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Dec. 12, 2023

Student View: Reflecting on my time down under

Aidan Naughton is a supply chain management sophomore in the Broad College of Business. He writes about how he developed a global mindset through an education abroad experience in Australia.

Aidan Naughton poses in front of the Sydney Harbor Bridge at night as it is illuminated with a rainbow of lights
Aidan Naughton. Courtesy photo

After completing my first year at MSU, I spent two weeks in May on an education abroad program called “Business of the Olympics” in Sydney, Australia. The program was led by Sherri Henry, the Broad College’s Residential Business Community director. During my trip, I had the opportunity to engage with professionals from the Sydney Olympic Park Authority, Australian Olympic Committee, Glen Barry, Anthony Edgar and Martin Karafilis, along with many more. As a student interested and working sports media and business, I valued the stories and experiences of Anthony Edgar, the former head of the International Olympic Committee Press Committee.

By exploring the success of the 2000 Sydney Summer Games, I witnessed firsthand how the Australians paved the golden path for future Olympic triumphs. From the grassroots to the corporate realm, Sydney's sustainable success story truly amazed me. All facilities in the Olympic Park are fully functioning, from rail stations and arenas to housing, whether it was the original structure or reconstructed, hence the reason why they’re the “Beating Green Park.”

Sydney's evolution into a thriving hub of excellence, spanning from municipal to corporate levels, has been instrumental in nurturing innovation, driving economic growth and fostering a vibrant community. Additionally, it was interesting to learn about the Australian government's assistance in entrepreneurship to prevent failing businesses as this sector continues to grow. Their insights and experiences added invaluable layers to my learning experience.

Aside from the classroom sessions and site visits, I enjoyed the many wonderful aspects Sydney has to offer from the dining to sports and architecture. Given that Australia is surrounded by the ocean, it’s no surprise that there are many tremendous seafood restaurants and local fish markets. In fact, Australia has the best fish and chips because they use hake caught in the deep unpolluted waters near New Zealand and Tasmania. Additionally, Sydney is full of independent coffee shops with endless coffee and pastry offerings.

I am beyond grateful for this incredible opportunity to experience and learn what goes into planning and successfully executing a mega event. My life has been forever enriched from the opportunity to experience Australian life and culture.


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