Tell us a little about yourself. Have you ever interned/worked abroad?
Lewis: I completed an internship on Wall Street and subsequently became a trainer and consultant for a leading international political risk consultancy working across Europe, the Middle East, China, Russia, Japan and the United States. In 2010 I returned to London and headed up training for Europe and the Asia-Pacific regions of the consultancy.
I received my Bachelor’s degree from Kings College London and The University of California and a Master’s in International Relations from Cambridge University. I came to the Intern Group in early 2013. After six months of interviews, training, partnership building and planning, Intern Melbourne is ready to roll.
What makes interning in Melbourne a unique experience for international interns?
Lewis: Intern Melbourne offers the most ambitious roles possible as part of its program, in order to take advantage of this dynamic, globalised city. We place our interns in exciting brands in every industry to give our interns the broadest and most interesting experience. Melbourne is a young city both in terms of its own origins, as a gold rush town in the 19th century, and in its inhabitants (the median age is 28).
Interns coming to the city are spoilt by the wide array of business opportunities on offer in this young and entrepreneurial environment. Melbourne has a strong showing in the creative and cultural industries as well as representation from leading global financial institutions, and global marketing and PR companies along with major professional services corporations and global brands.
What can you tell us about the workplace culture in Melbourne?
Lewis: Melbourne is characterised by its work life balance and meritocratic, flexible companies. Rather than the aggressive business environments of cities such as London and New York, Melburnians take a more relaxed approach and companies often offer a less formal environment and less hierarchic organizations.
Don’t be fooled by this laid back exterior though, Melbourne’s economy is booming along with Australia at large, it’s resilience during the global financial crisis, the result of strong economic policy and and ties to emerging markets, result in a wealthy and attractive city. The city has a proud and deserved coffee brewing heritage and its cups are rated as some of the best in the world.
Melbourne’s famous coffee culture acts as a good metaphor for the working environment at large. Numerous independent coffee houses indicate the entrepreneurial spirit and distinctive character of the city, the apparently laid back appeal is typified by the thousands of meetings and exchanges that take place in these relaxed spaces each day but the caffeine hit alludes to the undercurrent of energy behind the calm exterior, the work that goes in to keeping Melbourne wealthy and enjoyable. This constant planning and deal making in a cultured enjoyable context has led to a city the Economist has rated ‘the world’s most livable’ for the last three years running.
What are some extra-curricular activities students enjoy while interning in Melbourne?
Lewis: With this ‘most livable’ status and the incredible array of culture (one of the highest concentrations of museums and galleries on the planet) and leisure (The Melbourne Cup, The Australian Open, The Rip Curl Surfing Championships amongst others) available in and around Melbourne we wanted to make sure that the work hard play hard mentality of Melbourne was built in to our program.
All our interns have private, en-suite rooms with access to a pool gym sauna and a games room. We have partnered with the number one rated surf school in Australia, the Eureka Skydeck, and an award winning wine and wild life tour company to make sure that you get the most out of your time in Melbourne.
All of these trips and benefits are included in the program along with opportunities for professional development, networking opportunities and an internship with a top company in your industry of choice.
What is one piece of advice you would offer someone considering this program?
Lewis: Do it. My own internship feels like a long time ago now but it was a seminal experience that has led me to Melbourne via Cambridge University and work on interesting projects all over the world. I applied for the Intern Melbourne job as I believe that interning abroad changes your life and gives people an incredible opportunity early in their career.
Ultimately it is important to identify your perfect role as quickly as possible so that you can work out a vocation that you will enjoy and excel in. Interning accelerates this process and lets you achieve your potential sooner while experiencing a wonderful city and having the time of your life.