4 January 2016

Hello from the other side…

The time has arrived! After months of waiting and counting down the days, I am finally on a flight to Washington DC from San Francisco airport! I have been anticipating this moment ever since I got accepted into the Industry Placement Program. The day that I found out that I will be studying and interning in Washington DC is one that I will never forget.

It was after an accounting lecture when I received the email. I remember being caught off-guard as it arrived a day early. Even so, I didn’t waste a second to open the email. As soon as I saw the words ‘I am delighted…’  I was on the verge of tears and shaking with joy. It was definitely one of the best moments of 2015. I was overcome with happiness and in that moment, I knew that hard-work pays off.

Despite standing outside that lecture room frozen in awe for a good ten minutes, I don’t think the fact that I was going away for 2 months hit me until I started to pack for the trip. In fact, I had to adjust my luggage four different times to reduce the weight to 23kg. The very first weigh-in was 27kg! I eventually reduced the weight when I remembered that I can actually buy clothes overseas. Once I got it down to the appropriate size, it hit me that this trip is going to be filled with small and big challenges, nerves, excitement and lots of stories to tell.

I didn’t think that I could get more excited for this trip after receiving the initial email, but then I was told where I would be interning. I discovered that I was to be placed at the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and jumped for joy. Prior to applying for the IPP, I attended a seminar that explained the process of the program and one student explained that their experience of working at IEDC was incredible. I am thrilled to be placed at the IEDC and I also hope that in some way I can make a difference for the organisation.

I am also looking forward to the units of study that I am studying. I am undertaking the units ‘International Policy’ and ‘Politics of Water Policy’ at the University of California, Washington Center (UCDC). I am keen to learn about subjects outside my degree and to test the waters (excuse the pun) of an interesting and different subject.

I am ecstatic to discover the challenges that this program will inevitably throw me. I’m already having an incredible time as I spent New Years in San Francisco with some fellow IPP students. Definitely a brilliant and spectacular start to a new year. To be in a different country for the celebration of a new year was such a surreal experience for me and something I will never forget.

I definitely threw myself in the deep end when applying for this program. I have never been overseas alone or away from home for an extended period of time. I will be leaving for two months to fend on my own!  One of my resolutions for 2015 was to take advantage of the opportunities provided to me, and I can certainly say that I achieved this. Now to bring on the next exciting experience, which is actually working and studying in Washington DC. Bring it on!

Rosalinda Raiti
Current student at the University of Sydney Business School and participant in the Industry Placement Program in Washington DC

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