LINC Sydney | Student Blogs
Sydneysick- Victoria Madrid

It’s been a little more than a week since we left Sydney and I am definitely Sydneysick! After our trip, I remained in Los Angeles for a couple of days where the weather was pretty similar to Australia’s. However, a couple of days ago I came back to my hometown in El Paso, Texas and I must say, I terribly miss Australia!

Aside from missing the beautiful weather in Sydney, I really miss the whole no tipping and no taxes laws. Also, the whole laid-back culture of Australia was simply amazing! At first it was an inconvenience when the mall and many other places would close by 6 pm, but now I understand the importance of family and social life in the Australian culture.

All in all, Sydney was a great experience that I wish could have lasted longer. However, thanks to Marshall and our amazing faculty members, Julia Plotts, Mayra Miranda, and Jennifer Alderete, we came back with so many skills but also memories. For example, earlier when I was watching TV, I actually thought about the marketing strategies that each commercial used for their products. Even at my local mall I observed the architecture and realized that it could improve majorly to entice more consumers. Also thanks to LINC, I am now looking into studying abroad as much as I can and hopefully obtaining a job in another country. (:

Thank you Professor Plotts, Mayra Miranda, Jennifer Alderete, Marshall, and USC, this experience was definitely unforgettable and could not have been possible without all of you.

LINC Sydney 2013

Kerry Blog Post #5: Sydney Recap!

So it’s been nearly a week and I think I’m finally over the jet lag of coming back to the states! I must say that I miss Australia very much! Funny enough though, the weather hasn’t changed too much since I came back to the Bay Area, home to very strange weather! (Sprinkling on a summer night. Why!?) But I do miss the beautiful city views of skyscrapers and being surrounded by fast-paced Aussies! I miss the company of our wonderful tour guide, Cherie, and the close friends I was able to make on this trip!

I love looking through all the pictures in my camera from our awesome trips to Westfield, the Blue Mountains, the Sydney Swans Home field, the Sydney Harbour and Manly beach! I’m sure I can speak on behalf of the LINC Sydney group and mention how greatly this program was run. All of our meetings ran on time and we were given plenty of time to explore Sydney for ourselves and experience the wonders of their culture.

I must admit, when I first got there, I was taken aback to how similar everything looked to the bay’s San Francisco. Sydney was similar to any other growing industrial city, but as the days went by I experienced the slight cultural differences: everyone was so kind, and showed no (or very little) annoyance with the large group of American college students running around on their streets making excited conversation and touristy commentary.

Overall, this trip was so fulfilling and I would encourage all freshman to apply for this program. I’m sure wherever the location, you’ll have a great time and experience cultural differences that will change your outlook on your own possibilities in business for the future!

Some photos from the trip :)
From top to bottom: Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and Sydney buildings, Featherdale Wildlife Park

Not Ready for Goodbye -Victoria Madrid

Here we are, waiting in the Sydney airport until we finally board our flight. Undeniably, the past week has been one of the most memorable and one that we will remember for years. From the insight we received from companies to the smaller moments like looking for a place to eat, everyone can agree that LINC Sydney was an amazing trip. We not only learned more about business and globalization but also had the chance to make life long friends and spend amazing days with the best faculty.

As far as the companies go, my favorite part was the fact that the presentations were geared toward us. During the visits we were not lectured but enlightened and given advice about how we could make the most out of our future businesses. However when it comes to our free time, the best event was the last night on our boat cruise. Everyone was sad that the end was nearing but we were able to reflect on the memories we made with people who we may have never even spoken to.

Now we board in a bit, but I will be sure to post many pictures from the trip very soon.

Until next time.

Kerry Blog Post #4: Waiting for the Flight Back Home

It’s currently 9:30 AM and we’re at the airport before Virgin Australia has even opened up their check in counters. It isn’t unlike us though since we’ve managed to be early and on time for all of our meetings in the past week. We finished off the week with the National Rugby League and Apple which were both really engaging sites.

I can’t believe how quickly the remainder of the week has gone. The first half of the week was pretty tough since we had to adjust to the time difference and figure our way around Sydney. Now that it’s almost time to go I feel almost sad to leave even though I definitely can’t wait to get home and sleep my way through the 14 hour flight.

