A few weeks ago, we had four Monash University students in our New York City office as part of Monash’s Global Discovery Program. Before departing, we sat down with the students and asked them what it was like to live and work in New York City for a month. Bachelor of Civil Engineering and Commerce student Sarah Chancellor-Goddard shares her experience below,
- What brought you to the LiveTiles Internship:
SCG: The option to apply popped up on my Monash email and it sounded like an incredible opportunity to be able to experience life working overseas, particularly in New York City, which is obviously a hub for business activity all over the world. I’m also really keen to get as much work experience as I can in lots of different areas so I can work out what I like best and where I fit best when I finish university.
- What was your first day like?
SCG: It was extremely cold. Coming from 35 degrees heat to negative 12 degrees was a bit of a shock. And getting over the jetlag was a bit tough, but coming into LiveTiles, we were quite surprised by the layout of the office. It’s quite different from anything I’ve experienced before. Very vibrant, lots of space, and everyone here was super welcoming so it was very exciting.
- What were your first thoughts and observations when you first started doing some work for the internship?
SCG: I’d say, going back to the office, I really had to get used to doing work in an environment where there’s so much going on, so many people to chat to, so many different things happening. But we were lucky enough in the first week to talk to people in all the different parts of the business, and it was great to be introduced to the company in that way so we could understand where we fit into the bigger picture and how everything operated.
- How was the internship experience different from what you expected it to be?
SCG: To be honest, I had no idea what to expect. I’ve never worked at a tech company, and I thought working at a startup would be quite interesting as well, as opposed to the bigger organization that I work for back in Melbourne. I also didn’t know whether it would be just a learning experience or whether we’d actually be able to contribute to the organization, and I think it’s been a really nice mix of both.
- What skills did you acquire that you would be able to put on a resume or talk about in a job interview?
SCG: Learning how a business operates and how to communicate with the people in it. Also, my project involved a lot of data analytics and Excel work, which I don’t do in my current job. Given the digital era we live in, and all the tech innovations that are occurring, it’s nice to get some experience in that area, which will be useful in the future.
- What’s your favorite New York City experience so far?
SCG: I actually really enjoy the commute to and from work. I know that sounds really strange, but just walking through the city, there’s always things happening. It’s always buzzing with people. There’s a lot of culture around, there’s music everywhere. It was a reminder that we’re actually living and working in New York City. It’s still hard to believe it.
I really loved that on the day-to-day. In terms of tourist attractions, I really enjoyed going to the sporting games. The ice hockey match and the NBA basketball games were both highlights for me.
- How is Melbourne different from New York City and do you have a preference?
SCG: In Melbourne, there is a bit of hustle and bustle, but I don’t think it compares to New York City. Everyone here seems like they’re always on a mission, always in a rush, which if work is a bit stressful or you’re having a tough day, that can actually be quite difficult to deal with.
Everything in New York is close together as well, so it’s really easy to navigate the subway and meet with business people and partners, where that can often be a bit more difficult in Melbourne.
- Do you have a favorite LiveTiles memory?”
SCG: I really enjoyed the Australia Day party. It was a lot of fun, and also a great opportunity to speak to Australians from LiveTiles and other businesses in the area. To hear their stories, coming from Melbourne to New York City and how they made it here provided some inspiration, as well as some practicality, if that’s something I would ever decide to do.
- Now that you’ve spent a month here, would you ever want to come back and lvie in NYC?
SCG: I’d definitely like to come back. This internship has been quite eye-opening and has showed me all the possibilities that are out there. I think it’s quite easy to grow up in Melbourne, go to university in Melbourne and work in Melbourne. That’s the natural progression. But this has showed me that there are very exciting things out there, and I aspire to work overseas and see where different opportunities lead me in my career.
- How has the internship changed you personally?
SCG: I think it’s helped with my resilience. Obviously, running around doing different tourist activities is exciting and something we’ve all chosen to do, but you have to find that balance of having enough energy and fitting everything into a busy schedule, and sometimes you can get quite run down and it’s hard to get up and go the next day. That’s something I’ve learned to manage. Just accepting that it’s challenging and working through it is a skill I’ve developed, and it will set me up well for similar challenges in the future.
- How would you rate the overall experience of LiveTiles?
SCG: I’d love to say 10 out of 10. I’ve had such a fantastic time here, made a lot of friends, had a lot of fun, learned a lot. I’ve really gotten the most out of LiveTiles that I possibly could have.
- What’s next for you?
SCG: I go back to Melbourne and have a couple of years left in my studies. I’ll be heading back to finish off an engineering internship I began at the start of summer as well.
In terms of after uni, this internship has really thrown me off. I am still unsure where I’ll go in my career, but I’m really excited about all the different opportunities that are out there, and I now know that despite being an engineering and commerce student, you don’t have to go into technical engineering or a consulting company. There are so many different organizations and opportunities out there. I’ll have to see where I end up.
Want to work at LiveTiles? Check out our opportunities here.