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

Business Professional Practicum

Ben Greilach was a participant in the 2019 Business Professional Practicum from Monash University. Ben is studying a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting as well as a Diploma of Languages in Indonesian. Ben received a $3,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant to support his participation in this program.

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

I decided to undertake the ACICIS practicum as it was a great opportunity to see how the combination of my degrees, Bachelor of Commerce and Diploma of Language: Indonesian, could work together. I also have visited Indonesia quite a few times and so was looking to visit Indonesia again at some point and catch up with old friends. Lastly, my Indonesian teachers heavily encouraged students to do an ACICIS program and the opportunity to travel and count it towards my degree was awesome.

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 an NCP grant. This grant was useful in contributing to the majority of the tuition expenses of the program and eased the financial burden on myself to participate in the program. Another benefit was that, with that grant, we got to meet other students on NCP grants such as at the NCP event held during the program at the Australian Embassy.

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

I hope that the Professional Practicum will be a good point of difference in work experience to other business and commerce graduates. So far, when going to career fairs and events my experience has drawn the interest of potential employers. I hope that it will help me successfully apply for summer vacation programs and graduate programs.

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

I interned with BKPM (Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board), which is a government agency office. Each week at BKPM, myself and another BPP intern were asked to present on a certain topic, such as investment opportunities in Australia. Then, on the last week, we evaluated their new system and gave our opinion on it and how we thought it could be improved.

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

I found the work culture quite different to Australia in certain aspects. I found that in a government office in Indonesia the work culture and work ethic was quite relaxed. Supposedly, it was also the quiet time of year for the office. However I do think that it is still a more relaxed work environment than the workplaces I have worked at in Australia. Some of the aspects of formality were also interesting and a little different, I felt that there was often a clear hierarchy which is different to many workplaces in Australia.

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

I think I would like to work again in Indonesia. Overall, I have enjoyed my time in Indonesia on the different trips I’ve done and I hope for the opportunity to work in Indonesia again. However, I did also find some aspects of living in Jakarta/Indonesia to be a challenge, such as the pollution. I also think that I found living there to be difficult at times due to it being the first time I’ve properly lived alone.

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

I did similar things during my spare time in Indonesia as I did in Australia. I often went to the gym, sometimes used the pool in my apartment complex and played basketball when I could.

Q: Favourite Indonesian food?

Lotte Shopping Avenue is a mall that was a short walk from my apartment which had quite a few restaurants that I enjoyed such as Thai, Korean, Japanese and a nice restaurant for a good steak, Holy Ribs, which was great when desiring something more western for a change. While I probably did not enjoy Indonesian food as much as other Asian cuisines, my favourite Indonesian food would have to be Beef Rendang.

Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?

Bule = word for a foreigner

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

I only travelled outside of Jakarta once during my practicum, as I have visited Indonesia quite a few times before. However, a group of 7 friends and I travelled to the Thousand Islands for a weekend trip which was awesome. It was quite close to Jakarta, only a two hour boat ride, and our group had a great time snorkelling and scuba-diving which was a fantastic first experience.