Hi all, my name is Sari Akkad. My family and I moved from Syria to Australia as refugees in 2018 and became Australian citizens last year. I was excited to start my university studies after graduating from high school on the North side of Brisbane. I majored in Computer Sciences and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology from Queensland University of Technology earlier this year.

I’m in my last week of my internship at OBE Organic, where I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to apply everything I had learned in university.

Using my natural language proficiency and technical skills, I’ve been asked to make improvements to the business’ website to improve its appeal to Arabic speakers and to people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Along with adding new features to the website, I also made recommendations to make the website more user-friendly and engaging by adding slide animations. I also got a taste of social media marketing, using fresh approaches to improve OBE Organic’s online visibility.

An enjoyable part of my time in the OBE Organic head office was getting to share my mother’s “Warak Enab (Stuffed Grape leaf)” recipe. It was a unique way for me to share some of my Syrian culture with the OBE Organic team. Sharing a small portion of my background made me feel wonderful.

I have no words to express how grateful I am for all the help I’ve had throughout my internship, especially from Dalene Wray, OBE Organic’s Managing Director. I’ve sat beside her for the last month and she has provided me with guidance and made me feel like a real member of the OBE Organic family.

I also value Sarah Stanilewicz’s support. Sarah is Senior International Project Officer, International Relations and Multicultural Affairs at the Brisbane City Council.

The International Internship Program allows businesses like OBE Organic to host an intern for up to four weeks with Council subsidising 50% of the wage cost for the business. Additionally, Council identifies and matches the best professional applicant to the Brisbane business for no additional charge. The program also supports professional development and enhances future employment prospects for Brisbane’s domestic students with multicultural backgrounds and international students from our Sister Cities studying in Brisbane.

I am grateful for the encouragement and mentoring from Dalene and Sarah, both of which are essential to my development as a professional.

My family’s unwavering encouragement and support has been invaluable to me during my internship and throughout my academic studies and for that I am grateful.

I also want to express my gratitude to Brisbane City Council for giving me the chance to undertake this internship, which has been incredibly helpful in determining my future professional path.

I am so grateful to everyone who shared this chapter of my life!

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