Cara Kovach – June - August 2013
I would like to provide a glowing recommendation for the U.S. Commercial Service internship in Sydney, Australia. As most potential applicants know, searching for an internship can be a daunting experience. Where to work? Who to work for? Questions galore. When it comes to searching for internships on an international scale, there are additional barriers and even more questions. However, I can say with the utmost confidence that an internship with USCS Sydney is definitely the answer.
I am an undergraduate finance and management student at the University of Arizona. I knew from the start of my search that I wanted an international internship. Thus, when I found the USCS Sydney opportunity, I began my application immediately. From then on out, every interaction I had with the office was nothing short of flawless --something that is understated when considering possible communication issues that arise from being across the world. In spite of the abundant paperwork and clearance needed to have the internship, it was all worth it.
Upon arriving for the first day of work, the situation only continued to improve. Not only was I living in one of the best climates and coolest cities in the world --don’t let the idea of a Sydney “winter” scare you, it was high 60’s most of the time I was there—but the staff at USCS Sydney was incredible and very welcoming.
Most importantly, the work experience that the USCS internship provided was unparalleled compared to other internships available to students. As an intern, you are surrounded by extremely talented and intelligent colleagues, and they treat you as such. I conducted international partner searches, planned appointments for US companies with interested Australian firms, participated in conference calls and meetings, compiled market research, assisted in preparing and hosting events (attended some too)— and this is only a brief and general list of the tasks I completed.
Though I could continue elaborating about my time at USCS Sydney, the most important take away from my recommendation is to apply for this internship! If you are new to the workforce, studying business related majors or international affairs; this could be a perfect fit for you. And… just wait for the view.
Jordan Zele – Dec to Feb 2012/13
My internship with the Department of Commerce at the US Consulate in Sydney was an extremely rewarding and enjoyable experience. Heading into my final year of study, I was looking for a position that would allow me to gain experience in international relations. The internship with FCS gave me the opportunity to begin moving my career in this direction. I gained an insight into the fields of international trade and commerce, as well as developing an understanding of the workings within diplomatic posts. Furthermore, working in a professional environment has been a significant learning experience, and gave me the opportunity to acquire basic skills such as teamwork and client management techniques, skills that are important in any given career. Overall, I found the work engaging and challenging, and I was able to see that my achievements were having a direct impact on the people we worked with.
David Suen – August to December 2012
As an intern at the U.S. Department of Commerce, you will experience how the U.S. government works with American businesses in promoting trade abroad. Working with highly talented and professional local staff, your day will be filled with projects that seek to make a difference and bring value to the companies of America. On a normal day, an intern would be prospecting for potential business partners, meeting with U.S. business representatives or helping staff with time sensitive projects. Meanwhile, the intern may join the other commercial specialists and officers with delegations from U.S. cities bustling with high profile business leaders in the host city aiming to facilitate the growth of business and trade. Most importantly, an intern will work with a dedicated team of individuals across a wide range of departments and fields, who are passionate about what they do and know what it takes to get things done. Lastly, an intern will buttress their skills and increase their competitiveness in the market through gaining experience and knowledge while working at the Department of Commerce, all while building lasting relationships and contributing to the mission of the Commercial Service of the United States of America.
Maili Tan – Aussie summer 2011/12
Working with FCS has given me firsthand experience in dealing with one of the world’s most commercially developed nations. The Summer Foreign National Student Internship Program is an ideal way for Australian students to learn more about American working culture and business.
The internship far outstripped my expectations and I was impressed by the commitment and time dedicated by the U.S. Commercial Service and the Consulate General staff in implementing an internship program which gave us a holistic understanding of the consulate general and international trade - the interns were given the full experience of working life at the consulate general.
I was considered part of the FCS team and assigned meaningful tasks to assist the Commercial Specialists such as attending trade events, updating reports, assisting U.S. firms with due diligence, and preparing industry briefs. The internship was a once in a lifetime experience and I would thoroughly encourage it to every student with an international mindset and would like to broaden their knowledge of the U.S.
