Sue Ven Lee was a participant in the 2022 Virtual Law Professional Practicum. Sue Ven is studying a Bachelor of Law (Hons) and Bachelor of International Relations at The Australian National University. Sue Ven 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 had never undertaken an internship before and this seemed like a good place to start, and it was also a fantastic opportunity to learn about civil law systems such as Indonesia’s since I come from a common law country. The fact that I was able to formally study Bahasa Indonesia was also a bonus!
Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? Do you think the NCP is an important initiative? If yes, why?
Yes, because it allows students to participate in overseas programs such as ACICIS and to learn more about Southeast Asia without being under immense financial strain.
Q: How have you found the academic components of this virtual program – i.e. the language classes/seminars?
It was a challenge at first due to the time differences, but I adapted quickly and found it no different to regular university classes- all of us have been studying online for the past two years after all! The law seminars usually have very heavy readings/an extensive list of readings, but it is not as overwhelming as it seemed at first, and the readings are crucial to understanding the material taught in the seminar. Language classes were more intensive than regular university language classes given that we only have a few short weeks of study, but its intensity makes it much more efficient and effective.
Q: What organisation did you intern with?
I was interning with MAAS Law Offices. I completed research on Intellectual Property law in Indonesia and had to regularly report my progress to my mentor, which I found very helpful as he could steer me towards the right direction if I ever found myself overwhelmed with the information I researched.
Q: How have you found the work culture (albeit online) of your host organisation? How is it different to work experience in Australia?
Very relaxed but supportive, not unlike Australia…but there is a certain level of familiarity/comfort that I believe is unique to Indonesia!
Q: What are the main skills you have learnt during your virtual internship?
Critical thinking when responding to unforeseen complications: much of my work during the internship consisted of legal research, and I had underestimated the sheer amount of information that would be written in Bahasa and did not have an English translation. Some of my methods to solve this were to use a dictionary in conjunction with google translate, since neither are very accurate in translating texts on their own. Alternatively, looking for other English-language sources and referring to those when the Indonesian-language sources became too overwhelming also helped.
Q: What did you find to be the most rewarding part of this virtual experience?
Connecting with people from Indonesia and getting to learn about the Indonesian culture is the highlight of this virtual experience.
Q: Were you able to learn about the Indonesian culture from this virtual program? If yes, how was this achieved?
Absolutely, through the language classes where my teacher shared with us several videos about Indonesia narrated in the language itself, and through the cultural activities.
Q: How will the virtual internship benefit or influence your future career?
It has given me internship experience, and knowledge about working with people from a different culture and from diverse backgrounds, which is important as many law firms are very diverse.
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:
Interesting, valuable, and unique.