Development Studies Professional Practicum

Alessandro Sereni is a participant in the 2019 Development Studies Professional Practicum from Flinders University. Alessandro is studying a Master or Arts (International Development).

Q: Why did you decide to undertake the ACICIS program?

I decided to undertake the ACICIS practicum to complement my Masters degree’s in-class learning with the hands-on experience of working in a development sector organisation that ACICIS’  DSPP program provides. I also wanted to deepen my knowledge of the Indonesian language and culture with which I had come in contact during my academic studies.

Q: How will the Professional Practicum benefit or influence your future career? Would you like to return to Indonesia again in future?

Thanks to the ACICIS Professional Practicum I have grown as a development professional-to-be. Amongst others, I have improved my organizational, intercultural competency, etc. skills. My resolve to embark on a career in development after graduation has been further strengthened thanks to the academic seminars, work, and conversations I have had both in my Host Organisation’s office and with my fellow colleagues participating in the Professional Practicum. Taking part in this program has spurred me to undertake the study of the ‘A Guide to the PMD Pro – Project Management for Development Professionals’ and to sit the related examination in order to obtain a globally recognized certification in project management. Moreover, on my return from the program, I was also able to secure an internship at a specialist project management company to continue working in the development sector, thus continuing the on-the-job learning and training commenced thanks to the ACICIS Professional Practicum.

Q: What organisation will did you intern with? (Explain your roles and responsibilities)

The organisation I interned with was ‘Yayasan Plan International Indonesia’. I was part of the ‘Business Development Team’ tasked at a general level with international fundraising and grant proposal writing to secure international funding.  In my support role, this is what I accomplished during my internship: (1) I built my capacity to understand the funding landscape for development aid in Indonesia; (2) I strengthened my analytical skills in mapping prospective funding resources to meet development projects’ focus strategies; (3) I developed a comprehensive donor database to support the organisation’s fundraising efforts; (4) I familiarised myself with a development project’s design and planning phases through direct participation; (5) I improved my knowledge on project management in the international development sector.

Q: How have you found the work culture of your host organisation? How is it different to work experience in Australia?

The work culture at my host organisation was very friendly, supportive, collaborative, and flexible. I felt welcomed from the very first moment I stepped into the office.

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time in Indonesia?

I liked to explore the historical and cultural sites that both Yogyakarta and Jakarta have to offer. The Borobudur and Prambanan temples in Yogyakarta are amazing sights not to be missed.

Q: Would you like to return to work in Indonesia again in the future?

A definite ‘Yes’!

Q: Favourite place to eat? Favourite Indonesian food?

RM Demangan in Yogyakarta/ Lontong Cap Gomeh

Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?


Q: What places in Indonesia have you visited during your practicum so far?

Yogyakarta and Jakarta. I really hope to be able to visit more of the amazing natural wonders that Indonesia has to offer next time.