I made it to Sydney, Australia! WAHOO! I had a flight from Boston to LA, an 8 hour layover in LA and then another flight from LA to Sydney. I spent a long couple of days traveling and am definitely jet lagged, but it’s so worth it! The fun has only just begun for me and the other Best Jobs finalists.
I was welcomed to Sydney by a lovely limo driver named Ross who took me and 3 other finalists from the airport to our hotel in a sweet new Audi. On our short ride from the airport to the hotel, I asked Ross who the most famous person he’s ever driven round is and he told me that he had recently escorted Rihanna around Sydney! Imagine that! Only a few weeks before, Ross was driving RIHANNA around and now he’s escorting little old me! TOO COOL! The hotel we are currently staying at is QT Sydney and let me tell you it is quite the swanky place!
Not too long after I arrived at the hotel, I met my Tourism Australia representative, Matt McInnes in the hotel lobby then me and the other 17 Best Jobs finalists headed over to the Tourism Australia office to get started for the week! We had an itinerary briefing, media training, and some technology demos. I know what you’re thinking… technology demos? Is that really necessary? Well it sure is because we were gifted brand new Nikon Coolpix AW110 cameras as well as the new Nokia Lumia 520 so we had to be instructed how to use them. So far the Nikon camera is my FAVORITE! It was a wifi and GPS feature. I LOVE it and am psyched to have it in my possession for the week and then “real life” after that!
Today started out very exciting with a media call with Virgin Australia! The 18 Best Jobs finalists paraded out of the terminal in our Best Jobs gear excited to finally be in Aus and rockin our Tourism Australia logos. We then had a special announcement in the Virgin Australia Lounge where they announced that there is a 7th Best Job In The World! Virgin Australia announced the “High Flyer” position. Yep! That’s right! There’s a 7th best job!
After the Virgin Australia media call we headed to Circular Quay where we saw Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. We ate lunch outside at the Opera Bar. It was such a beautiful day and nice to be outside. Being surrounded by the iconic Sydney landmarks this afternoon was the first time I’ve truly felt like I am finally in Australia.
There’s a TON going on and I have to admit I haven’t been as energetic as I usually am because I am still jet lagged. Hopefully I will be all rested for the morning and good to go from here on out! I am SUPER excited for tomorrow’s schedule! We are going to Taronga Zoo, which I have been looking forward to visiting since before I even knew I had made it to Top 3, PLUS we are meeting Ben Southall, the 2009 Best Job In The World winner. I am very much looking forward to meeting Ben because he was a huge inspiration to me when I first found out about the contest. I originally was going to campaign to him to convince him to endorse me in my original entry video, but then I thought if I’m going to go through all the trouble of convincing, why don’t I sell myself and convince Tourism Australia to pick me and that is the (most abbreviated version ever) story of how Send BMAC Down Under was created! I can’t wait to meet Ben in person and thank him for the inspiration!
I’m wicked tired, but we have a crazy awesome week ahead, so it’s time for me to wash up and hit the hay! Be sure to follow me on Twitter @BMACtastic for live updates from Australia as well as Instagram (BMACtastic) and my Facebook page http://www.Facebook.com/Send.BMAC.Down.Under
The Chief Funster challenges start on Saturday! WOOHOO! Which reminds me…guess what? I have 4 extra tickets to the FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifier game of Australia vs. Iraq! Interested in going? Send me a message through my Facebook page convincing my why I should take you and you might just get a ticket! OH and if I choose to pick you, you’re also having dinner with us prior to the game. This is part of one of my challenges to prove to Destination New South Wales that they should hire me as their Chief Funster. I am judged based on who I bring to the game and the story of the person of why I picked them to attend. Holla at ya girl if you’re in Australia and think you deserve this experience!
