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

Virtual Development Studies Professional Practicum

Kriti Mahajan was a participant in the 2022 Virtual Development Studies Professional Practicum. Kriti is studying a Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics at The Australian National University. Kriti received a $3000 New Colombo Plan mobility grant to support her participation on this program.

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

I decided to undertake the ACICIS virtual internship program because I wanted to broaden my horizons and expand my understanding of the International Community that Australia is a part of. I have wanted to learn a new language and get real-world work experience to supplement my university studies in Australia.

Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? Do you think the NCP is an important initiative?

I am extremely grateful to receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant for this Virtual Professional Practicum. It has enabled me to undertake an internship and learn a new language whilst studying about the development of one of Australia’s most important neighbours. Without this a signature initiative of the Australian Government I would not have been able to develop my passion for Asia Pacific Studies, especially during this pandemic.

Q: How have you found the academic components of this virtual program – i.e. the language classes/seminars?

I have found all the academic components of this virtual program challenging but extremely rewarding. Being able to put theoretical knowledge into practice through the internship placements and learn a new language have been some of the best parts.

Q: What organisation did you intern with?

I am interning at the Komnas Perempuan’s (National Commission on Violence Against Women) Law Reform and Policy Division. My main responsibility was to write a research report to be presented to the Indonesia House of Representatives about Sexual Violence Victim Protection utilising  Komnas’ data is gained from studies, research and monitoring and consultations with partner organizations representing the State, civil society organizations and communities of victims and survivors.

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

Like in Australia, I found the work culture (albeit online) in Indonesia with my host organisation to be very friendly and encouraging.

Q: What are the key skills you have learnt during your virtual internship?

I have learned to be self-motivated, establish personal connections quickly and write to a professional standard during my virtual internship.

Q: What did you find to be the more rewarding part of this virtual program?

Being able to interact with law reform and development policy professionals through the seminars and my internship has given me great personal insight into the careers I envisage for myself.

Q: Were you able to learn about the Indonesian culture from this virtual program? If yes, how was this achieved?

I have been able to learn a lot about the Indonesian culture in a very short time from this virtual program and being able to put my understandings into practice in the internship has been especially valuable.

Q: How will the virtual internship benefit or influence your future career?

I aim to pursue a career in Asia-Pacific diplomacy in the future and learning Indonesian Language and Culture as well as having work experience at an Indonesian organisation will be a vital asset to building people-to-people links as required in Diplomatic work.

Q: Would you recommend this virtual program to your friends?

Yes 100% I have already recommended it to many people!

I enjoyed the program so much that this is my 2nd year in a row undertaking ACICIS Virtual Professional Practicums.

Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase:

Berjalan-jalan. I love to travel and one day I would love to berjalan-jalan ke Indonesia!

Q: Describe your experience of the virtual internship program in three words:

Interesting, Rewarding and Awesome