Richard was a participant on the 2021 Virtual Business Professional Practicum. Richard is studying a Bachelor of Global Security at Murdoch University. Richard received a $3,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant to support his participation in this program.
Q: Why did you decide to undertake the ACICIS program?
I decided to undertake the ACICIS virtual internship program to improve my employability and differentiate myself as a graduate. I was also very interested in deepening my knowledge of Indonesian culture and business.
Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? Do you think the NCP is an important initiative?
Yes, I did receive an NCP Mobility Grant. I think this is an important initiative as it shows the Australian Government supports and values the ACICIS program.
Q: How have you found the academic components of this virtual program – i.e. the language classes/seminars?
The language classes were great! Not only did they help improve my Indonesian, but I have maintained contact with the Indonesian teacher. Also, with small classes of only 8 students we all quickly became friends and have kept in contact. The seminars were also very valuable, with some very impressive and highly respected speakers.
Q: What organisation did you intern with?
I interned with the Indonesian Research Centre for Policy Force and Terrorism. My role was to research and determine the different characteristics of terrorists from different areas of Southeast Asia. I wrote a research paper on this topic which the organisation is hoping to publish in the near future. As an undergraduate student this is an amazing opportunity!
Q: How have you found the work culture (albeit online) of your host organisation? How is it different to work experience in Australia?
I have found the Indonesian work culture very interesting and enjoyable. Compared to Australia, there is much less importance on punctuality. Indonesian people, even in business, are very open and love to share their culture. Respect and building relationships seems very important in Indonesian work culture.
Q: What are the main skills you have learnt during your virtual internship?
The main skill I have learnt is how to navigate the Indonesian business culture. This will help me when I engage with other Indonesian groups in the future but great importance on respect. I have also learnt some valuable Indonesian language and developed an understanding of the environment in which businesses operate, in Indonesia.
Q: What did you find to be the most rewarding part of this virtual experience?
Even though I feel my career prospects have greatly improved from this program, the most rewarding part is all the new friends I have met.
Q: Were you able to learn about the Indonesian culture from this virtual program? If yes, how was this achieved?
All the components of this program taught me about Indonesian culture. However, I learnt about Indonesian culture mainly from my internship organisation. They shared their culture with passion and answered all my questions about Indonesian culture.
Q: How will the virtual internship benefit or influence your career?
It will benefit my future career in two ways. Firstly, my internship organisation is in the exact field I am studying, so this experience is extremely valuable when applying for employment. I have also maintained contact with them, building my Indonesian network. Secondly, this internship shows I have experience with Indonesian culture which is a valuable attribute to differentiate myself as a graduate.
Q: Would you recommend this virtual program to your friends?
Yes, definitely. It’s valuable and enjoyable.
Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase:
“Gurih” as we don’t really have a direct translation in English!
Q: Describe your experience of the virtual internship program in three words:
Menarique, mantul, menakjubkan!