ACICIS was pleased to host four students for the first ever Winter ACICIS Business Professional Practicum Program (BPP) from June to September 2021. The program was successfully run with the cohort coming from various universities across Australia, such as The University of Melbourne, The University of Western Australia, and Murdoch University. All BPP students received a $3,000 New Colombo Plan mobility grant to assist them during the program and overseeing the winter program was the ACICIS Academic Program Officer (APO), Dr Ari Rakatama.

Participants completed the program for twelve weeks in total for this Winter intake. The first three weeks consisted of an intensive academic program, including intensive Indonesian language study at Pusat Pengajaran Bahasa (PPB) Atma Jaya University, a seminar series and industry case studies presented by professionals with intimate knowledge of business and economic issues in Indonesia. Across eight seminars delivered, several topics covered related to Indonesia’s business and economic sectors, including the Indonesian economy in the digital era, the omnibus law and business, corporate social responsibility, recruitment & HR, and doing business in Indonesia. Amidst the current situation, one of the BPP seminars also emphasised the impact of COVID-19 on Indonesia’s business.

BPP students were also involved in case studies with Pendleton & Co and PT Adaro Energy Tbk during the academic program. Pendleton & Co is an international service company focused on transport logistics and meat export across Australia, Indonesia, and Singapore. Welcoming us from Perth, the Board of Director of Pendleton & Co, Danny Fairhead, unpacked the legal and regulatory environment and challenges for doing business in Indonesia to students in the online classroom. The students learned deeper about local partnerships in Indonesia, marketing approach for millennials, animal welfare, and its vital industry bodies with Halal organisations. The discussion was lively and rich in perspective as the session was joined by students from two other Professional Practicum programs, the Law and Agriculture fields. In the second study case, the BPP students had an opportunity to meet and discuss with the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Division Head of PT. Adaro Energy Tbk (Adaro), Okty Damayanti, who is based in Jakarta. Adaro is a concession coal producer in the southern hemisphere, including the top five thermal coal exporters globally. In this session, the students explore the CSR role in natural resources industries, especially Adaro, in implementing the five CSR Pillars and the breakdown into essential programs.

Among the intensive week of academic activities and professional practicum placement at their host organisation, these students had a chance to attend some extracurricular activities. These activities allowed them to ‘taste’ the Indonesian culture and to engage with other students across the different Professional Practicum Programs and ACICIS staff. The activities included two Movie Questions and Answers (Q&A) sessions, casual catch-ups every Wednesday afternoon, and an Indonesian Independence Day celebration with Atma Jaya University students.

The first Movie Q&A session was attended by the director of Jalanan, Daniel Ziv, joining us from Vancouver, Canada. Prior to the session, the students were required to watch the film in their own time. Jalanan gave the students a multi-layered picture of Jakarta through the lens of buskers’ daily lives. The second movie, Semesta (Island of Faith), a documentary that talks about climate change through the eyes of faith and religion of people living across different provinces in Indonesia.

BPP students also undertook nine-week placements at a range of host organisations in Indonesia, including the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF), Okusi Associates, and QWORK. The three host organisations operate across various sectors, including business consultant, research, HR management and consultancy. With a requirement of 160 hours of professional placement, the students were offered a more flexible time allocation during their internship at their respective host organisation.

Highlighting the experiences throughout the program, one of the BPP students, Sheraya De Vaurno from Murdoch University, said, “I recently completed the ‘in-country’ winter program with ACICIS, and it has opened so many career opportunities from the program. Gaining a deeper understanding of Indonesian culture and business showed future employers that I had the initiative and a willingness to learn and gain cross-cultural experience. Together with my internship, I was able to secure a job as a credit analyst and begin a career in finance.”

Adelaide Pope from The University of Melbourne also shared her impression of doing research projects during interning at INDEF. “I was actually successful and have been offered a research position. I would really like to thank ACICIS and INDEF for the very enriching program and the tangible skills and nuanced perspectives that I have gained as a result of participating. Terima Kasih Banyak!” She added.

Finally, we would like to congratulate students of the Virtual BPP program this intake for their incredible work in undertaking a challenging and exciting opportunity to gain professional experience in Indonesia’s growing business and economic sectors while exploring themselves to the Indonesian language and culture. We wish students all the best in their future endeavours!