A global experience: Meet RMIT alumnus Julia Ogon

A global experience: Meet RMIT alumnus Julia Ogon

Over the past decade, RMIT Europe has provided many RMIT students with rich transformative experiences through work placement opportunities.

RMIT alumnus Julia Ogon shared her experience of interning in Barcelona and the impact it had on her personal and professional growth.

Julia offered advice to anyone considering applying for an overseas internship and highlighted the benefits of taking a chance and stepping outside of one's comfort zone.  

Tenth anniversary europe RMIT alumnus Julia Ogon.

How did your internship broaden your understanding of the global industry and how did this help build your international network?  

I worked for a company named Leitat, which is a consulting agency that works in many different fields of engineering. I specifically worked for the metal 3D printing team, IAM3DHUB, which worked with international and local companies creating solutions to problems through 3D printing in metal. It gave me a lot of exposure to working with government agencies from different countries as well as private companies and individuals. I was invited to go to seminars and even to INDUSTRY – a global additive and advanced manufacturing expo where I was able to talk to people in the industry as well as listen in on talks about emerging tech in the field. The main people I am still connected with are the people I worked closely with in my team.

In what ways did your internship provide opportunities to work with people from diverse backgrounds and how did this help you develop your professional network?  

I mainly worked with Spanish and Catalan people as they were the main clientele that I had exposure to. It was still challenging and rewarding, working through the language barriers (at the start anyway; I ended up learning Spanish while living there!) and working to the expectations of a different culture. Even though my professional network is limited to the people that I worked with every day this experience taught me a lot about how to work with clients from different backgrounds. It showed me how to work together to achieve the same goals and expectations and how to interact and present myself to new people. These are all skills that I use daily in my current job.

Julia Ogon RMIT Europe one RMIT alumnus Julia Ogon.

What are you up to now? And do you think your internship helped you get to where you are today?  

Today I work for Bastion Cycles, a bike manufacturer in Fairfield, Melbourne that produces high-end bicycles. The bikes we make are made up of 3D printed titanium metal lugs and carbon fibre tubing. The reason I got a job there is directly linked to the internship that I did. The 3D printers that I learnt to use and work with during my internship are the same printers that I work with today. 

If it wasn’t for my internship, I doubt I would’ve ended up working for Bastion, who has taught me a lot about how to be an in-field engineer designing new products, that not only look amazing but work well and are to iso standards. I also get to see how much the final bikes bring joy to our customers. Through Bastion I also got the opportunity to take part in printing bike parts for various countries for the Olympics, and we also work with a wheelchair company printing parts for them too. Not only do I get exposure in using leading 3D printing technology in a real-life manufacturing scenario I get to use the Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering knowledge I learnt at RMIT in my day-to-day work. 

What advice would you give to someone applying for an internship overseas? 

The advice I’d give to anyone considering applying for an overseas internship is to go for it 100%! Apply for the opportunity, even if you think you may not have all they’re looking for. My internship wasn’t looking for an undergrad in Mechanical Engineering, but more so someone specialising in metal 3D printing, but I applied anyway. The worst they could say was no! 

I was passionate about getting to know more about 3D printing in metal, and that appealed to Leitat! Everything I needed to know I learnt while being there. The company and the RMIT Europe team helped me with any paperwork that needed to be done. 

The best part was getting the opportunity to live in Barcelona and immersing myself in a culture and language different than the one I knew. I made some amazing friends, got to travel and experienced a life lived very differently from home. It was a dream!  

Was there anything that surprised you about the move to a new country?  

The biggest surprise was the difference in cultures between living in Melbourne and Barcelona. I knew going in that there would be a difference, but it was such a lovely surprise every time I discovered something new or that was unique to Barcelona in the way its inhabitants lived! 

The closing period in the early afternoon with stores reopening from 5 until 9, staying out until sunrise with friends, sitting outside a bodega eating tapas, or wandering around the city as Barcelona was alive at all hours of the day and night.  

The fact that almost nothing was open in August as the whole city decided to enjoy the summer and holidays for a month straight. Each area of Barcelona would host big elaborate street parties and get the community involved, and the metro compared to Melbourne was an absolute dream. It was all the small day-to-day things that made living and discovering Barcelona an amazing experience, while I got to work in a field that I was passionate about.  

Did the experience change you in any way? And if so, how?  

The experience allowed me to grow as a person in so many ways. I learnt a lot about myself as I went to Barcelona on my own not knowing anyone or knowing how to speak the language. It taught me a lot of resilience and strengthened my curiosity and importantly taught me how to be okay with being on my own. I made some lifelong friends and ended up meeting my partner who has since moved to Australia so that we could be together, and none of that would have happened if I hadn’t just gone for it. Being in Barcelona also allowed me to meet so many people from different countries and backgrounds, which opened my views to the way different people lived around the world.

In 2023 RMIT Europe is celebrating the significant milestone of its 10-year anniversary of operations in Barcelona. To learn about RMIT's history in Europe and keep up with the latest news and events, visit the #RMITEurope10 webpage and follow RMIT Europe on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram

Jack Glasson

24 April 2023


24 April 2023


  • RMIT Europe

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RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.