SCO Joe Kaesshaefer, Maili Tan,
Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich
R. Daniel Gaines – Summer 2011
Once I arrived, I knew that I had made the right decision in coming ‘Down Under’. Everyone in the office was friendly and eager to work with me. I was assigned to work on various projects; all adding to my knowledge and experience in the field of international trade. Throughout my internship, I conducted primary research and contacted companies directly in order to facilitate partnerships. In addition, I collected data and created detailed spreadsheets that the Trade Specialists used with clients from an array of industries.
I was even given the opportunity to participate in a multi-agency collaboration, and helped create the “National Export Initiative Action Plan for Australia, 2011-2012”. These were all real tasks – you won’t find the menial coffee fetching in this office!
Outside of work was just as much fun. Sydney is a great city, with plenty to do and see. Remember, Sydney is not just a pretty place to visit, but is also the business capital of Australia, so create your own opportunities/networks and maximize your time. Go! Work! Explore! You’ll have the time of your life.
Nicole Bateman- Summer 2010
My internship with U.S. Commercial Service was an invaluable experience. Not only did I have the opportunity to live and work in the bustling city of Sydney, but I was also able to learn from and work with a wonderful staff of knowledgeable and hardworking individuals. During my time with CS Sydney, I travelled to Canberra with other Consulate interns to meet with Ambassador Bleich, attended and contributed to the Independence Day Celebration, experienced Question Time at Parliament, researched a variety of market sectors, went to trade shows, and assisted U.S. firms in reaching the Australian marketplace. These experiences will surely travel with me as I move forward towards graduation and my career. I highly recommend this internship for students interested in business, foreign affairs, politics, economics, and government. The greatest part of this internship was the opportunity to become involved with projects that truly impact CS and the business community.
Nicole with SCO David Murphy
Katie Knish - May/July 2010
My internship with the U.S. Commercial Services was a major turning point in my undergraduate career. Under the guidance of the brilliant and helpful U.S. Commercial Services team, I gained invaluable experience in international trade. Through this opportunity I discovered that I would really enjoy a career in this field. Writing market briefs for various industry sectors, visiting the Apple Store to assess the popularity of the iPad, sitting in on meetings between the Commercial Specialists and company representatives, and meeting the Ambassador are just a few examples of what makes this internship so unique. Exploring the inner workings of international commerce is fascinating. For instance, navigating through trade barriers or attempting to find potential distributors for U.S. goods requires interesting research and networking. Working in a professional environment in the heart of a fabulous city was truly an incredible experience.
I highly recommend this internship to students interested in international relations, trade, or governmental work.
Sarah Elwell, State Dept Intern; Nicole Bateman, Commerce Intern; Consul General Judith Fergin, Erica Stevens Protocol, Dana Swing, State Intern; Katie Knish, Commerce Intern, and Chloe Curran, State Intern on July 4.
Thuy Van Nguyen - January to July, 2010
My approach to professional development has always been to seek opportunities that involve “Going Global for Good Growth.” My internship at the U.S. Commercial Service is everything an intern would hope for in gaining invaluable experiences for “going global,” and opportunities for tackling interesting challenges for “good growth.” I found my time in the office to be highly rewarding and the varied projects I worked on to be stimulating and relevant to my learning of international trade. From day one, I was entrusted with responsibilities that involved conducting customized market research, drafting Industry Sector Analysis reports, and identifying Australian agents and distribution channels for American companies. Through these tasks, I gained a comprehensive insight to the U.S. – Australia trade relationship and the work of the CS Australia in assisting U.S. clients develop market opportunities in the land down under.
As a locally-engaged intern, the internship provided me ample opportunities for networking with fellow American friends and to learn about America’s rich culture and the intricacies of life in the Foreign Service. For those interested in such rewarding experiences, I thoroughly recommend this “must-do” internship to aspiring diplomats, international trade gurus, and business-minded individuals, who endeavor to “going global for good growth.”
