My first time working in Australia was no easy feat, but I am grateful for the ever-supportive supervisor and dynamic company. Cheers to the beautiful start of my marketing career!
During the 2018 summer holiday, I was lucky to be placed at Financials for Office 365 through the University of Sydney’s placement program. Being the marketing intern there, I was mentored by Alvin, the Digital Marketing Manager.
My 6 weeks with Financials started with how casual the company is. Shorts, T-shirts, colourful socks paired with sneakers is the dress code. Together with their open office space, Financials recently built a ‘Garden Corner’ space at the back of the office. Equipped with bench, sofa, games, fountain and even fish pond, we enjoy having friendly games to blow off some steam between tasks. None of this could have happened without such a great group of people. Not only that, the office is located at a very strategic location- barely 2 minutes walk from Wynyard station.
Throughout my intern journey, I was faced with enough challenges that help me grow both personally and my skill. As a start, I learned how to perfectly replace a screen image to show another screen instead. For example the picture of a lady with her tablet on the side, I replaced her iPad’s screen to Financials’ screenshot.
I edited a few images and I was ecstatic when my work was realized in prints! Yes, not only one but two! The first image was used during their exhibition and the second was their banner in front of the office’s main entrance. Although it was just small editing, I felt appreciated that they print and use my editing.
Apart from that, I wrote articles under their ‘Blog’ section. This allowed me to be exposed to the copywriting world and polish my writing skill. Different from blogging, copywriting is more than writing your thoughts and feelings, it aims to increase brand awareness, keep the website updated and teach both current and potential customers. Since I had no experience in copywriting before, I often use their past articles as references in terms of style and language. The topics I was assigned to was in the realm of accounting- since Financials is accounting software. Due to unfamiliarity with the industry itself, I often ended up with hours of researching and even asking my colleagues. Looking back, I surprised myself with the articles I wrote as some of it were pretty technical.
There is no marketing intern who doesn’t manage social media post. I was introduced to the beauty of Hootsuite and Canva premium. My timing was perfect as Financials just launched their Marketplace in Philippines where I saw an opportunity to market it in Sydney. Thus I created an infographic on why they should join marketplace- to be posted on their social media platforms. I realized that I thoroughly enjoyed creating and designing visual posts as the options are endless.
My learning journey didn’t stop there, I was privileged to be given a mini-project on my own: Partner Profiling. I was tasked to interview Financials’ partners- both in Philippines and Sydney to mainly found out about what was the highlights and possible improvements when working with Financials. At first, interviewing sounds easy as I had a list of questions ready. However, I realised that it takes more than asking the prepared questions- you have to build trust in such a short amount of time. Why? In order to seek meaningful insights, the interviewee has to feel comfortable sharing their perspectives. I eventually tackled this by having small talks and be transparent about the interview, that it would be used to further improve Financials.
As you can see, I was faced with challenges and definitely small wins along the way! Including the weekly free food affairs under Stone and Chalk, that makes my week overwhelmed with joy, always. I mean- happy tummy makes a happy staff yea? On
Wednesday we are given Sweet Spot- dessert in the middle of the afternoon while on Friday- free drinks! I was so impressed that I even created a ‘Food at Work’ album on my phone, here is a snapshot.
One thing that strikes me the most in Financials is that everyone never fails to acknowledge good initiative, great work and going the extra mile about others. Compliments are being exchanged daily or during meetings, no matter how big or small it is. A regular “thank you”, “good job” and Joel’s “Thank you for your help today, I really appreciate it” at the end of day definitely goes a long way in inspiring and motivating the team. Of course, these are not done excessively as I believe too much praise does not improve one’s performance. When there is something that need to be improved, I received immediate feedback that is actionable. Meaning, it is not merely highlighting what I did wrong, but also what I could do to improve it. Lastly, I am glad that I was placed outside of my comfort zone because that is where I learn the most.
As such, this internship was a remarkable first-time experience working in Australia. I was authentically immersed in another culture that expanded my perspective as well as strengthens my intention to stay and work in Australia. With that, thank you Financials, especially Alvin and Joel for the guidance and here’s to new beginnings!