Big Apple Internship Launches Big Career Down Under

Adam played soccer for 15 years while growing up in Australia. Having always been a lover of the game, he was moved by the excitement in his country after the Australia national team qualified for the 2006 World Cup. Australia hadn’t qualified for the World Cup since 1974, and had even struggled to maintain competition on a national level. The newfound buzz from the World Cup impressed Adam so much that he decided to make a career for himself out of further promoting Australian soccer.

During the next few years, Adam recognized the limitations of his chosen career path in Australia itself. He realized he would need international exposure and experience to make a difference back home. To achieve this, he looked to the United States, which is known for its sports marketing industry.

J1-Visa Train USA alumni

Adam (left) interned in New York City for 12 months in 2013 through the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, an experience that continues to pay dividends today.

Adam took part in a 12-month internship through Cultural Vistas’ J-1 Visa sponsorship with Soccer United Marketing, the for-profit marketing arm of Major League Soccer in New York City. Since completing his internship in 2013, Adam has used the skills and experience he gained in the United States to further his career and promote soccer back in Australia.

He credits his U.S. experience as being key to obtaining subsequent positions promoting international sporting events, including his current role at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

We recently caught up with Adam to learn how his international experience has helped to shape his career and realize his passion.

Fast Facts about Adam

Looking back on your experience, do you feel that it has benefited your career?

Prior to my internship sponsored by Cultural Vistas, I had been finding it difficult to advance my career in international sports management from my home country of Australia. Thanks to the experience and skills which I acquired during my 12-month program in New York City, I have since worked internationally with a variety of organizations such as the AFC Asian Cup in Australia, the Pan-American Games in Toronto, as well as the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Organising Committee. Without Cultural Vistas, I would not have had access to the relevant resources in order to develop my skills and advance my career in this way.

J1-Visa Train USA alumni
Adam poses with Borobi, the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games mascot

Have you leveraged the connections you have made?

The opportunities made possible through the internship enabled me to secure mentors within my tight-knit field, it allowed me to develop an international network of contacts, and it taught me cultural nuances which have enabled me to interact with the right people and further my success abroad. The leverage from these connections have proven to be pivotal in furthering my career since the internship’s completion.

What advice would you offer someone seeking to gain professional experience through a U.S. internship?

Because of the potential opportunities and prospects for career advancement, I would definitely encourage anyone considering a relevant U.S. internship to apply. Though applying for such a program might seem daunting at first, the help and support which Cultural Vistas provides makes you feel like you aren’t alone in the process.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I think it is important that people appreciate the opportunities presented by international exchange programs when trying to shape their future careers in their home countries. My own career plans have always revolved around promoting Australian soccer in Australia but I recognized the benefits of gaining international experience to recognize those goals early on.

Had I limited myself to only working in Australia, I would not have been able to acquire the same amount of skills, contacts, and knowledge to make a substantial difference back home. I believe that more people should take this attitude toward international professional development.

Adam’s U.S. internship with Soccer United Marketing in provided opportunities to travel across the country, gain direct experience in sports marketing and sponsorship, and support major events including the MLS All Star Game.