It’s been just under a week since I last wrote, yet, so much has happened in that short period of time! An interesting component of the program I am participating in is the opportunity to work a part time internship while abroad in the location of your choosing. I intentionally left this major detail out of my last post, due to the fact I believe it’s deserving of its own as it has already assisted me greatly in terms of development and provided me with once in a lifetime opportunities which I will get to shortly.
Due to my professional interest in real estate, the firm I was placed to complete this internship with is called Banna Property Group located about 15 kilometers outside of the CBD where I am staying. Banna Property Group owns, develops, and leases up retail properties throughout Metropolitan Sydney, one property of which is actually across the street from my apartment funny enough. It’s been nearly two weeks since I started with the firm, and so far it’s been great. Despite being hired as a finance intern, in addition to assisting with financial reporting for the firm I will also be helping with their in-house app development and some. operational activities. With this, I will ideally come out of the internship with a well-rounded knowledge of the retail property type.
So far, after only two weeks of work, outside of my responsibilities in the office I’ve had the opportunity to visit a few of the properties, shadow a client tour, and even attend a work event this past Friday. Banna Property Group, specifically the CEO and his family, have great involvement in Chinatown in the Haymarket neighborhood who hosted their annual Chamber of Commerce Lunar New Year Banquet last week. My boss, Brad Chan, was gracious enough to invite some members of the team to join him at his table at the banquet, and I gladly accepted. Not only did this event allow me to further immerse myself into the Chinese culture and the importance of this holiday, but I was able to connect with my colleagues outside of the workplace setting and network with politicians in Sydney, even meeting the Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese.
Without a doubt, the opportunity to acquire professional experience in another country comes with great benefits. Not only am I able to develop my cross cultural communication and cultural competency, expand my professional network, and develop my soft and hard skills, but I am also able to gain a new perspective on an industry I’m genuinely passionate about, and compare it to my prior experience working with real estate.