After four years of study I wanted to finish the final trimester of my degree with something exciting and unique to set me apart from all the graduates with the same qualifications as me. I knew I needed the experience of an internship to get my foot in the door and to taste test if this field of work was really for me. I had the perfect amount of 20 credit points remaining, so I thought, what better way to get that industry experience as well as immersing in a whole new culture and some travel in the mix; completing an internship overseas was simply meant to be.
Following the semester exchange I completed in Paris the previous year, I knew Griffith had so many connections and unique study experiences on offer, so I sought out the Griffith Asia Institute, Global Business Internship Program. After submitting my application and completing the initial interview process, I was so excited to hear the news that I had been selected to embark on this seven-week experience in Hong Kong, the business capital of the world.
Entering this experience, I really didn’t know what to expect, as Hong Kong hadn’t previously been high up on my bucket list of travel, and I would be living in a foreign country with 23 other students who were just strangers at the time. Not to mention the unfortunate timing being when political tensions were unpredictably escalating in Hong Kong.
From the moment I landed in Hong Kong the energy of the city radiated through me, and I had an overwhelming feeling of excitement knowing I was about to have the absolute time of my life.
Hong Kong deeply surprised me with its diversity in everything from dense urban jungle to lush natural beauty surrounding the island, as well as a rich cultural history with no shortage of things to do and see. I loved the feeling of being amongst the hustle and bustle of the city during my working week, and then spending my weekends in nature hiking or finding a new little beach to explore, which made me feel right back at home with some personal space again.
Over the seven weeks I developed amazing relationships with the students on my trip, and found a new best friend in my roommate. We made the most of our nights after work hosting movie nights and playing card games in our room, and wasted no weekends immersing ourselves in the electric nightlife of Hong Kong. There wasn’t one single moment of dullness throughout my entire trip, every day was a brand new exciting adventure.
Our accommodation was centrally located in the city, conveniently connected to the ever-so-efficient public transport system called the MTR, and with no shortage of amazing food options, which made the hard task of choosing what to have for dinner each night even harder. But no complaints when there’s Michelin star dumplings for McDonalds prices at your fingertips.
It was a whirlwind of a time living amongst the chaos of city-wide protests but I wouldn’t change my experience for the world. I had my eyes opened to the message behind the madness and ultimately gave me a deeper political understanding.
I am so grateful to have had the opportunity of interning at the PR firm of my dreams at Ruder Finn, where I worked five days a week from my desk with a view overlooking Victoria Harbour. I was given so much responsibility and creative freedom in my role, and came away with such increased confidence as a professional communicator and a wealth of personal growth.
On top of our working experience, we were invited to a handful of networking events, including cocktail parties, boat cruises, skill development classes and inspiring leadership talks; there was always something happening.
No matter what field of business-related studies you’re in, an overseas internship is the best opportunity to add to your resume and overall life experience! There’s nothing stopping you from living out your wildest career dreams in Hong Kong. Griffith Asia Institute and Griffith Global Mobility provide above and beyond support and with the help of New Colombo grant you don’t need to worry about the cost.
It was a bittersweet farewell saying goodbye to the city I fell in love with, but the memories I made, professional connections and the incredible friendships I formed will last a lifetime. This experience has prepared me with the industry experience, a professional portfolio of work, and the confidence I needed as I approach my graduation, and helped me in securing my dream job.
My Global Mobility internship opened my eyes to the potential of taking my post-university career oversees and into Asia, and I know for sure I will be back in Hong Kong one day soon.
Mira Gietzel, Griffith Asia Institute Global Intern, Ruder Finn, Hong Kong, Summer 2019.