It’s getting down to the time SBDU fans. What time am I talking about? PACKING TIME! Only 1 short day left until my departure to Australia, but what shall I wear? Normal BMAC protocol states that I want to stand out from the crowd as a unique individual and strategically differentiate myself. So let me know tell you a little story of how I am going to do just that because of a phenomenal opportunity that came my way…
After making it as a Top 3 Finalist for Chief Funster, my friend Rachel congratulated me and said she wanted to do something for me that really showed her congratulations because she was so proud of me and all of my hard work. Rachel is in my graduating class and graduated from Marist as a fashion design major. For her the best favor she can do for anyone is to make them clothing, and whenever she does, the person is always so thankful and it’s the most rewarding feeling ever, and plus it’s what she loves to do. I couldn’t believe that Rachel wanted to personally design me clothes for my trip to Australia and I jumped at the opportunity!
During finals week at the closing of our senior year of college last month, Rachel and I sat outside in the grass on a beautiful sunny day brainstorming different “looks” for me for Australia. We wanted to incorporate the themes of Australian patriotism (since the job of Chief Funster is to promote tourism to Australia) as well as my Send BMAC Down Under campaign of being a small town girl from Massachusetts and receiving my higher education in New York. We wanted to incorporate different parts of Australian and American culture, so both served as inspiration for the “BMAC In Aus” fashion designs. Here are the results!
For my “off the plane” attire, Rachel designed the “I ❤ AUS” shirt. She got the idea from our “I ❤ NY” shirts that many people who visit NYC buy. Being residents of NY for four amazing years of college, tying in the “I ❤ NY” shirt idea brings in part of our New York culture. I will also be incorporating a little more of my Massachusetts roots with a blue blazer, nantucket red shorts and boat shoes. My favorite part about this shirt is that in the heart, Rachel drew the Australian flag!
Next Rachel designed me an evening dress to wear at night for a more formal occasion. This dress was inspired by the Union Jack on the Australian flag and the color [red] was chosen because it combines the Australian flag and our Marist school color. The color has a meaning that is close to both of our hearts, and it ties both aspects of Australian patriotism and Marist school-spirit all in one dress. The most intricate part of this dress is the cuffs. Rachel hand beaded the Union Jack of the Australian flag on the cuffs of my sleeves for this dress.
When I asked Rachel what her favorite design was that she made for me, she said, “Definitely the red dress. At first I was afraid it would be too simple but the contrast of the fabrics and the little bit of glam on the cuffs made it simply elegant and I’m just in love with how it turned out!”
THANK YOU, RACHEL for designing and personally handmaking me such beautiful clothing! I am SO excited to wear them in Australia, tying both of our cultures together and killin it in Aus 😉
While Rachel’s love is fashion, it’s time I share with you one of my own personal loves and obsessions: nail polish! It was kind of a “no brainer” when it came time for me to choose what color to paint my nails for my trip to Australia on Monday. I went with “Tasmanian Devil Made Me Do It” by OPI from the Australia Collection.
I’ll only be rockin “Tasmanian Devil Made Me Do It” on my piggy toes though because I want to really be able to get involved in the Chief Funster challenges and not have to worry about my nails looking perfect for the evening events. My fingers will be going “au naturale” in the land down under, but it will be more than worth it!
I am super excited to show off my Aussie inspired designer fashion in Australia in only one more day! I am hoping Tourism Australia and other followers of the Best Jobs In The World contest get a kick out of my strategically designed clothes. I’ll let you know how it goes and will post pictures of me sporting the “BMAC In Aus” fashion line by Rachel Elle 🙂 Now it’s time to get packing!!!
This past Wednesday Massachusetts State Representative Jeff Roy invited me and my family to the State House for an official “send off” of me to Australia! It was quite the day! My family and I got the royal treatment once we arrived to the State House. Jeff and his assistant, Chris, met us in front of the State House at noon where we took a few pictures outside of the building. One of my favorites from the day is Me, Jeff, my mother, father and best friend Pats all holding the “SEND BMAC DOWN UNDER” sign in front of the State House! Check it out!
