Development Studies Professional Practicum

Natasha Tan was a participant in the 2020 Development Studies Professional Practicum from UNSW. Natasha is studying a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts.

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

As a Development Studies Major, I really wanted some practical experience and background insight in an NGO to see how development projects and actors work in a real-world setting. I also love travelling and living in new places so this practicum offered me the best of both worlds.

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

At my organisation, Project Child Indonesia (PCI), I was able to see the planning it takes to run development programs smoothly. At a local grassroots NGO like PCI, I loved how the NGO worked directly with the community and their feedback. I worked in a small team of passionate people. My co-workers and the NGO itself inspired me to continue pursuing a career in the development.

Q: What organisation did you intern with?

I interned at Project Child as an Events Organiser under the Human Capital Department. The organisation itself focuses on the education of vulnerable communities on the environment as well as increasing access to clean water in Indonesian schools. My role involved organising the recruitment of volunteers and interns for Project Child through interviews, training days and a Welcoming party.

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

The work culture was a massive shock for me. Many of my co-workers came late or left early so much that I still don’t know what the official office hours are. At Project Child, it felt like a family because everyone sat on shared big tables at the office and there was a huge emphasis on bonding activities (even playing card games during work hours). It was an incredibly relaxed work environment.

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

I loved Jogja! The people, the food and the sights were amazing and I would love to go back for holiday or maybe even to live for a little while.

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

The other DSPP people and I usually hung out at cafes (where good, cheap coffee and air conditioning are in abundance) and warungs. During the weekends, we took mini road trips to waterfalls or other tourist attractions like Borobudur.

Q: Favourite place to eat? Favourite Indonesian food?

I loved any Indomie warung. Satu indomie goreng telor goreng!

Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?

Keren dong! (Cool!)

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

I’ve visited Borobudur, Beringharjo market, beaches and waterfalls in Gunung Kidul and Taman Sari.