Hi! My name is Avery Tronson and I am a rising junior and outside hitter for the Babson women's volleyball team. I decided to venture out to Sydney, Australia this summer for a six week internship and Asian Economics crash course.
When selecting a college, I knew that all my life, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Many students at schools across the country and at Babson have a career in mind when they arrive; some are drawn to finance, accounting, marketing, sales, operations, and an array of others, but I have never been drawn to something so specific. However, I love entrepreneurship because of the array of skills you need to have in order to succeed. I pride myself in having an incredible work ethic and being able to efficiently accomplish tasks. When requesting an internship placement, students had to fill out a form asking for likes, dislikes, and preferred fields. While my peers requested for and were placed with lawyers, in marketing agencies, and sales teams, I filled every box out with "place me in a startup," and the company I was placed with could not have been better.
I ended up at Ruzi (that is re-use made easy). Ruzi caters to events by offering sustainable alternatives to single use waste. We supply re-usable cups, bowls, plates, and utensils made out of bamboo and bamboo by-product to event vendors.The customers then eat and drink as they normally would but instead of dropping a single-use item into the garbage, they place their dinnerware into a collection bin. The contents of that bin is then taken to a washing facility where it is sterilized and ready to use for the next event.
I was grateful to work at a company with a clear mission and a creative solution to a serious problem facing our world. When I met with my boss Alex Harmer for the first time, I was shocked to discover that this company was just my boss and another intern who was only there one day a week. This ended up being one of the biggest blessings because my boss treated me more as a partner with valuable insights and less as an intern only suitable for opening mail.
The next six weeks were an absolute whirlwind, catching trains all over the city as I shadowed Alex. Following him to many meetings, I helped him pitch this sustainable alternative to two different Sydney council women, met with a brand designer, discussed sustainability grant logistics with members of the NSW government, and spoke with a professional event planner. When we weren't literally running around the city, we worked out of the Sydney Startup Hub and got to meet so many creative entrepreneurs, many who found my accent funny.
Additionally, every Monday and Thursday night I took a course titled "Global Economics: Australia in the Asian Century." I loved the course because it was a class I would not have been able to take otherwise. Australia is, at its closest point, only one kilometer away from Papua New Guinea and has very strong ties with Asia, particularly in the areas of trade. I learned about how the US-China trade war has impacted Australia and how Australian economic policy is shaped by its primary exports of raw materials. We also got to visit the Chinese Botanical Gardens, the Japanese Gardens, and the Auburn Mosque for a more in depth picture of Asian culture and religion.
Overall, choosing to study abroad was one of the most positive influences in my college journey. Working for Alex made me realize that a lot of creative entrepreneurs have an overwhelming sense of purpose and vision but lack the financial and logistical knowledge necessary for running a business. That is where I felt I added value to the situation; I loved showing him the ways in which his vision could come true. I left my internship with a clearer answer to the age old question "what do you want to be when you grow up?" Additionally, I gained a new and unique perspective on Asian and Australian culture and economics through lectures and off campus events. I am more motivated than ever to get back to Boston for preseason and attack this upcoming semester in the classroom and on the court, after all we do have a NEWMAC title to defend.