Next, Jeff gave us the grand tour of the State House. I felt like royalty! I got to meet everyone we walked by. I was introduced to many different state representatives and other officials in the building. Jeff had informed everyone in the state house about what I’ve been doing with Send BMAC Down Under for the Best Jobs In The World contest. It was really cool to have so many people already know what I have been up to and congratulating me on my accomplishments! I was scheduled to meet the Governor, but sadly he was not in that day. I did, however, have the privilege of being taken out onto the Governor’s balcony where you can see, as Jeff put it “the best view of Boston”
Not a bad view, huh? (And I’m not just talking about Patrick 😉 ) The house was in session on Wednesday so after this, Jeff took my family and I into the House of Representatives chamber in the state house. Once inside, I continued to meet state officials and spread the word about the Best Jobs In The World contest and my quest for Chief Funster. I was then introduced by the Speaker of the House for all of my accomplishments thus far in making it as a Top 3 finalist for Chief Funster. The chamber was buzzing with conversation and it didn’t appear as though anyone was even really listening, but when the Speaker of the House finished speaking, the chamber erupted in applause! I was overjoyed with excitement. I received a standing ovation from the House of Representatives in the Massachusetts State House! WHOA! I don’t think I’ve ever smiled so largely in my life! When we left the chamber, Jeff told my family and I that it is rare for the house to give a standing ovation. I have never felt so special in my life the way I felt when I was in that room.
Next on the agenda, Jeff, my family and I had an official photograph taken of us with the citation that Jeff presented to me on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The citation congratulates me and recognizes my achievement of making it as a Top 3 Finalist for Tourism Australia’s Best Jobs In The World contest. Now that’s an official document if I ever saw one!
It was an incredible experience being at the State House where so much important history has taken place and knowing that I am also making history. There were many rewards from this special day in my life and I’m going to tell you the two biggest ones [in my opinion]. The first happened at the conclusion of the day when my best friend Pats said that joining my family and I and watching me earn this recognition was a huge motivator and inspiration to him. I was so happy that I could serve as an inspiration to him. I’ve always believed that if you can dream it, you can do it, you just have to believe in yourself and not set any limits. You should live life and act as though there are no limits, that is when you will find success. It’s such a rewarding feeling to know that I’ve impacted more lives than just my own with the success I’ve had in becoming Chief Funster thus far.
The second most rewarding feeling was when we were in the car driving out of Boston. I was quiet and smiling at my mother gushing over the day we just had and my accomplishments. She looked at me and said, “Brittany, I don’t think you understand how incredible of an honor you just received…” My mother was surprised at my “lack of excitement”, however it wasn’t that I wasn’t excited, because believe me, I certainly was! For the first time since I found out about the contest in March, I felt satisfied and proud of myself because I have finally seen that all my hard work and sacrifice has paid off. Of course the contest isn’t over yet and I am not giving up, but it was nice to take a quick breath and be proud of myself.
The fun of the day wasn’t over yet though, kids! After dinner, my parents and I headed to my hometown’s Town Hall where I was recognized by the Franklin Town Council with a proclamation in congratulations and recognition detailing my success and achievements thus far in the Best Jobs In The World contest for Chief Funster.
It was a jam packed rewarding day full of fun! As if it was even possible, this day really built up my excitement to head down to Australia for finals week!!! Only 2 more days now until I leave! I have purchased a few necessities ( a converter, bathing suit and a couple new outfits) but now it’s time to get packing! I can’t believe this is really happening and I could not be any more excited! (I know I’ve used the word “excited” a lot in this blog post, but I just can’t contain my excitement!!!!) I am looking forward to spreading the word even further of how fantastic Australia truly is! I wish I had a dime for every person who asked if they could come with me over the course of the day. I should really just transport the entire state of Massachusetts down under! They’re all jealous of my experience and itching to get down there! See you soon, Australia!
The announcement for the Top 3 Chief Funster finalists is just a day away!!! Tomorrow evening I will know what my Chief Funster fate is. If I make Top 3, this means that I fly down to Australia for a week in June for final interviews.