Jaclyn Cahan - June/July 2009
My internship with the U.S. Commercial Service in Australia was an incredible experience. I highly recommend this internship for any student interested in international business, foreign affairs, or government work. There is no “typical day” as each day was an amazing learning experience. The Commercial Specialists and Senior Commercial Officer make it a point to include the interns as part of their team and often invited us to meetings between U.S. and Australian companies, trade expos, and briefings between representatives at the three U.S. Consulates and Embassy in Australia. We also had the opportunity to visit the Embassy in Canberra and meet with the Chargé d’Affaires ad interim for the Embassy of the United States of America and other key government officials. The entire program is extremely well-structured to provide the utmost benefit for the interns.
Jackie Cahan and fellow intern Michael Feldman
Stephan J. Ruzicka – March to May 2009
While obtaining my Masters Degrees in International Business and Masters in Commerce at the University of Sydney, my internship with the U.S. Commercial Service at the U.S. Consulate General-Sydney provided an exciting opportunity to compliment my academic studies with practical experience in international trade. Americans and Australians share the same language, but the Australian market poses unique challenges and opportunities for American companies operating abroad. As a USCS intern you work independently as well as alongside industry experts to research, analyze, and assess local market conditions and potential partners.
The internship also challenges you to identify opportunities for American companies entering the Australian market as well as to assist in mitigating risks that they might encounter. Ultimately, this internship allowed me to build practical experience, assisting and facilitating trade activities that are vital for American and Australia businesses. Moreover, you learn to hone your global business skills in one of the most beautiful and international cities in the world.
Melissa Yorizane – January to April 2008
Interning at the USCS was an excellent opportunity to gain first-hand experience in international trade whilst completing my Masters degree at the University of Sydney. No day was ever the same and I gained exposure to a wide range of industries, completing research on anything from mining to tourism to fashion. Whether conducting market research, researching potential trade partners, or sitting in on meetings with clients, you will gain insight into what it takes for US companies to be successful in Australia. Everyone at the USCS Sydney office was very supportive and it was wonderful working environment. I truly enjoyed my time there.
NOW: Melissa works as an International Trade Specialist in the Sydney office of the Council of Great Lakes Governors.
Kimberley Allen – May to July, 2008
The U.S. Commercial Service provides interns with a unique opportunity to complement textbook knowledge of international trade with hands-on experience. Interns are involved in the main mission of the U.S. Commercial Service, facilitating trade between the U.S. and Australia, and are given substantive projects involving real clients. Often, interns help commercial specialists research and provide advice to companies making difficult trade-related decisions.
Interns are sometimes charged with determining Australia's viability as a market for a specific product or with contacting potential distributors.
This insider's perspective to the governmental and business aspects of trade and exporting is rare and invaluable. Furthermore, the Australian office provides an encouraging and positive environment. The commercial specialists actively engage the interns, taking the time to explain projects and the bigger issues behind them. I could not recommend the internship more highly for a student who is seeking experience in international trade to supplement upper level university or graduate courses.
Allyson Hamilton – May to July 2007
As a small town Kentucky girl, my internship with the US Commercial Service broadened my understanding of the complicated process of international trade. Guided by experienced and knowledgeable staff, I gained valuable commercial trade experience. I conducted market research and learned to navigate government regulations in order to promote prosperous trade across borders. My experience during the internship will be very beneficial as I receive my Masters in Diplomacy and International Commerce and begin my career. I highly recommend this internship because of the beautiful location, genuine people, and professional experience.
Jessica Crowell - July 2006
After having spent a semester studying at The University of New South Wales (UNSW) and traveling around Australia, interning with USCS was a great conclusion to my Australian adventure. This opportunity to understand and work with the behind-the-scenes operations that link Australia and the US on so many levels was quite exciting. This experience has provided me with insight into the difficulties American businesses face when trying to penetrate new markets and the necessity of local expertise when it comes to successful market making for a given product. My time here has also exposed me to industries I never knew existed and given me a new perspective on quality products and promotion. Whether you are able to work for 1 month or 5, there is much to be gained from participating in this work experience.
