Thishara | Business
Placed at: Bosch Australia
I did my diploma in Sri Lanka, through an institute affiliated with Swinburne. During the process of transferring from Sri Lanka to Australia to complete my degree, I was offered the opportunity to change my bachelor’s degree to the professional degree. I chose to change to a professional degree, as I believed that real world experience would supplement the knowledge I gained throughout university and it gave me the opportunity to work in Australia for 12-months, while studying.
Being an international student, I had no knowledge on what an Australian work culture and environment would be like. Therefore, prior to the placement, I had no idea on what to expect!
Sometimes, it is hard to manage living and working away from home, in an unfamiliar environment. However, working in this department has never disappointed me. Everyone makes me feel so at home here, and that has definitely helped me over the past few months. I really am very grateful for my team here at Bosch!
At my placement, I assist the marketing managers of Bosch Blue Power Tools and Measuring Tools at Bosch Australia. Bosch is a brand that has a reputation for having excellent quality and good practices, so I felt that working in such a large reputable company would give me an experience that I would not be able to find in most places. Also, the fact that Bosch is owned by a charitable foundation appealed to me a lot too.
My first day was great! I was quite nervous to start a new job in a new country. However, from the moment of walking in to the security gatehouse to collect my ID, and then to my department, I felt quite at home. Everyone was so welcoming, helpful and made the transition very easy.
My tasks and projects vary between organizing packaging for products, creation and managing the flow of promotional material to internal and external stakeholders, assisting in customer queries, preparation for tradeshows etc.
There is a stereotype that placement students are the people who have to do tasks that nobody else wants to do. However, during my placement I was given the responsibility to handle tasks and projects independently just as any other employee of the organisation, while there is still a culture where it is easy to approach our managers when we require assistance or advice. I think this really contributes to personal development.
One of the things that stood out for me during my placement was the day the new Measuring Tools Catalogue was published. Creating a new, updated catalogue for Measuring Tools was a project that my manager handed over to me entirely. It was something that I was working on for months from scratch. Therefore, finally seeing the end-product of all that effort made me quite proud.
I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to participate in trade expos in both Melbourne and Brisbane. Initially, I was quite nervous, as sales was something I had no experience in and was definitely out of my comfort zone. Nevertheless, all it took was the push to make an initial sale; and I immediately felt more confident. I ended up really enjoying making sales to customers directly!
Another other enjoyable experience I had, was being able to observe a focus group. Focus groups are a type of research method we were introduced to at many units at university. Therefore, seeing how it was conducted in real life with actual participants of our brand’s target market was something I found really cool!
I believe this placement has contributed largely to my personal career development.
I have not only gained the experience of a professional workplace, but also developed skills and the knowledge that have made me more confident as an emerging professional.
I think a placement is the perfect stepping-stone to the next phase of your career. It not only gives you an idea on what you can expect from a full time working environment, but how to achieve a work-life balance. I believe that it can stop you from being thrown into the deep end of not knowing what to expect once you graduate.
At the moment I still haven’t decided if I want to work in Australia longer, go back to Sri Lanka or work in a different country altogether!
For now, I am just happy exploring any opportunity that comes my way.