Adam Lewis - 2015 Program Participant
Why did you decide to apply for an international internship?
I chose to undertake an international internship as I wanted to get the most out of my last summer before starting full time employment. Travelling and seeing new things is one of my major passions, as is personal development, and so the opportunity to do an internship in Australia was too good to pass up. Even though I already had a job lined up after graduation, I was eager to build on my international work experience beforehand in order to provide the best chances for both short and long-term success. The internship did just that, and so much more.
Celebrating a birthday at the Marina
The opportunity to meet new people and work in a new country with a different culture was one of the most exciting aspects about my internship, and it was the greatest single learning experience I have had. Most importantly, I learnt more about myself, which has helped me transition into my new job more seamlessly and effectively. This truly was the experience of a lifetime, and I have to thank Lewis and the entire Intern Group Australia team for allowing me to take part in this program. The team were fantastic in every aspect, from application through to arrival in Australia and help and support during my internship.
My major goals were to meet new people, experience a new culture, and develop new skills, all of which I achieved during my time down under.
Why did you choose The Intern Group?
I chose The Intern Group as my preferred internship organisation due to the fantastic reviews I had read online. I did extensive research to try and find the right programme, and time and time again The Intern Group would appear; there is a reason for that. When I settled on the provider, I narrowed my choice of location. Having never been to Australia, the choice was a no-brainer. I had always wanted to go there and I didn’t see a better opportunity to do so. I had also read a lot about Melbourne, and the fact that it had just been voted “The World’s Most Liveable City” helped solidify my decision.
What was your favorite part about Melbourne?
There were so many amazing things about Melbourne that it really is too difficult to choose one. I would have to say that the quality of public transport made living in Melbourne so easy. It allowed us as a group to see pretty much everything there was to see across the city for relatively little money. Melbourne also had so many great places to eat and drink (even though we tended to gravitate towards our favourite bar) and a number of awesome places to visit, including St. Kilda Beach and the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Melbourne really does have everything for the modern-day professional, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to spend time in a very unique and beautiful part of the world.
Taking in some Aussie Rules Football
What aspect of your program made it unique?
The most unique aspect of the program is the people. I met some of my best friends during my time in Australia and also some of the smartest people I have ever met. I think my fellow interns would agree that the people that we worked with were incredibly helpful and supportive as we acclimatised to life in Australia, and their willingness to teach was unparalleled. I had high hopes for my internship and the professional experiences I would get, but even they were surpassed by what actually happened. From the very first day, I was involved in creating new content for our clients and even attended a meeting with the company’s flagship client. My experience was made unique by the group of friends that I made; they are the ones who made this trip what it was.
How did local staff support you throughout your program?
The Intern Australia team were fantastic from the application process all the way through to arrival in Australia, and then throughout my stay in Melbourne. The application process was sleek and easy, and getting to Skype with Lewis early on and understand his vision for the company and what he wanted us to achieve made me feel at ease.
When we arrived we were picked up and taken to our accommodation, and the following day we had a guided tour of the city by Dylan, which was awesome. Lewis or one of his team would hold weekly “surgery” sessions, where we could go to discuss any issues we were having or to get advice on things like CVs, application forms, and personal development plans. To supplement that, the team also set up networking events for us to attend where we could meet local entrepreneurs.
On the social side, Dylan was there to help us with getting the most out of our time in Melbourne. He was always available to answer questions, give tips on places to go/avoid and also just to have a beer with after work. He also organised several trips, including to watch an Australian Rules football game and a trip to the local animal sanctuary, both of which helped us embrace the Aussie lifestyle. I honestly can’t say enough about how great Dylan was, he’s one of the coolest guys I have ever met.
The staff at my placement company were also fantastic in helping me adjust to the many new things that were happening, and also taking the time to sit with me and go through things. I managed to gain traction quite quickly, and was able to get involved in some really interesting work for clients.
What's one thing you wish you would have done differently?
Looking back, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have changed anything about my experience in Melbourne. The only thing I wish is that I had stayed on a little longer afterwards to tour Australia, but I had to return to the UK to start my new job. However, I am motivated to return to Australia in the coming years to see more of what is a great country.
Our trip to the Grampian Mountains
Describe a day in the life of your internship.
My usual weekday would begin at about 6:30 a.m., when I would get up and get ready for work. I would usually leave the accommodation at around 7:30 a.m. with a few of the other interns and get the train into central Melbourne. I would then travel an extra 15 minutes to work to arrive by around 8:30 a.m.
My day would usually start by chatting with some colleagues, and then we would have a daily stand-up meeting at 10 a.m., where each of us would discuss our responsibilities for the day and talk about what needed to be achieved. I would then do whatever work had been assigned to me and pick up work from others throughout the day. Some of my major responsibilities included creating client documentation and updating internal knowledge databases with new content.
My work day would usually finish at around 5 p.m., at which point I would either go to meet my friends in the city at a bar or head back to the accommodation. If we went out, we would usually convene at our favourite place (The Joint Bar) and then decide a plan of action for the evening. If we chose to head back to the accommodation, we would usually go to the gym and sauna. After that we would usually have some dinner (although we ate out most nights) and spend time chatting downstairs in the social space.
On the weekend, we would always try to ensure that we were out exploring the city and the surrounding areas. Every Sunday we went bowling at Strike, and this routine came to be something that we all really enjoyed.
What is something you enjoyed doing on your free time?
One of my most memorable experiences was our trip to the Grampian Mountains. We rented two cars from a local place (which was cheap when split between us) and drove up on the Friday night. The drive was about three hours, so we arrived pretty late on the Friday night. We stayed in a local hostel overnight on the Friday, which was very reasonably priced.
On the Saturday we woke up early and headed out. We found an information centre and created a plan of what we wanted to see in the day. We explored a fair amount of the Grampians during the day and saw some of the most amazing scenery and had some outstanding viewpoints, including McKenzie Falls.
The best part about this trip though was the company; we had such an amazing time as a group, both when we were driving and when we were hiking through the mountains. If you do go to Melbourne, this is a must visit! We headed back on Saturday late afternoon, and then went out to a club on Saturday night.
We also did a similar thing two weeks later, when we rented cars and drove down The Great Ocean Road, which is another must-see if you go to Melbourne. It was a shorter trip, but the views at The 12 Apostles were amazing. We also got to see some Koalas and other indigenous animals.
What type of accommodation did you have? What did you like best about it?
We were placed at a long-stay hotel in Preston, which was about a 30 minute train journey into Central Melbourne. The area surrounding the accommodation was nice, and there was a supermarket pretty close, which was helpful. The room was suitable for its purpose, which was essentially just to sleep in. We spent very little time in our rooms during the whole six weeks we were there. Each room had a shower and toilet, as well as a microwave, which was handy. There was an adjacent hotel that had a gym and a sauna
Now that you're home, how has interning abroad impacted your life?
The program has impacted my life in a number of ways. I feel more confident in my ability to travel and work abroad, and also to acclimatise to new situations more quickly. The most significant way it has impacted my life is in the lifelong friends I have made from around the world. Since I left Melbourne four months ago, I have already met up with four people from our group of nine, and have plans to meet with the others over the coming months and years. I recently returned from a trip to Las Vegas with two of my closest friends from the trip, which was a fantastic experience and shows the true power of The Intern Group as a connector of people.