Australia has been all I could have ever imagined and more! The weather so far has been pretty great, the area is beautiful and the food has been very American. It has been nice to walk into an area that shares much of the westernized feel that we experience in America, with its own unique differences. The business visits have also been slightly different in that we have been going on a lot more guided tours where we are provided historical information, rather than just thrown into a question board.
I have enjoyed the mix of guided tours and business meetings as it has provided us with somewhat of a rest from the nonstop business meetings that we experienced in Thailand. Our first full day here in Sydney was somewhat of a break because we got to tour ANZ Stadium and the Sydney Opera House, which were informational as well as recreational. I was really impressed with ANZ Stadium when our guide started to mention its environmental functions of the building. The stadium actually collects the rain water and the recycles it, using it both as irrigation and to flush the toilets. They also use solar energy on the outside of the building to light certain fixtures and power certain operations. I was also surprised to see adaptable the building was.
Next was the Sydney Opera House. The Sydney Opera House is one of the main monuments you think of when you think of Sydney so this was extremely exciting. It was really interesting to learn about the history of its creation, and how they are continuing to add to the structure. The first full day, we were also thrown into a scavenger hunt, which was a great way to learn a little bit about some of the history of Sydney, as well as find some of the well-known eateries in our general area.
The second full day here we started to delve more into some business meetings, attending the AmCham breakfast, meeting with Employment Innovations and meeting with Cochlear. The Breakfast was a treat because it threw us into a room of successful business professionals who openly shared their views on the topic of leadership. At Employment Innovations we got to see some of the cultural differences between the US and Australia, namely being their pay and awards scale. It was interesting to learn about and also shocking to hear that some people can make up to $80 per hour on Sundays!
At our next stop, Cochlear, we were sent on somewhat of a tour in which we got to see the manufacturing of the product, as well as see just how it has grown. Having no family members who have had Cochlear Implants it was interesting to see the way it works and the functionality of it, as well as how much it can help one’s hearing. To end of the day we traveled to Bondi Beach, which was more than I could have expected. I have never really been to the ocean to this was a first. The taste and burn of the salt water, the size of the waves and the beauty of the area made this a very memorable experience.
Wednesday was a full day for us. We started off the day at the American Chamber of Commerce. This was another business meeting where I feel we were clearly able to pick up on some of the cultural differences, as they were blatantly thrown at us. Our presenter was really intelligent and was not afraid to tell it how it is, which I appreciated (much more than others). Americans are much more formal that Australians in the workplace, who tend to be more laid back. Also, we are arrogant, generally uncultured and narrow all about status. Which I couldn’t have agreed with more.
Our next stop led us to IBM. This meeting was one of my top two because after an initial presentation we were more or less led by a group of interns. It was incredibly interesting to hear their points of view on different things, like their transition in to the work force, as well as pick up on somethings that I could do better to force myself to grow.
My favorite presentation was the one we ended off with at KPMG. The KPMG presentation was heavily based on Data Analytics which was right down my alley. Data Analytics has been an emerging business function, and KPMG are doing many things that I haven’t exactly heard of but are becoming more and more necessary, like block chain and RPA which I found fascinating. This was by far my favorite meeting of the trip and a great way to end of the business meetings here in Sydney. Over the next two days, we will be able to explore Sydney more and get experience what it will be like to be an Aussie.