Overall, I have loved my time in Sydney and all of the opportunities it has afforded me. First, I started off with a July School course, a two week intensive study course, in Entrepreneurial Business Field Experience where we were able to speak to local and state government officials, the NSW Business Chamber, NSW Transport, and Cisco in Sydney. It was a fantastic way to start my time in the city because it allowed for a quick immersion and understanding of the culture.
Following my July School course, I began volunteering with Layne Beachley's Aim For The Stars Foundation which empowers and encourages women to reach their goals through financial support and mentorship. For the past two and a half months I have been helping them organize a database of all of the girls they have helped over the past 13 years and plan for their gala which is their largest event of the year. The gala was a fabulous success and I even had the opportunity to meet Layne Beachley herself!
Whilst volunteering, I was also offered an opportunity to intern with PepsiCo ANZ (Australia New Zealand). I am working on a confidential nutrition project which has no current competitors in the Australian market. Since the idea came directly from the ANZ CEO, Robbert Rietbroek, a part of my internship is also a mentorship program where he sits down with the other intern and I and teaches us about leadership, personal finance, and sustainable business practices. I have been working with them now for over two months and I am loving my position! I hope that the product will eventually go to market and I can say that I had a hand in its development.
Additionally, the social scene and friendships made while studying in Australia have been incredibly enjoyable. There are many accessible clubs and bars for young people to get a little rowdy and have a good laugh! There are also many opportunities to travel with friends on various weekends and breaks to either other parts of the country or to New Zealand, Fiji, Bali, etc.
ACU and my experience in Sydney has been amazing. I am really grateful to have had the opportunity to study here and immerse myself in the Aussie culture. I would definitely recommend this program to other students interested in studying abroad!