Global Challenge: British Consulate internship, Melbourne, Australia
LLB Law, 2016
Details of duties/ responsibilities/ activities
I had a number of roles and responsibilities during my time in Australia including: finding potential clients and maintaining current investor relations, undertaking commercial research and uncovering potential sectors and areas for financial exploitation. Other roles included encouraging foreign investors based in Australia to invest within the UK, and advice and expertise for British based companies in Australia in relation to competition and tax regulations. In fact I enjoyed the autonomy and the impact I was able to make with my time at the Consulate. My main responsibility gravitated around commercial research in regards to locating potential leads in the market. This essentially meant I was an important link in the team sourcing potential ripe investment opportunities regarding Australian based companies who were looking to enter/expand in the UK. This included creating master documents for each client on our radar, pooling together database records web research and conversations through phone calls and meetings with the clients.
I incorporated a new way of thinking regarding the database for active clients which has now been used throughout the department. I created a more efficient way of client location; I pooled the work across all the databases coupled with the commercial research to harmonise each client record. I then created a master spreadsheet where I allocated each company a priority reading and a band category which I formulated. Within UKTI we are looking for active/potential leads with a strong interest in expanding or moving to the UK based from our data base records. This line of thinking is now something the department is willing to continue, to gauge each company’s intentions/status. I also produced an in depth client briefing note for our head of institutional investment Nick McInnes with regards to a very successful meeting with a leading agrochemicals company Nufarm. Nufarm are currently floated on the Australian stock market and have a huge capacity – bringing them over to the UK could lead to a high ‘FDI win’ which would create 100s of UK based jobs and help boost the economy (the main goal of UKTI). Nick commended me for the high quality, thorough and usefulness of the briefing note.
I also created a large, content heavy Composites and High performance material project – this is a sector the UK sees a great deal of foreign investment depth in, and my part of the investment team covered the advanced manufacturing and engineering sector. My project explained the concepts of composites, the details of the industry. It also summarised the sectors in Australia, the UK and the global industry before summarising the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats (SWOTS) of the UK supply chain. Compiling my own commercial research of the sector I was able to locate 15 Australian leads in this industry by focusing on the strengths of the Aus market (namely in Geelong) and the gaps in the UK supply chain. By locating saturated Aus markets and potential domestic gaps my team in due course will be able to use my project to help encourage Aus based composite companies to enter/expand in the UK market. Came up with the brand name for the consular project relating to backpacker safety – “DontBlunderDownUnder”
Most enjoyable part of the internship
I really appreciated the autonomy and freedom I enjoyed during my internship. Based on previous work experience schemes where I was assigned low level tasks which I saw more of a way to keep me occupied as opposed to helping my team. In contrast the work I undertook significantly increased the productivity in the team. We were able to distribute work load which meant I was at the forefront (in some respects) of our team’s operations. I enjoyed the ability to really make a difference, especially during my composites project where I found fifteen high quality leads which will be pursued in due course, hopefully leading to the creation of UK based jobs. Knowing the work you do is making a real difference, increasing team productivity and reducing time consuming tasks allowed me to enjoy my work. In recognition due to the quality of my work I was assigned more high valued tasks throughout my internship. Also I enjoyed the city based working culture of Melbourne; this is very similar to that in London. Consequently it gave me a real feel of what to expect when I pursue a future career in the city.
My commercial research skills have developed a great deal as most of my work gravitated around my research. My analytical skills regarding database documents and briefs have developed allowing me to more efficiently pinpoint areas which require more detail than others. Additionally, I have developed my personal skills. I have learnt how to fit in socially in a work place whilst remaining professional. My interpersonal skills have really been developed in a professional environment. Even, moving here for 4 weeks on my own has removed me from my comfort zone thus I have found out new opportunities to integrate myself in the area. I also joined a South-American football team Kensington City and made a great impression. I have gained more than I anticipated during my time here and I have loved every minute.