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Bonding in the Blue Mountains

Like many other dual study program students, Sophie was given the opportunity to spend three months abroad at one of our subsidiaries. Having previously visited Australia, she was keen to return.

“The country and culture impressed me right away the first time I visited on an exchange program. And moreover, the Australian consumer market is significantly different from the German market”, she says.

Her goal was to learn a lot about regional needs in person, in particular, the effect that the local climate has on skincare. “Because of the higher radiation intensity, sunscreen plays an enormously important role in almost all the products.”

Sophie’s job at our North Ryde office was extremely varied: from supporting media planning to agency briefings for the Body range to analyzing the competition’s digital activities; Sophie’s skills were in great demand in the 65-strong office. “Because I had never had any experience in marketing, but am very interested in this area and my “Media” focus at school has strong ties with it, this was the perfect opportunity to learn about the work of a local marketing team”, says Sophie.

It wasn’t just the work that kept Sophie on her toes. Switching from German summer to the Australian winter was one thing, but the associated winter traditions were something else. “My team celebrated Christmas in August. Everyone contributed a Christmas dish for the buffet and we listened to Christmas carols.” 

Sophie liked the positive outlook Down Under. “The people don’t let themselves get down when bad things happen, but try to look on the bright side.” Much as Sophie wanted to embrace that laissez-faire attitude, she struggled sometimes when it came to public transport in Sydney. “It’s really complicated! Buses only stop when you hold your hand up and the stops aren’t announced. So I often missed my stop.”

Despite the commuting problems, Sophie had no worries when it came to exploring her surroundings with her colleagues.

“The most impressive thing was our day trip to the Blue Mountains. We took a ‘Bush Walk’ at night so we could see waterfalls in the light of fireflies – that’s something I’ll never forget!”

What’s the one tip that Sophie would give fellow colleagues planning a trip to Oz? “Start looking for an apartment right away because this can be a real problem in Sydney.”