Memorable Summer in Sydney

This is the next in a series of posts by recipients of the 2018 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they’ve been spending their summer. You can read the entire series here.

This entry is by Nicole Posadas, COL ’20

This summer I was fortunate to fly over to Sydney, Australia, to partake in an eight-week internship program coordinated by the University of Sydney. For eight weeks, I was a marketing and research intern for Smart Approved WaterMark, a company that focuses on certifying water efficient products and services in Australia. Although considered a non-profit organization, the company’s ultimate mission is to encourage people and communities to change their behavior with respect to water use and water efficiency in order to promote a more sustainable future.

I was drawn to an internship with Smart Approved WaterMark because I wanted to learn more about how water efficiency corresponds to greater corporate responsibility. My supervisor created the role of a marketing and research intern because he requesting assistance on enhancing the company’s social media performance as well as discovering new channels for funding and collaborations. One of my main goals as an intern was thus to increase Smart Approved WaterMark’s social media following and brand awareness by increasing its outreach on various platforms. Additionally, I was aiming to work as a consultant for the company to advise them on the best way to attract customers to buy current Smart Approved WaterMark products and to encourage new certification applications.

            My role as an intern was quite extensive. It included scheduling social media posts that would post automatically over a two-month period, establishing new social media promotions and campaigns, as well as joining pre-existing campaigns, writing newsletter entries that would be sent to nearly 3000 subscribers, and planning the successful application of a Smart Water Award. My duties also entailed organizing renewal reports, updating the company’s website, composing a detailed social media analysis and plan, creating two promotional videos, and organizing the company’s consumer and stakeholder contact lists. Additionally, I would sit in on meetings with a virtual reality programmer to add input for creating a virtual water-efficient home simulation model.

As a whole, my internship experience in Sydney was entirely invaluable and challenged me in ways I would not have imagined. While my internship aligned directly with my academic studies focused on environmental science and my interests in conservation and consumer awareness, it allowed me to explore a new intersection: that of sustainability and business. This rare opportunity not only introduced me to a new working culture, but also introduced me to a new way of understanding an industry and the process in which products are labeled and advertised for various functions. This international working experience has also introduced me to analyzing public perceptions of sustainability and the best way to tailor messages in order to promote more environmentally conscious actions.

I truly could not be more thankful for the Career Services’ Grant, which offered me the chance to intern abroad with financial comfort. This grant not only supplemented how I paid for transportation and groceries, but also provided me mental ease as I focused entirely on my internship in such an economically diverse city. I am certain that this summer I spent in Sydney will be a memory I will carry with me for the rest of life.

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