I began my Masters by Research in January 2016 at QUT Business School in Brisbane, funded by the Australian Government’s Research Training Scheme. I am supervised by Dr Charmaine Glavas and Dr Shane Mathews. My research explores international experience within the internationalisation processes of the firm. I take an online service firm perspective, because services are generally under-represented in the internationalisation literature and online firms are increasingly prominent in the start-up world. This provides a novel opportunity to study the relationships between emerging kinds of business environments and international experience in entrepreneurs.


After completing a Masters in Technical and Specialised Translation in London in 2004, I joined a profession that was on the brink of being replaced by machines (or so many said ;)). I used emerging online technologies to quickly build a varied portfolio of business clients based all around the world.

By 2006 I was running a completely location-independent business. I managed multinational and geographically-dispersed teams of professionals and multilingual multimedia projects, working for business clients who hired me on the strength of my online reputation.

In 2007 I worked in some of the first coworking spaces in Europe, and by 2008 I had taken my business on the road, spending extended periods of time in coworking spaces in Spain, Germany, and Australia, forming partnerships and interests that are still with me today.

In 2011, I helped establish one of the first online training providers for professional linguists with a business partner who lived on the other side of the world and whom I had never met at the time. (And have still only met once, for a very enjoyable and memorable lunch at Heathrow Airport :)).

Within a matter of months, that business was serving individual customers and corporate clients in almost 100 countries across Europe, North America, South America and Australasia.

Today, I’m based in subtropical Brisbane, Australia.

About this website

I’ve always been fascinated with how small businesses use digital platforms to go global. I know it can be done because I’ve done it myself, and I’ve worked with hundreds of other organisations, large and small, who have too. I’ve never seen technology as a threat or as something to be afraid of; yet I didn’t grow up with the internet as the norm. Can you imagine what’s to come for the emerging generation of business owners who have?

After riding the wave of technological change for many years as a small business owner, I’m now keen to explore what this new normal means for the international businesses of the future. I hope you’ll join me!

Sarah Dillon

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