Leonard is a Politics and History major at the University of Auckland, and recently completed an internship program with The Intern Group in Australia. In this blog, he documents what it is like as an intern in Melbourne.
Kia ora everyone, my name is Leonard Hong. I’m from New Zealand and I participated in The Intern Group’s program in Melbourne. I spent 8 weeks interning at a Management Consulting company based around diversity and multicultural affairs, an4 weeks interning for Dale Sidebottom, who is an entrepreneur specializing in personal training and fitness. The professional experience I gained in both companies was definitely worthwhile, but the TIG program was the main highlight of my experience.
Traveling around Melbourne was fantastic. I loved getting to see the top sites, as well as experience Australian culture. To name a few, we visited Eureka Tower, and MCG Stadium in Aussie Rule Football, met kangaroos and koalas, and traveled across Victoria.
I was able to meet new friends from across the globe — Scotland, England, Brazil, USA, New Zealand and Ireland. The community I gained while interning was one of the best aspects of the program.
Additionally, my accommodation in Melbourne was excellent. I was able to swim, hit the sauna, workout in the gym, and had easy access to transportation. The trams in particular were an exciting experience; I personally wish my hometown Auckland had the same level of infrastructure.
Networking in Melbourne
I was fortunate to have made the most of my time in Melbourne by networking and meeting with prominent people in Australia. My new connections include the former Governor General, Peter Hollingworth, Speaker of the Federal House, Tony Smith, and Federal Senate President, Scott Ryan. I was also lucky to have met famous academics such as Cornel West.
While a blast, the journey was also difficult. To be living away from home for the first time in a completely new city had many moments of loneliness. My mind was psychologically challenged as I dealt with missing my home and a friend base. However, this pushed me to step outside of my comfort zone and learn how to adapt to a new environment. Making new friends, connecting with new people and getting mentorship were all a result of facing my challenges.
Leaving home and getting outside of my comfort zone was one of the best decisions I have ever made. In Melbourne, I had great accommodation, an excellent professional experience, made new friends and gained exposure to a new city. Pip and Jessie from The Intern Group’s Melbourne team were very accommodating, helpful and encouraged me everywhere they could.
I highly recommend doing the program, no matter where in the world. I guarantee it’ll be worthwhile.