I am so honored to have been able to come on this trip and experience the cultural differences that Sydney had to offer. Our faculty advisor, Professor Plotts, was really insightful and I was able to learn so much through her de-briefs. Now, all that’s left is a small group project to wrap up the trip and it’ll be all over :(

Sad that it’s over, but happy that it happened :)

Reflection before the day of our return back home

After all of the incredibly reputable companies we visited, we were given a free day, being Saturday, to do whatever fun recreational activities our heart so desired. We, as a group, went to Paddy’s market in China Town of Sydney and got the chance to browse all types of merchandise that these locals thought tourists and visitors would like. The market itself was really a nice place, and was set up in a way that encouraged the visitors to keep looking around and have the convenient restaurants directly above the floor to eat after our wallets girth was diminished. The people selling the products seemed friendly and enthusiastic about the products that they were trying to present to passing people willing to purchase souvenirs. Overall, a day well spent, and definitely recommendable for future LINC students.

Kerry Blog Post #3

So we’ve gone half way through our week and it’s been pretty sick! We’ve visited, as my fellow bloggers have said, KPMG, Westfield, Garvan, Carnival Cruises, the Sydney Swans and Nestle. During our visits we learned about different aspects of working in the business such as marketing, diversity and finance in terms of the international standpoint. Aside from our business visits we’ve also had the chance to experience Australian culture through the day to day interactions we’ve witnessed on our way over to our business meetings and in the evening when we’ve had free times to ourselves.

I’m really looking forward to the last few visits we’ll be having. I’ve heard good things about the rugby game and end-of-trip cruise and I’m excited! I’ll post all the pictures I’ve taken as soon as I can and I’ll update you on the rest of the week as well!

Experiences & Thoughts: Company Visits

Out of the 7 companies we arranged to visit, I’d say my top three of the most engaging, interactive, enlightening visits would have to be Westfield Group, Garvan Institute and lastly Nestlé. My personal choice of companies to research and do a briefing paper of was Nestlé because of its significant public awareness of mitigating the obesity epidemic through fostering health in their products. I noticed that while we were watching their pitch on their new products, they were trying to emphasize smiling as a byproduct of their products and to be offered a different outlook and perspective on life by what their product enables their customers to do. The head marketing executive spoke very well and introduced insightful statistics showing us how adults smile 15 times on average on a daily basis, whereas, children smiles surpass 400 per day. These products set to make their release this upcoming year will allow us to not only smile more, but to tap into our inner child and remember the true fun of life and take a break from their anxious thoughts.

While visiting the mall of Westfield Group, I noticed that the interaction between the executive, Lauren, we were introduced into an entirely different standpoint on how executives of large scale malls can make them as lucrative as they do. The most pivotal aspects of the mall are the room size allocation, which brand will be designated to which spot based off of popularity, timing of the year with regards to tourism and what type of demographic they’ll be targeting.

Garvan Institute was full of passionate people expressing their love of innovation in the medical field to help eradicate degenerative diseases including osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, cancer and diabetes. Their groundbreaking work has already gained national recognition and visits from top scientists interested in helping to fund their research through philanthropic means. They truly strive to be acknowledged as one of the leading research and caring institute in the world.

All memorable experiences.


Halfway There -Victoria Madrid

Today was our 5th day in Sydney and unfortunately it has been raining the past two days but we have managed to work around it. So far we have had the opportunity to meet with companies such as KPMG, Carnival Cruises, Nestle, Garvin, Westfield and The Sydney Swans. Our visits have ranged from highly informative sessions to very hands-on case study projects. All the visits have provided us with so much knowledge on different aspects of the business world especially marketing.

At Nestle, the marketing team allowed us to try out a new product that they had launched and gave us a very detailed presentation about the different factors marketers take into consideration when selling a product. These factors include setting a target audience, creating the packaging for the product, and developing methods to gain interest in the consumer. This visit was so interesting and highly informative that it even caused me to consider concentrating on marketing for my major.

Today we saw an Aboriginal show,went to Scenic World and finally got to pet kangaroos but I will get into more detail about that tomorrow. For now it’s nap time!

Kerry Blog Post #2: SYDNEY DAY ONE!!

With a special appearance by Andrew Lau.