When I decided to intern rather than study abroad in Australia, I couldn’t help but think “oh, boy, what did I get myself into?” My advisor talked me into doing it for a resume boost, going the extra mile to put myself in a work setting with real professional responsibilities and expectations. My major is very competitive, and if you don’t have experience…well, good luck getting hired! It’s easy to land an unpaid internship in college, but working abroad in a completely new culture for a business you’ve never even heard of? Now that, to me, says something special on a resume. That is why I decided to work abroad.
I am working in the marketing department doing public relations for a retail fashion company near Sydney. That company is Pretty Girl Fashion Group. PGFG operates over 400 retail fashion outlets and owns four ladies fashion brands; Rockmans, BeMe, W. Lane, and Table Eight. Rockmans is a trendy line with the latest looks, BeMe is a plus size line offering the latest fashion, W. Lane is a basics and essentials line, and Table Eight is a work wear and suiting line.
My responsibilities are very much involved within the company. I have had the pleasure of working on launching a new e-commerce site for one of our upcoming brands, BeMe. I’ve helped out with the creation and execution of our latest photo shoot with Rockmans. I am responsible for competitor reviews, ‘As Seen In’ columns, graphic design briefs, communication with editors of magazines and marketing executives of our various shopping centers , as well as implementing and planning details of major events like store openings and charities. I also organize and send out PR samples to editors, fashion image and print research, local area marketing packs for advertising, and much more! Everything I am learning is completely new to me, but refreshingly challenging and creatively stimulating.
One thing I really love about working abroad is the opportunity to establish real relationships with Australian locals. Seeing the same people and working 9 hours together everyday really gives you the chance to feel immersed into the company and get to know your fellow co-workers better. I know when it is my time to leave (too soon!) I will miss the girls I have spent the last 2 1/2 months working with big time.
Although I only have a few weeks left at PGFG, I plan to work my hardest to leave a lasting impression behind. I have gained so much working abroad than I ever thought possible. Not only am I leaving with a fabulous amount of knowledge in the Australian fashion world, but I’m leaving humbled. Humbled to work with such friendly, hard working, and passionate people who I am proud to call my co-workers and some, even my friends.
Cheers to the experience of a lifetime!