It’s a crazy feeling knowing the reality of my future is so close. My heart has been racing all day today with the anticipation of tomorrow’s big announcement. The doubt has started to set in where I feel like I didn’t do enough and/or should have done even more to express my excitement and passion for the position of Chief Funster. I know this is a normal feeling leading up to such a big announcement like this, I just have to keep thinking positively!
I do happen to have a challenge for YOU, my wonderful Send BMAC Down Under followers, should you choose to accept it!
We need to show the contest all of the people who support me and believe in me for the position of Chief Funster. I need you to engage with me on my social media pages and show your support to Send BMAC Down Under!!! This means tweeting to me, posting on my Facebook timeline and sharing my blog. I encourage your creativity for a tweet and Facebook post!
Tweet @BMAC_DownUnder using #SendBMacDownUnder and your personalized message to me! Tell @Australia and @ChiefFunsterNSW why they need to pick me!
Post a message on the Send BMAC Down Under Facebook wishing me luck and why you believe I would be THE BEST Chief Funster IN THE WORLD!!! Pictures are encouraged 🙂
I really need your help for this one! Please rally and support to help me show Australia that I am the one they need to bring tourism to Australia and live the life of a Chief Funster!!!
Dear Tourism Australia,
I would describe myself as a competitive person because once I have my sights set on something, I do whatever I can to reach my goal. After the shortlist announcement and the reality set in that I was in the Top 25, it was time to scope out the competition to see what I was up against.
After checking out the competition, what’s cool about all of the Chief Funsters who were shortlisted is that we all took a different route of how we would get to Chief Funster. Everyone has a different personality. This makes the contest fun and diverse and I can only imagine how hard it is for you to have to compare apples and oranges to pick your Top 3 “shining stars” for Chief Funster.
I have been following my competition closely and it’s been challenging for me because although I truly want to be Chief Funster, I have to admit that the competition is fierce and I really like what some of the other contestants have been doing. I keep wondering who will make it to Top 3 and if I will be one of them. If I am, how will I feel about the other two people who would stand beside me? Although one of my favorite parts of life is meeting new people, I never expected to find a friend in this contest. Over the past week I’ve gotten to know Shay Mirza and if there’s anyone I’d like to see in Top 3 with me, she is one them!
Shay is glitz and glam, which makes her perfect for the eye of the public, but the best part about her is that she is authentic. I never expected another contestant to be so supportive of everything I am doing to win especially when we are competing for the same position. Shay has been such a great team player supporting myself and a couple other Chief Funsters while also doing what she needs to in order to make it to Top 3.
Shay and I have been talking non-stop about the contest about all the “ifs” plus next steps. It’s been very nice to have someone in the same position as I am to talk to. I keep forgetting we are “against” each other. I wish we could both be Chief Funster.
If I had to describe Shay in three words they would be thoughtful, thorough and fabulous! What I respect most about Shay is how she composes herself and her resilience. What most people probably don’t know is that Shay has been receiving cruel messages on her blog from an anonymous commenter. Shay has not let this bother her or get the best of her. Obviously getting nasty messages from someone who doesn’t even know her is not a comforting scenario, but Shay has risen above this radical behavior and has only let it make her stronger and more confident in this competition.
I know Shay would make a fun-tastic Chief Funster, which is why you should to pick Shay Mirza to advance to Top 3! I’m on #TeamShay!
Andddddd CUT! That’s a wrap, folks! Round 2 of the Best Job In The World contest is officially over. Yesterday I submitted my final official report to Tourism Australia of all my efforts and everything I accomplished in round 2. I tried to make it crisp and to the point. Here is a piece of what I sent in with my report. Click below to see the video I made summarizing my efforts for this round of the contest!
There was a lot that I couldn’t fit into the video or wasn’t meaningful enough to report to Australia. I wish Australia could’ve seen my phone ringing off the hook the whole 2 weeks of different people and places calling me back and making moves for this round. I transformed from a “regular student at Marist College” to the CEO of my own PR agency handling my number one client “Send BMAC Down Under”. For an advertising major, I certainly learned a lot about public relations these past 2 weeks. I had dabbled with PR before, but I would say I’m efficient in it now.
