Why must I say goodbye to the Australia Vacation? Do I REALLY have to work full time in the gorgeous place with wonderful weather and no shortage of sunshine? MUST I sit at a computer from 9-5? Yes, I know. I’m going to hell for complaining about working in Australia. But for real, it’s been the next hardest transition of the trip so far. After not working or even going to school for over a month, I’m not just returning to a couple hour long classes, I finally had to enter the world of adulthood and start working full-time (minus Fridays of course ). Therefore; my attention span is untrained again and lasts little over 20 minutes at a time, business attire feels suffocating and tedious, actually putting make up on and straightening my hair daily has become a chore worthy to be compared with laundry, and the indoors for 8 hours straight gives me cabin fever.
However, I digress and I admit I really do have an amazing opportunity on my hands. In case you didn’t notice from my earlier posts, yesterday was my unofficial first day and interview with the International Company, Brown Forman. Since a majority of you may not know what that is, Brown Forman is the parent company for a number of name brand liqueurs. These liqueurs include but are not limited to; Jack Daniels (it’s full line including the Winter Jack , 1907, & Gentlemen Jack), Southern Comfort, Canadian Mist, Finlandia Vodkas, Chambord, Jagermeister, and Herradura Tequila. Stop there right? It’s obviously already the coolest place ever to work, especially in Australia where they drink 2x the amount of Jack Daniels than Americans do.
In a little explanation about the atmosphere, if any of you have visited any modern offices in Chicago such as Red Frog or Leo Burnett, you will understand what I mean. First of all, I get a badge and a laptop all to my own. As well as a desk. This is a quirky large desk at a junction of 2 large hallways. I can see out windows to the city here as well. This large desk also has a big screen TV for impromptu meetings to take place, people to get away from their desk if they are bored of it or just need a place to do something else, marketing and promotional items get put together and discussed here, and it even lends itself to a snack stop. Doesn’t sound like a desk right? Well it is actually great. I have already met so many people, learned so many things, helped with different random projects, etc. In correlation to this quirkiness, the rest of the office is extremely modern with window like walls to the outer offices along the building (important people), and large open tables for other associates of different department heads to work together (the open tables and desk space allows for collaboration, communication, and friendship), along these open areas are colorful walls full of neat artwork, shelves, and decorations to go with the brown forman and liqueur scene. This liqueur theme extends into the doors and conference rooms as well. The doors are all shaped like different bottles of our brands. This is most relevant in the “conference rooms” which are all sorts of shapes and sizes and are all “Branded”. There is the Chambord room with a shorter, rounder bottle door, deep purple floors, an old world table, a antique chandelier, and ornate letters along the window spelling out the brand. This varies a lot from the large Jack Daniels conference room which has their signature bottle shape door, an accent wall full of a large screen print of the Jack Daniels label, a rough large conference table, and modern hanging lights. However… the best part EVER is that there is a BAR in our office.. YES! I FULLY STOCKED BAR! It’s a gorgeous wood bar with all of our offerings. It’s main use? Our Thursday Morning staff meeting/cocktail hour and our Friday afternoon “early out, cocktail hour” for all staff. So there’s that…
(PICTURES BELOW OF MY OFFICE!)
However! It gets simultaneously better and worse at the same time. Therefore, I will start with the bad news. My internship is in the riveting, cutting edge, and oh so exciting department of ! …. ! DATA ANALYSIS! WOOOOO! I get to work with excel sheets, source data, and models all day.. not exactly the most exciting alcohol related job out there. BUT, this is great because it gives me unparalleled access to the liqueur industry, it’s trends, it’s advertisements, it’s promotions, its events / sponsorships, etc. I have literally worked there 2 days and I already have so much more knowledge and insight to not only the industry, but to how to use all this information in marketing. I have also learned how to input this information into a regression model (yay stats class for all you business nerds like me ) and come up with all sorts of amazing conclusions that can tell me what type of promotions work, which ones down, what influences people to buy, how business and profit is gained or lost, who are the competitors, who don’t we need to worry about, etc.
On top of the opportunities of my specific internship there, the good news is that I also have the amazing benefit and resource of working with two of my fellow Augie students and roommates, Kim Khuen and Ashley DeVolder. However, they are working in the marketing department. Ashley has been given the general project of working on the Jagermeister campaign for the next 2 months. She will help plan bar events, bar crawls, sponsorship, and videos. SO COOL! Kim will also be working with her more generally for events across the liqueur board. This is pretty amazing because since I know them and their supervisor, I have already been invited to be a part of these events and planning. For example, this Friday, (technically my day off but I GUESS I can come in for this…) I have been invited to come in for coffee with Charlie (my friends’ supervisor) and my friends on our way to a bar in “The Rocks” which is the older, more characteristic part of downtown Sydney. At this bar we will be filming a promotional video for an event and competition that will be occurring later this month or next month. We both get to help set up, run errands, and decorate AND potentially be in the video itself as girls at the bar… Literally awesome.
So overall, may not be the dream internship quite yet (boring stats). But I am keeping an open mind and have great hopes for what it could be. There are so many opportunities and skills I can gain from everything I am doing, so I’ll be sure to keep everyone updated. Anyway, just wanted to again remind everyone at home that I love them with all my heart and miss them terribly. Please stay healthy and warm everyone! I will see you soon.
In the meantime, Goodnight Australia!
Posted on January 14th, 2014 by Megan Funke
Filed under: Megan Funke