discuss our day over food – dinnertime for me was lunchtime for her! Having to take control of my own spending, cooking and cleaning was really useful and I now feel much more confident about managing money.
5. You will make contacts from all over the world
No one ever mentions the importance of networking at university and many graduates are unprepared to start making business connections in the real world. One of the things that The Intern Group does particularly well is facilitating professional development through sessions and mentorship. You have the opportunity to connect with many successful people in your field just by going into work every day, and you’d be surprised what can come from a six or eight week internship. I have already been offered a job after completing my production assistant internship and while I can’t stay in Australia right now, I have agreed to do some work on my company’s website from home, communicating with my boss and colleagues over Skype.
I would recommend The Intern Group to anyone who is interested in travel and broadening their horizons before going into the world of work. It was amazing to experience life on the other side of the world, I got to meet some incredible people and I’m already planning my next trip to Melbourne in the near future!
Now that you know about Hannah’s experiences at her production assistant internship, learn more about how to boost your career with an internship abroad.
Photos courtesy of Hannah Brown