I had so many things running through my head before I pressed the “send” button, as I’m sure all the other Chief Funster candidates did. I had so many thoughts and yet none at all at the same time. My mind was blank. I was just staring at the screen. There was nothing else for me to include. I knew I covered everything. My heart was pounding like a drum and I could feel the energy rush through my finger tips as my pointer finger hovered over the “send” button and then *click*… it was gone. My entire report sent into cyber space and in the hands of the contest judges. It’s up to them now. My future is in their hands.
I’ll tell you what friends, I’ve never wanted something so bad in my life. I gave a speech in Toastmasters last week about success and I wrote it based on my feelings and procedure of the contest. It went a little something like this…
When you want to be successful as much as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful. First you have to want something. Really want something. When you think of this “thing”, you feel the burn in your body. The fire ignites in your stomach and spreads out to the ends of your body. You fall asleep thinking about this “thing” and wake up with the same thoughts on your mind. It’s similar to the way you feel when you’re in love.
Next step: do whatever it takes to get this “thing”. Don’t let ANYONE stop you. It takes 8 “no”s in sales before you get 1 “yes”. Let me just tell you what that sounds like… No. No. No. No. No. No! No! NO! yes. People are always waiting for you to fail. No one wants to see someone else succeed. It’s a dog eat dog world out there. People only want what is good for his or herself. My advice to you? Be relentless. That’s a powerful word right there. Do it. Be relentless.
But don’t do anything that doesn’t seem natural. Do you. Be you. No one else could possibly be you, so do you.
The ultimate key to success, you ask? Do what you love. It’s what you want to do. Everything else will fall into place from there. It’s true what they say, when you do what you love, you never work a day in your life. So do what you love. I really love social media. What I love even more than social media is having fun! Half the fun of social media is showing and talking about how much fun you had living life to its fullest.
Having the opportunity to be Chief Funster would be an absolute dream come true. It makes too much sense in my life right now. I am graduating college in just over 2 weeks. I would have most of the summer off then start being the Chief Funster in August (which is my birthday month! HOLLA!). Yes, that’s right, I graduate in 17 days. I wouldn’t be sacrificing my last moments and memories EVER in college if I didn’t think every second and ounce of the time and energy I’ve put into this job wasn’t worth it. Everything happens for a reason, right?
And with that, my friends, I leave you with this– the definition of a Chief Funster according to UrbanDictionary.com
Chief Funster Search Committee
Sydney, New South Wales
You have all been hearing about my daughter Brittany MacLeod (BMAC to her friends) from her co-workers, mentors, professors, Dean of the Marist School of Management and one of our State Representatives but as her mother I wanted to give you a different perspective of my impressive daughter. I know right about now you are all thinking every mother thinks their child is impressive but I want to give you specifics where she has shined and caught the attention of the world around her.
My husband, Malcolm and I knew Brittany was special when she walked at 8 months old and was conversational at 18 months old but one of the things that has continued to set Brittany apart from others is her singing. When Brittany was little, I would take her out with me shopping and Brittany would entertain herself in her stroller by singing to herself. People would stop me and ask me if I realized how beautifully she sang and at such a young age. After a while instead of just thinking it was a “mother’s pride” that thought she was special, I brought her to a vocal coach to see if there was something different about her. I came to find out she had perfect pitch at age five.
At ten years old we were visiting a historic home in Newport, Rhode Island where they were hosting a Renaissance Faire and they finished a planned event early and asked if anyone had any special talent. Brittany said she could sing and they thought they were humoring a child when they invited her to go ahead and entertain everyone. She was so much better than they ever expected that a couple of hundred people were blown away by her unexpectedly professional voice. People even came up to Malcolm and I afterwards asking permission to take their photograph with our daughter. Pretty impressive!
