BU Abroad: Being an Aussie “Work Experiencer”
A television internship Down Under means more than pouring coffee
In the video above, step behind the set at Australia’s number-one morning talk show with Alexandra Daks (CAS’10, COM’10).
Production interns on NBC’s Today Show would probably count handing a cup of coffee to Matt Lauer as a semester highlight. But as Alexandra Daks found out last spring in BU’s Sydney Internship Program, in Australia it’s different.
As an intern for The Morning Show, the country’s number-one morning talk show, Daks (CAS’10, COM’10) was on air seven times, was recognized on the street, and sat directly across from host Kylie Gillies’ desk. And she never once had to fetch the hosts a cup of coffee.
In a culture that encourages collaboration and equality — interns are called “work experiencers” in Australia — Daks feels her contributions were both valuable and used. Whether interviewing people on the street or looking up movie clips for the show, “everything I did went to air and helped someone,” she says. “That was such a crazy feeling. I was saving them time and making a difference.”
“It’s great to feel that you’re part of the team,” she says. “And that is definitely an Australian thing.” The film and anthropology major’s work was appreciated: she was asked to stay on for an additional five weeks.
“I stayed, and traveled with my mom for the last few weeks,” she says. “My mom says it was her mission to come to Australia to bring me home.”
Returning to the United States this past June was “a bit surreal,” Daks says. Walking and driving on the right side of the road again required some readjustment. On the other hand, the experience of working on live network television made a lasting change, she says. “It was life-altering in regard to my knowledge and confidence in my future career.”
Alan Wong can be reached at email@example.com.
Next week, another foreign visit. Read more at BU Abroad.