At Export Connect, our vision is to see a thriving export industry driven by market opportunities, knowledge and connections. To achieve this vision, we need to build capacity in the sector, and develop the next generation of export leaders. With that in mind we set-up our internship programme which provides essential hands-on experience to university students at an early stage of their careers.
Here we share the experience of one of our interns Madeleine Hatton from UTS. Maddie comes from a medical science background and so brought a unique perspective to the projects assigned to her.
Tell us about yourself:
I hold a medical science degree and am in my final year of my Creative Intelligence and Innovation degree (BCII). Over the course of BCII I have been a part of several successful innovation teams. In my first year, our team was awarded the Vivant Prize, which focused on our process of experimentation and ability to ‘pivot’ based on the market we were researching. In my second year, my team’s solution was taken up by the innovation company Xinova. Then last year, my team’s pitch came 2nd out of our cohort and was offered a space at Stone and Chalk.
I’ve also been part of the executive team of the university medical science society, working my way up from a general committee position; to treasurer; to president. I see my work there as both an achievement and a hobby, as I was very much interested in providing both academic and social opportunities for my peers.
In terms of my general interests and passions, I am someone who is always curious about how and why things work. Whether that be a biological process or how markets interact with products and/or services.
What goals did you set when you joined the Export Connect team?
Prior to commencing the internship, I outlined two personal goals.
The first was to gain industry knowledge about export strategy and to test my ability to pick up and implement new information efficiently.
The second was to gain insight into client work, particularly agrifood businesses with a global market mindset. In the process, I wanted to improve my presentation design skills and market research understanding.
What are the challenges you experienced prior to joining the Export Connect team?
My knowledge outside of my field of study was quite limited and I wanted to broaden my scope of experience by undertaking an internship in a different field.
Why did you choose us over other similar internships or jobs out there?
In the application process, I was originally drawn to the emphasis on export and the use of digital platforms. Digital platforms are changing access to new areas and how people interact, and I thought that would be an interesting space to explore. Most importantly, I was drawn to the passion and authenticity of the Export Connect executive during the interview process, as I believe people make or break a work environment.
What was your experience like?
The Export Connect team fostered a great learning environment as the staff were open to teaching and giving direction. They provided me with opportunities to sit in meetings and learn from industry experts, including attending UX design workshops and meeting with the City of Sydney. Experiencing the UX design workshops was particularly beneficial, as I was able to gain insights regarding both the processes of UX design and the application of export expertise, through the mapping of a potential exporter’s journey.
I was also given the opportunity to work autonomously and conduct research on the Australian organic industry, including helping to develop an export strategy questionnaire.
How did you benefit?
My time at Export Connect was a steep learning curve. Apart from achieving the goals I set for this internship, I learned how to help foster a great team culture from the leaders of the business. And I thoroughly enjoyed working from a co-working space with like-minded, positive natured and passionate people!