Jessica (left), Snehal (right) with Brian, State Department Political Section intern.
Snehal Barot - July, 2006
Interning at the USCS provided me with a unique opportunity to engage in a foreign business environment and culture without leaving Australia. (If it hadn’t been for the gorgeous view of the Sydney Harbor outside the window, I would have felt like I was in the U.S.). As an Australian, I found the behind-the-scenes exposure to the process that brings the numerous American products to our shops and supermarkets quite interesting. Though I was already familiar with Australian regulatory bodies and procedures, my internship provided me with a new perspective into their impact on the product decisions and promotions of companies that wish to export to Australia.
My primary tasks involved conducting market research on various industry sectors and seeking potential Australian distributors for American products. The trade specialists and other staff with whom I worked were incredibly supportive and more than willing to share their expertise. I appreciated the independence I was given in performing tasks and was treated as a valued member of the team. The internship definitely enhanced my research abilities and strengthened my verbal and written business communication skills. Even though I participated in a short-term internship, the knowledge and perspectives I gained about the working world and my own aspirations will be invaluable. My advice for future interns is come with an open mind, work hard, ask questions and just take in all that the Commercial Service has to offer.
NOW: Snehal works with AusAid in Canberra.
Lianna Chang – February to May, 2006
Interning in Australia with the Commercial Service places you in the unique position of dealing with American corporations while working for an entity that is neither in the private sector nor in the US. Through the projects and assignments, you develop a familiarity with a range of Australian brands, companies, and industry sectors that range from cutting-edge IT products to defense contracts to pharmaceuticals. Tasks include performing generic secretarial duties as well as online market research, scheduling and attending business meetings, writing newsletters, presenting at trade shows, preparing for conferences, and writing market reports. The office is located within the US Consulate in the heart of Sydney’s Central Business District, affording you an inside look at the work and lifestyle of overseas government officials and amazing views of Sydney harbour. Your coworkers are wonderfully friendly and eager to help you learn about their jobs and about Australia. Overall, this internship provides a well-rounded experience of another country’s economy through the lens of your country’s governmental departments and business interests.
Nancy Schlesiger – January to February, 2006
A life-changing internship for Nancy, our 2006 intern from Cincinnati who after a whirlwind romance and graduation, married U.S. Air Force officer, Dave Edwards. Dave was a member of the U.S. Air Force Detachment stationed at the U.S. Consulate General, Sydney. They have enjoyed postings to Japan and Germany and are Stateside for now.
Susan Abramczyk – April/ May, 2006
My internship with the USCS taught me about the kinds of issues a company faces when trying to expand internationally. My experiences helped me to truly understand the importance of free trade agreements in facilitating business across borders. My work included calls to local companies, arranging meetings between U.S. companies and potential partners, accompanying our industry specialists to meetings with potential partners, and researching local markets to identify new opportunities. Our industry specialists were more than willing to answer my questions, and the overall atmosphere at the consulate was professional while still very friendly.
Sydney is a particularly enjoyable city in which to work as it has so much to offer in terms of fun things to do and sights to see. I found myself doing something new almost every day of the week. The great weather and friendly people in Sydney complemented an already wonderful internship experience, and I would certainly recommend it to other college students.
Sarah Heyen – August to December, 2005
Interning with the U.S. Commercial Service in Sydney was a wonderful and unforgettable experience. This internship really allowed hands-on learning from the first day with the guidance of an extremely knowledgeable and talented staff. I gained insight into the Australian-United States trade market, while learning the key aspects of the U.S. Commercial Services and foreign trade. This internship provided me with the opportunity to develop my skills in communication and business.
I would thoroughly recommend this program!
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