Nelson Liaqat was a participant in the 2021 Virtual Law Professional Practicum. Nelson is studying a Bachelor of Social Science/Laws at Western Sydney University. Nelson received a $3000 New Colombo Plan mobility grant to support his participation on this program.
Q: Why did you decide to undertake the ACICIS program?
I always wanted to study abroad, and I was aiming to study somewhere in Eastern Asian countries. As the ACICIS program came along, I utilised the opportunity to fulfil my dream of studying overseas, albeit virtually. Also, when I initially heard about the ACICIS virtual internship program, I was intrigued by the variety of programs they cover, ranging from Bahasa Indonesia language classes, law classes based upon the Indonesian legal system, and work placement at a law firm in Indonesia. Additionally, my mate was also doing the internship, which also pushed me to undertake the ACICIS virtual internship program.
Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? Do you think the NCP is an important initiative?
Yes, NCP is an important initiative as it assists more deserving students in paying for an overseas internship. As a result, it provides students with the opportunity to learn about the Indo-Pacific and heighten their respective study area’s knowledge, which could potentially help to ameliorate Indo-Pacific and Australia’s relationship.
Q: How have you found the academic components of this virtual program – i.e. the language classes/seminars?
I was a little anxious before starting the virtual internship as I did not know what to expect. During the first week of the internship, I felt that the classes are a bit too long, as a substantial period of sitting down in front of a computer effortlessly bored me. However, as time passed, during my seminars, plenary sessions, tutorials, and the language classes, I felt better due to the lecturers’ vibrant and welcoming aura. The language classes were my favourite component of the course as Mbak Fitri always went above and beyond to assist us in improving our language skills.
Q: What organisation are you interning with?
I had my internship at JAS & Partners Law Firm. Due to my unfamiliarity with the Indonesian legal system, I was limited to conducting research every week and presenting it every Friday to the firm. At the same time, Pak Hafizh and the team asked me questions pertaining to the presentation and the research I conducted throughout the week.
Q: How have you found the work culture (albeit online) of your host organisation? How is it different to work experience in Australia?
The team provided to me by the host organisation was terrific. They were familiar with Australian culture. Therefore, it did not hamper my ability to clearly communicate with them. Despite the fact that I did not fully explore the firm or the host organisation due to virtual placement, they created a welcoming environment. Also, I did not find substantial differences in work ethics besides they had to deal with different laws and legislations at the law firm.
Q: What are the main skills you have learnt during your virtual internship?
Some of the skills I learned during my virtual internship include the ability to build resilience, enhanced my presentation skills, familiarity with the Indonesian legal system, improve my research skills, particularly concerning Indonesian laws and legislations, and the ability to work in the digital era.
Q: What did you find to be the most rewarding part of this virtual experience?
The most rewarding part has to be able to speak a little Bahasa Indonesia.
Q: Were you able to learn about the Indonesian culture from this virtual program? If yes, how was this achieved?
I was able to learn about Indonesia’s culture from the virtual program but not to a great extent, as virtual program hindered my ability to get a hands-on experience that would have been potentially obtained while physically being in Indonesia. However, the Indonesian cultural learning was achieved through seminars on Indonesia’s culture, movie screening and interaction with the lecturers and ACICIS team. Additionally, through the workshops, tutorials and work placement, I realised that Indonesian people are superb as the entire ACICIS team went above and beyond to assist us.
Q: How will the virtual internship benefit or influence your future career?
In the current economic climate, employers are searching for a relevant experience that backs up your academic abilities and demonstrates your ‘soft skills’ and work experience highlights to employers that you understand what it’s like to work while virtual internship has provided me with both of these skills. The skills will enable me to demonstrate to my employer a wide variety of abilities that will potentially improve my employment prospects. It will also help me utilise the skills I obtained through the virtual internship to perform better in my future career.
Q: Would you recommend this virtual program to your friends?
Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase:
Q: Describe your experience of the virtual internship program in three words:
Resilient, insightful and inspirational.