G’day from Australia: Days 4 and 5

by   |  07.03.12  |  Study Abroad

Sydney – Day 4 by Ian Shepherd– Johnson & Johnson Visit to North Ryde.

Finally a day without rain! Our day started at 6:50 am when we met in the lobby of our hotel. At 7:00 am we set off walking to Central station (about a 10 minute downhill walk). After purchasing 24 return tickets at the station we set off for platform 16 and our first test of the Sydney Urban Transport System. The train system here is very easy to use. Each destination is easily found on display boards and trains are announced electronically up to 3 in advance of when they arrive. We boarded our train on time and had to stand for a few stations until the majority of Sydney workers left the train. As we headed north over the harbor bridge we were able to take seats and enjoy the quiet ride north to Ryde.

When we arrived we had a short distance of about a block to walk to get the Johnson & Johnson headquarters (J&J). I am proud to say that we arrived at J&J exactly on time at 8:30 am ready for a great day of information gathering. A few of the students had new shoes on and we had a few blister injuries due to the walking today.

Once at J&J we signed in and then were escorted to a large conference room for our day of presentations. Thanks go out to David Swearingen for arranging what came to be “An MBA in a day!” for our students. Both Dr. Jinkerson and I agree that the presentations today were of the highest quality we have seen and covered in detail all the topics in both our Leadership and Operations classes. The students presented themselves well with engaging questions and interest in all the topics.They did COBA and ACU proud. I must also say that many were dressed very professionally and again made great impressions with the executive team at J&J.

At the end of the day several of our students were asking how they might apply for internship positions with the company there in Ryde. Tomorrow we go to Subway for a comparative analysis of their stores here in Australia compared to Abilene.
Tonight we were so tired that we caught a cab to dinner in china town. After dinner Dr. Jinkerson, Ethan and Leah Shepherd, and I walked around Darling Harbor to give Dr. J. an idea of where we plan to pick him up on Saturday with our fishing charter.

Sydney Day 5 – Subway Visit to Flemington Markets

Up again at 5:30 am to get ready to leave at 6:50 am for Central Train station. Our students once again looked great as they donned their business attire and set off on a second day of train travel to review operations and leadership methods in an Australian Subway Franchise. Once again we arrived exactly on time at the Subway and we broke into two groups. Group 1 (half our group) met with Tony who is head of Subway location finding in Australia. This group focused on the operations of location and store setup and how the franchise portions of the business are run. Group 2 met next door with an actual subway franchisee who covered his management style with his employees and how operations within the store run on a day to day basis. In each session the students posed questions that drew out further discussions on other important aspects of the business.

After the technical side of our business visits were completed, we were treated to a Subway lunch outside in the lovely sunshine (a first for our trip). As we were leaving we walked back through the largest fruit market in the Southern Hemisphere where early activity in the day peters out at about 2 pm. By then all the Sydney stores have purchased their daily requirements and have set off for their own stores.

As we made our way back to our hotel, we rode the train for what may be the last time. Class met for a little while this afternoon and now we are advising students on how to behave and spend the next two days of free time in Sydney. Most students are staying in town. I am going out to see my mother in Blacktown and a few students (I think) are going tandem sky diving on Monday afternoon.

We will gather together Sunday evening at 7 pm when we get together for Devotional and worship with Peter and Claire Tickner (another local preacher from McQuarie Church of Christ). We look forward to hearing great stories from the kids as they become more comfortable in getting around the city.

Parents…the more we are with your kids…the more we love them. I am proud of each of them and their patience and presence that exemplifies Christ.

Blessings to all…!