Follow my journey as an intern navigating the corporate world for the very first time

My name is Megan Nguyen, and I am a final year university student currently advancing my education at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). I am studying a Bachelor of Business, with a major in International Business and minor in Marketing.

After my successful application to the Brisbane City Council’s 2022 International Internship Program, my engagement with OBE Organic started in the first week in April 2022 and concluded at the end of the month. On the first day, I vividly remember walking towards their office, feeling extremely nervous! However, all my concerns dissipated as I was greeted at the door by a smiling Ross, the Livestock Coordinator at OBE Organic. Ross’ warm and welcoming introduction set the tone for the rest of my internship.

Throughout my time with OBE Organic I have worked alongside the Administration Manager, Kim Stalley. From the very first time I met Kim she radiated a motherly aura. This was extremely comforting as it reflected a genuine appreciation for employees in this workplace. Despite only being an intern, I felt that I was genuinely wanted and appreciated in this professional environment.

OBE Organic internship

Administration Manager Kim Stalley and Intern Megan Nguyen

Shortly after my arrival, Kim introduced me to rest of the OBE Organic team. I had a read through the list of tasks that were assigned to me by Managing Director, Dalene Wray. One of my very first assigned tasks was to update the company’s “Our Team” website page. This consisted of taking photos of each individual staff member, conducting an interview to gather employee bio information, and then transcribing that information into posts for their website. This process was initially overwhelming and intimidating to me, as I realised I would have to converse with each individual co-worker. I’m sure my fellow introverts reading this can relate. However, as I worked my way to each member, I became more confident as I slowly realised, I had nothing to fear. Everyone in the office was so nice and sweet. I am beyond grateful to have been surrounded by the most welcoming team for my very first internship experience. You can check out my work here.?

As many Asian countries (in particular Vietnam) struggle to meet national beef demands domestically, surging consumption increases import trade. Vietnam has already become an export destination for OBE Organic. However, the desire to further expand market presence within Vietnam clearly demonstrates the prosperous opportunity the country has to offer.

To engage and communicate with our Vietnamese customers, the second task Dalene assigned to, was to create content for a Vietnamese landing page for their website. Before officially creating content, I conducted market research surrounding organic purchasing behaviours of Vietnamese consumers. My findings concluded that the trend for organic shopping has not fully materialised. However, as Vietnam’s middle class gradually becomes more affluent and disposable incomes rises, organic shopping will become an established movement. Health consciousness and guilt from unethical consumption are currently the main motivators for organic purchasing patterns in Vietnam. These two themes are apparent on the Vietnamese landing page which I created, as I sought to educate OBE Organic’s consumers and further raise awareness about the benefits offered by organic beef.

I segmented the landing page into five parts. The first part listed OBE Organic’s competitive advantages. This aims to educate consumers on the company and their organic beef. The second section discusses the benefits offered by consuming OBE Organic beef. In the third section, our Customer logos were added for social reputation and increased credibility. Furthermore, a video from OBE Organic’s YouTube channel was added to ensure multiple digital assets were utilised on the page. The video gives viewers an outback experience & in turn, provides a strong & positive ‘country of origin’ effect. t felt it extremely important for OBE Organic to leverage this competitive advantage, as Australian products are perceived to be of high quality amongst Vietnamese consumers. Finally, in the last section I wrote up my mother’s personal recipes for Pho and Bun Bo Xao. This section aims to appeal to Vietnamese readers as OBE Organic beef can be transferred into traditional meals. It does not have to be a foreign, unusual experience for our consumers.

The third task assigned to me, was to create posts for OBE Organic’s social media platforms, to bring-to-life, their soon to be published Sustainability Update. I began by having a thorough read through of the Update, to familiarise myself with their sustainable and ethical practices. The practices I thought were most valuable to highlight, was that the OBE Organic supply chain is 100% certified organic as well as OBE Organic’s ability to track and trace each animal. Their everlasting commitment to people and the environment also appealed to me. I created draft social media posts around these three central ideas.

Dalene also challenged me to write two blog posts summarising my time here at OBE Organic. My first blog post, describes how I became involved with the International Internship Program through the Brisbane City Council. The second blog, which you are reading now, focuses on a summary of my experience and the insights I’ve gained as a result.

Staff meetings are held routinely each week, in which I was luckily enough to sit in and observe. The purpose of these weekly meetings was to collectively share what each employee had been working on over the past week. This process was immensely insightful for me as it demonstrated how each individual role comes together to serve a collective purpose of delivering quality to OBE Organic consumers. These meetings covered a range of issues, allowing each department to voice progress and concerns openly and constructively. Personally, the most intriguing segments in the meeting was the logistics and foreign currency update.

During the last week of my internship, Kim and Dalene sparked some interest in trying Vietnamese cuisine. The image below is from the staff meeting, where the OBE Organic team tried my mother’s delicious rice paper rolls!

Managing Director Dalene Wray and Intern Megan Nguyen

During my four weeks at OBE Organic, I have furthered my knowledge considerably, not only as a professional, but also in terms of my matured perspectives. The most developed skill that I will be taking away from this experience (as a soon to be graduated marketer), is my writing and content creating skills. This will not only be extremely helpful moving forward for my university assignments, but also career wise, as I will now be able to more accurately articulate my thoughts when creating content.

I am grateful that I was given the unique opportunity to manage and deliver multiple projects myself.

The second concept that I will be taking away from my experience at OBE Organic is realising that it is truly feasible to run an ethical and sustainable business. Growing up in a highly capitalistic society, where it is the norm for corporations to prioritise monetary profits over all else, it was extremely refreshing and inspiring to work for a business with a simple but powerful mission to help people lead better, healthier lives.

Personally, the Sustainability Update and OBE Organic’s Reconciliation Action Plan where the two things that impressed me the most about the business. The active push towards gender equality and employee representation is something that is close to my heart.

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