Beth McGuigan, Expand Strategy Masterplan Intern, Sydney Airport

Having just finished my first week working at Sydney Airport as an Expand Strategy Masterplan Intern, I can say that I am having a great time and am very grateful for the experience provided through the Saltire Scholars Programme. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has been eye-opening, giving me valuable insight into the world of work.

My main project involves working on the company's expand strategy as part of the commercial team. I have been challenged with analysing data and creating a financial model that Sydney Airport can use in the future to optimise floor space and other revenue-generating measures. Personally, I find my project quite difficult, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. This challenge means I will learn and develop the necessary skills to complete my work, leading to significant personal and professional growth. It requires hard work and encourages me to interact with different departments within the company to ensure I complete my task to the highest standard.

My primary goal is to develop skills for any future workplace I may be part of, transferring what I have learned in lectures to real-life work. This experience will better equip me for future employment. Additionally, I want to make the most of my time here by traveling and experiencing as much of Australia as possible. I have compiled a list of top attractions I want to visit and determined the best ways to make the most of my three weeks here before heading back to Scotland.

I have settled into my new role relatively well. Initially, I was somewhat nervous and experienced some confusion about my tasks. However, even in this short period, some tasks have become clearer, and I have received guidance to better understand my responsibilities. The environment at Sydney Airport is incredibly welcoming. Everyone I have spoken to is friendly and interested in the intern cohort. Our mentors organized numerous meet-and-greet sessions with employees from different departments, allowing us to ask questions and gain insights into various areas of the airport.

Challenges I faced during the previous week include the usual new job jitters. There are always some nerves when starting a new position but being with others in the same situation really helped. As a result, I believe this is the least nervous I have ever been when starting a new job. The biggest challenge has been the time difference; I struggled with jet lag and was on a very strange sleep schedule during the first week, constantly feeling sleepy. I'm happy to announce that I finally think I have overcome this challenge and can now sleep consistently.

Written by: Beth McGuigan
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