Brittany continued to sing and set herself apart by becoming the “go to” person in our town to sing our National Anthem at sporting events. One event in particular to be mentioned was the re-dedication of our local Ice Rink, to honor the memory a fallen Medal of Valor recipient and veteran from our town. That was in addition to performing in all kinds of music performances and venues. Brittany still performs while at college gaining attention with her beautiful voice still performing our National Anthem and performing in showcases of talented students.
I was astounded by Brittany one day when she came home from High School at age 14 and she told me she wanted to play Ice Hockey. Well, you’re now asking yourself why is this impressive? Well, you see, Brittany had never watched an Ice Hockey game before. Sure, in principal she knew what it was, what New Englander didn’t, but she had never been interested before. So she set out to play Ice Hockey and had to learn the game very quickly to be able to make the team and compete. Brittany not only made the team, she played Ice Hockey all 4 years of High School. To mine and Malcolm’s amazement, our daughter who is bright, sings and was a cheerleader for 4 years had another talent to add to her list, Ice Hockey player!
But Brittany didn’t stop there. Brittany became the voice of the student body for her High School by representing the student’s point of view at our School Committee meetings for two years as you learned from State Representative Jeffrey Roy. This was the beginning of Brittany’s foray into public speaking and this is important when you consider when Brittany went to college she joined an international organization called Toastmasters International, an organization with over 280,000 members. Brittany is on target to earn her Distinguished Toast Master (DTM) in three years. Once she gets her award, she will also become the youngest DTM ever in the world. It normally takes a Toastmasters anywhere between 5-8 years to earn this honor but when Brittany sets her mind to something there is usually no stopping her.
So now that I have told you all that, I can tell you that the reason I picked these unconnected factoids about Brittany is to tell you that she often surprises us but never disappoints. She is energetic, talented, driven, intelligent, thinks on her feet, and you would be lucky to have her representing Tourism Australia because she will give you 100% of her effort 100% of the time in communicating to the world how awesome Australia is and that everyone will want to “go down under”. That is the type of young woman she is.
I am so very proud of my daughter and all that she has accomplished! She can, and always has captured the attention of all the people who encounter her and Australia will never forget her, I promise you that!
Hey everyone! Thank you all so much for your love and support for Send BMAC Down Under so far. The second round of the Best Job In The World Contest is almost over! Tomorrow I report back to Tourism Australia with everything I have done in the past 2 weeks to show off my creativity, passion and commitment to becoming the Chief Funster by generating advocacy and media interest about why I am the best person in the world for this position. I find out May 14th if I make it to the next round of the contest. Fingers crossed.
A large part of who I am is because of how I was raised and how I grew up in Franklin, Massachusetts. Now that I’m only less than 3 short weeks away from graduating college and entering the “real world” it’s time I take all of those life lessons and values with me to tackle my next challenge and make my mark on the world. I wouldn’t have made it this far if I didn’t have my friends and family back home cheering me on to become Chief Funster. Check out my Franklin peeps showing their support to Send me, BMAC, Down Under!
Send BMAC Down Under endorsement from model Tucker Des Lauriers.
Tucker has modeled for New Balance, Reebok, Adidas, Puma, Hasbro, Hollister, Abercrombie, H&M, Seventeen Magazine, Hercules Magazine, GQ style Korea, GQ Online, Lucio Castro, Marlon Gobel, Calvin Klein Exclusive Milan, Out Magazine, Vogue Homme International Magazine, Kids Wear Magazine, Newsweek Magazine, Stage stores, VMAN Magazine and that’s just to name a few!
Here’s Tucker with “Send BMAC Down Under” painted on his chest as one of my official high profile endorsements in the referee challenge for round 2 of the Best Job In The World Contest! These pics are too good not to post all of the ones he sent me. Ladies, swoon!
You can follow Tucker on instagram at “Tsdeslauriers”
Follow Tucker on twitter: @Tsdeslauriers
A lucky few of you may be accepted to be Facebook friends with him: https://www.facebook.com/tucker.deslauriers