Let's Talk About Australia for a Hot Sec
Let’s talk about Australia for a hot second.
As I mentioned in my introductory blog, this one time, when I was a second semester senior in college, I applied for an international contest and almost worked in Australia.
I could write an entire book about this campaign and experience, but I’m going to stick to the “need to know” details.
The contest was called "The Best Jobs In The World" by Tourism Australia. I applied for the Chief Funster position based out of Sydney to work for their state’s tourism company, Destination New South Wales. The job description for Chief Funster was to be the life of the party for a living. The Chief Funster would travel the state of New South Wales as the social media commentator for the state, appear at all tourism launches, PR events and industry functions.
I remember looking at this job description thinking that I was born to do this. I do not mean this as a cliche, I actually mean that I honestly thought the purpose of my existence was to fulfill this position and successfully move on with my life and career from there.
To apply for the Chief Funster position, you had to submit a 30 second entry video of why you are the best person for the job. 30 SECONDS! That’s all. How could I possibly say all that I am AND differentiate myself from EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD THAT IS APPLYING FOR THIS POSITION in ONLY 30 seconds?!
Here’s what I came up with…
Time passed and I anxiously waited to hear if I’d made it to the Top 25 to continue competing for this incredible opportunity.
It was a sunny afternoon in April 2013 when I sat down at my college desk and refreshed the Best Jobs website to find MY NAME as a Top 25 Shortlist Contestant (essentially, a semi finalist). As I refreshed the page, the only reaction I had was to SCREAM at the top of my lungs! I ran down both flights of stairs in my senior year residence and continued outside. I looked all around and didn’t know what to do. So I ran back inside and called my family.
Am I dreaming? Is this real life? What next?
For the next two weeks, I competed in the “referee challenge” where I busted my butt to get as many notable references as I could to endorse me as the best person IN THE WORLD to be Chief Funster.
You can check out my blog to see the recommendations I received and the success around my campaign: www.sendbmacdownunder.wordpress.com
And don’t forget my YouTube channel that shows evidence of all the ridiculous things I did to prove I was number 1! www.youtube.com/user/sendbmacdownunder
It’s 5am during finals week of my senior year at college and I get a call from an unknown number.
It’s someone from Tourism Australia.
“Congrats, BMAC! You’re a Top 3 finalist for Chief Funster! Are you excited to come down under?”
HAHA um WHAT!?
This really happened. I’m not joking. You’ve seen the pictures, videos and blogs to prove I’m not lying.
A week later, I graduated from college with the world as my oyster. In a couple short weeks, I was headed to Aus to compete for the title of Chief Funster.
Finally, with great anticipation, I travel to Australia and have an incredible welcome.
Over the next two weeks, I competed in the challenges that Destination New South Wales created for myself and the other two finalists to complete and show who was meant to be Chief Funster.
After we completed a week of challenges, we had a 15 minute interview with the leaders of Tourism Australia and Destination New South Wales. (Are you kidding me? Only 15 minutes? But I think this was a formality and they had already made their decision).
Which brings us back to…
It’s pitch black. The spotlight warms my face and I can feel beads of sweat crowning my forehead. I can practically hear my heartbeat pumping in my chest as I stare into the abyss in front of me. As I inhale, I know that life as I know it is about to change.
Exhale. It’s time.
“Your Chief Funster for Tourism Australia’s Best Jobs In The World Contest is….”
Not Brittany MacLeod.
You’ll notice on my blog that I never wrote a concluding piece. I couldn’t bring myself to. By the time I thought I was ready to, it didn’t make sense to bring up old news. It took me a very long time to process my Chief Funster experience and there are still times that I think back to this whirlwind and reflect on how it all went down.
So what was I left with?
A good conversation starter
A really cool “truth” to contribute to the “two truths and a lie” ice breaker
Fleeting international fame
For anyone that knows me, and for those that watched the videos on my YouTube channel. I am not shy. I ravish being in the spotlight. I’m not trying to be cocky, I’m just being honest. I enjoy being the center of attention and I’ll gladly take the spotlight and show you what I’m all about.
I think the hardest part of this experience ending was that it seemed like people didn’t care about me anymore. I was old news. I was 21 years old and felt like I’d peaked in my career that hadn’t even begun yet.
Australia and I broke up and it was not on my terms. I kinda didn’t even see it coming. I thought I had a pretty good shot at winning it all. I remember staring into the abyss, politely golf clapping [as any proper New Englander would] with a painful smile and my next thought was, “well, at least I can date Eric now…”
More on my boyfriend, the love of my life, later when I’ll talk about relationships of all kinds.
There were great things that came out of this experience. I had a once in a lifetime opportunity. I grabbed life by the horns and triumphantly galloped across the globe to claim my fame and ethos in social media as a young adult entering the workforce. I saw a performance at the Sydney Opera House. I rode the lift with Kristen Chenoweth because she was staying in our hotel and performing in Sydney the same week I was there. I walked over Harbour Bridge. I was sponsored by numerous companies so that the only thing I ended up paying for that entire time was the gummies I purchased in the airport. I met people from all over the world and started friendships that I still continue today (see Elisa Jakymin’s blog). Most importantly, I realized how lucky I am to have the life that I live.
I had never been so happy to return home in my life. Seeing my family was the best relief and comfort, but it was short lived. My friends, family and mentors already tell me that I have too high expectations for myself, so how do I top international exposure and fame?
The purpose of this blog is to bridge the beginning of my “real world” experience so that the blogs that I write after this make sense. But here are some key takeways:
If you believe in yourself, you can seriously do anything you set your mind to.
Social media is a powerful tool that can get you a free ride to Australia.
When you’re living the dream, you’ll know it. Work doesn’t feel like work, it feels like life.
You’re not so different from everyone else. People all over the world have the same feelings and worries that you do. You are not alone.
Australians have cool accents that are much harder to mimick than Brits.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”
- Eleanor Roosevelt
This post has been edited for grammar. All other content remains the original thoughts & expressions of the author.