My name is Audrey Lemetayer, and I graduated from the Queensland University of Technology in November 2022. I studied a Bachelor of Business, with a major in International Business and a minor in Law.
After being presented with an opportunity to apply for the Brisbane City Council’s 2023 International Internship Program, I commenced my internship in the first week of April 2023 with OBE Organic.
This internship position is particularly exciting for me as it would be the first time I set foot in an office and have the chance to fully immerse myself in the corporate environment.
My very first intern job was fully remote and I missed being able to meet colleagues, attend staff meetings or even experience the simple joy of chatting to someone in the kitchen area on a coffee break. For a graduate student who spent most of her university time attending online classes, believe me, it is not as fun as one might imagine! As Aristotle once declared “Man is by nature a social animal”; whether we considered ourselves introverted or not, we are social creatures who need social interactions daily as we cannot survive by simply isolating ourselves. The pandemic did indeed confirm Aristotle’s words!
On my first day, I was beyond excited to discover the office and meet my colleagues. While I did feel a bit stressed on my way there, this feeling was quickly replaced by enthusiasm when I was greeted by Nick, the dynamic Sales and Production Coordinator and Kim, the affectionate and motherly Administration Manager. I was surprised on how friendly the atmosphere felt, as I was expecting a quite ‘strictly business zone’ environment. After presenting myself to my new colleagues, Kim took amazing care of me by showing me to my desk, showing me around the office and walking me through the various HR & WHS processes. I later followed my colleague Fiona (Sales and Production Coordinator) to the post office to get the company’s daily mail and later stopped at the supermarket as we were running low on kitchen supplies. It felt refreshing for both the mind and the body to walk around the city and have a good laugh with Fiona; her smile is contagious and her humour is always present! I felt even more energised to continue my work when coming back to the office.
After a delicious lunch (the café shop downstairs is simply amazing!), I had the chance to head with Nick and Andrew Blinco (General Manager – Operations) to meet with one of OBE Organic’s long-term distributors, Australian Organic Meat Co. Knowing that this was the first time the team bought an intern to meet with business partners, I was even more grateful for this opportunity. I was able to get hands on experience on how OBE Organic maintains a strong business relationship with its partners. I was always told at university that managing people (including business partnerships) is the most complex task to do. However, perfecting this skill will be extremely rewarding as your employees and business partners are the most important assets of your company.
Throughout the afternoon, I realised how valuable business partners are to OBE Organic. They do not treat them like a simple business transaction, they take the time to listen to their thoughts, their ideas, and their worries. Nick and Andrew ensured that Steve, the Director of Australian Organic Meat Co, had all of his questions and concerns answered. While visiting the refrigerated room where products are stocked, I felt comfortable asking questions regarding the packaging which enabled me to develop my knowledge on how the production facility operates.
As the clock hit 4:00pm, I reflected on my first day while on my way home, feeling both happy and grateful to be part of the OBE Organic team for the next four weeks.