After five years working in technology PR in San Francisco, Amy Brinker decided that she wanted to experience living and working in another country. Having visited Sydney in the past, she decided that Australia would be a great choice as it was an English-speaking country where she could still further her career.
After one year working at a boutique PR agency, Amy has now been part of Weber Shandwick’s Sydney team for two years. As a member of the Technology and Corporate Practice, she works across diverse accounts in both consumer and B2B technology.
Having come from the US, one of the first things Amy noticed upon relocating to Australia was the need to focus on the local market requirements. “When I worked back home in the US, other markets were an afterthought – if they were thought about at all!” says Amy. “Here in Australia and New Zealand, it’s all about what’s relevant locally. For our non-A/NZ based clients, there is a lot of education about what will and won’t work in Australia.”
Amy has also enjoyed learning more about how other parts of the world do business. “It’s fantastic being so close to Asia and so many diverse countries. This opportunity to work with clients spanning markets across the region and their cultural idiosyncrasies just isn’t something you get working in the US,” explains Amy.
A highlight for Amy was going to Melbourne to provide on-ground support at the Australian Open for one of the event’s sponsors. “The management team knew that I was a huge tennis fan, so they asked me to go to Melbourne to help with on-site media relations. Not only did I meet Lleyton Hewitt and Martina Hingis, but during a behind the scenes tour of Rod Laver Arena, I walked past Venus Williams and it took all my self-control to stay cool,” laughs Amy.
It’s a small world, after all
Being part of a global network is also a huge benefit for an expat like Amy. “Last year, I had two friends’ weddings to attend just three weeks apart back in San Francisco. I was able to work from Weber-Shandwick’s San Francisco office between those events, so I didn’t use up all of my leave and I even was able to get some valuable facetime with my US based clients. It’s fantastic to have this option available, when it makes sense for both expats and the business.”
After three and a half years in Australia, Amy has now started the permanent residency process with a view to stay long-term. “I love the lifestyle in Australia, and there is a more natural work-life balance. In the US, there was an expectation to be available all the time, and while we work hard here in Australia, the demands on our personal time, at least at Weber Shandwick, aren’t as intrusive.”