Where do I start! I will try to explain the best I can without jumping around too much, but there is a lot to talk about. The journey to Vancouver, then Sydney, and eventually Melbourne was a long and grueling one. However, it is definitely worth the wait. I am blown away by so many things about this city. The architecture, the food, the cleanliness, and the people all prove that Melbourne is a world-class city. I have heard a lot about what to expect, but words hardly describe the atmosphere.
The first thing I noticed when coming back from the airport was the amount of construction occurring everywhere. And when I say everywhere, I mean everywhere. There’s probably more cranes in this city than I’ve seen in my entire lifetime. Melbourne is growing fast and investing in making a very bright future for itself.
As we boarded our bus to the hotel, the driver came out to greet us without hesitation, and gave Prof. Ormsbee directions to our hotel. That was the first time I saw the character and friendliness of the people here.
Australians have pride in their city, and it is very well maintained and extremely clean. It does not smell of bad air and garbage like New York, and everything from the streets to the trolleys are completely spotless. I am convinced they may not even know what littering is. Additionally, the trolleys are an important part of the city, and make it very easy to get around fast. On our trolley rides, I was given the opportunity to appreciate the art that covers the buildings and streets. Melbourne is a very cultured and hip area. It also took me as a surprise that Mandarin was a secondary language here, even being put on street signs.
On our company visits, I was also very impressed. I was not familiar with KPMG as a company before searching them, and even then, I did not know what to expect of a visit. KPMG is like the real life ‘Black Mirror’ from Netflix. Automated glass doors, mirrors, and screens are around every corner. They recently started using an ‘agile’ work environment with no cubicles or permanent desks, and employees work wherever they set up for the day. The environment makes for a very modern and efficient workspace, and I liked the loose formality of it.
IBM was similar, and seems to be transitioning from the old-school company that I know in the United States to a more friendly and relaxed company. I also thought it was ironic that one of the tour guides names was Dan Sullivan too, but that wasn’t very important to why we were there. As our second full day here closes, and we’ve done our scavenger hunt across the city, I am feeling comfortable as ever. I usually do not like how loud, dirty, and hectic city life is, but I really love Melbourne. Maybe one day I will have the opportunity to work here!