New Colombo Plan - Connect to Australia’s future - study in the region.

Business Professional Practicum

Alicia De Lange was a participant in the 2020 Business Professional Practicum from The University of Western Australia. Alicia is studying a Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences.

Q: Why did you decide to undertake ACICIS’ Business Professional Practicum?

I am always up for a challenge and an adventure, so when I heard about the ACICIS practicum program, that incorporated both of these aspects, I was already sold. To study and experience a new culture, in a neighbouring country that is technologically advanced and has a booming economy, sounded like a great way to fill those empty electives on my study calendar.

Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? If so, how did this contribute to your experience in Indonesia?

Yes, I did receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant. I am so appreciative of this grant because it gave me the financial support I needed to study overseas. Without it I wouldn’t have had the funds I needed to pay for all my expenses in Indonesia. It also allowed me to experience more of Indonesia than just studying and working. I was able to spend my weekends visiting iconic landmarks and participating in activities such as visiting Monas, creating batik at the textile museum, going to Houbii Trampolining Park and experience car free Sunday just to name a few.

Q: How will the Business Professional Practicum benefit or influence your future career?

The program has allowed in to gain valuable cross-cultural experience and knowledge about how to approach international businesses relationships. Furthermore, the month of interning at my host organisation has shown what type of a career or job I want to pursue in the future. I learnt that I am someone who prefers hands-on, interactive working with customers and clients. Better I learn this lesson now while I am still studying than later on when I plant myself into a career.

Q: Which organisation did you intern with? What were your responsibilities? 

I interned at PT Merck Tbk, a leading science and technology company that is apart of the Merck Group originally established in Germany in 1668. It is one of the oldest pharmaceutical companies in the world and PT Merck Tbk is the only manufacturing facility for the Merck Group products in the southeast Asia region. Throughout my time at Merck I participated in many inductions including an overview of Merck, waste treatment and disposal, production and packing, production and promotional warehouses, environmental health and safety, site pharma technology, utilities and quality control.

I also worked on several projects:

  1. My major GMP comparison project è the aim was to map the Good Manufacturing Requirements (GMP) requirements between the PIC/S guideline and the local Indonesian requirements, as well as analyse how these guidelines have been implemented in Merck Indonesia. I summarized my research into a report.
  2. Edited the Merck Quality Manual
  3. Aided the Warehouse Department èassisted Pak Andri in translating the Standard Operating Procedures for the Promotional Warehouse into English.
  4. Completed daily Supply Chain Management paperwork àAssisted my colleagues in the SCM office with the daily manufacturing and packaging paperwork that needed sorting and filing.
  5. Researched about Women in Indonesian businesses è I gathered information for my report by interviewing female managers in the company and reading Merck policies.

Q: How did you find the work culture of your host organisation? How was it different to work experience in Australia?

The work culture is very relaxed. Colleagues completed tasks when it was suitable for them and I received minimal supervision during my time at Merck. Most days I was free to decide what I wanted to work on for that day. This varies greatly to my experiences in Australia, where everything is highly controlled and happens according to set schedules and managers peer over your shoulders, literally, to make sure that you are doing everything according to the procedures. Furthermore, Indonesia is very communal, colleagues care and engage with their peers and the company also supports its employees. The company provides lunch for its employees, as well as Zumba for the ladies once and week and LX Workouts for both genders twice a week. This is a time for employees to fellowship with each other. This type of consideration is not showed in Australia. My work does not provide lunch or extra-curricular activities for its employees and the engagement between employees is kept minimal and to a superficial level. Indonesian company’s commitment to its employees is something Australia could vastly learn from.

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

Yes I would, I absolutely loved the experience and would definitely want to return again in the future, hopefully for a period of more than 3 months.

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

I tried to experience the local culture by visiting Monas, attending car free Sunday, making Batik at the Texile Museum (highly recommend), exploring the many shopping centres, going to a local gym, having massages, going out to dinner with my work friends.

Q: Favourite Indonesian food ?

For those in South Jakarta Three Folks Coffee, Creamery and More had amazing food at an affordable price too. It is also an extended stay hotel where I stayed and would highly recommend for people in that area.

Favourite food was nasi goreng, gado gado, martabak.

Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?

Tidak keju

Tidak cabe (HAHA)

Enak Sekali

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

Monas, Houbii Adventure Park, Jakarta Gothic Cathedral and the Textile Museum