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

Business Professional Practicum

Sam James was a participant in the 2020 Business Professional Practicum from Curtin University. Sam is studying a Bachelor of Science.

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

I had a few great experiences in Indonesia prior to applying for this opportunity, but once I saw that I could apply my learning in university into a professional internship I was sold.

Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? If so, how did this contribute to your experience in Indonesia?

I did receive the grant and it helped immensely in helping fund the cost of the program and gave me a more stable financial state when going for this opportunity.

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

I think it will definitely influence my future career opportunities since I had worked in a foreign country related to the business area I may enter into in the future.

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

I was very blessed to be placed in Bank Syariah Mandiri where I learnt about a whole different banking system, in Sharia banking.  I got to visit 16 groups within the organisation analyse their strengths and opportunities of improvement and create a presentation on the opportunities they have in Australia and in Indonesia.  We also learnt various different transactions such as Musharakah, Murabahah, Ijarah, Mudharabah and Zakat which were very interesting as ethical alternatives to conventional banking transactions.

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

I feel Indonesia’s work culture is very family-like.  Everyone really celebrates their successes and loves a great chat, which may seem like they’re distracted but they seem to get the work done.  I feel like staying back is the norm for Indonesian workers but at times I also feel like people sometimes enjoy the company of their co-workers that they may want to stay a bit longer.  One of my mentors also said, “If I’m under stress or have a big workload, another person in my department would ask if there’s a task I can do so we all leave at similar times.”  To me it shows a great sense of camaraderie

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


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

Wonder the streets and go eat some new things on the street food vendors.  I also visited Bogor and Taman Mini which were quite fun to visit too.  The people inside the program were so fun too that just going for a walk or a meal would also be so much fun too!

Q: Favourite Indonesian food ?

Nasgor vendor down the road from Kendal Suites.

Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?

*Smile* “Ya, ya, ya ya ya.”

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

Bogor, Sanur (Bali), and Kuta Lombok and Gerupuk (Lombok).