Emily Woods is a participant in the 2017 Business Professional Practicum from Curtin University. Emily is studying a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in International Business. Emily received a $3,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant to support her participation in this program.
Q: Why did you decide to undertake the ACICIS program?
I am curious about other cultures. I love learning about people. The more different they are from me, the more I want to know about them. I hope to have a career in International Business for this reason. Working in Indonesia gives me the opportunity to completely immerse myself in an entirely different culture whilst also providing me with valuable interpersonal and cross-cultural skills.
Q: How will the Professional Practicum benefit or influence your future career?
Working alongside Indonesians and seeing how they interact with each other, witnessing their office politics and hierarchical structure in person gives me the truest form of insight into the culture. This knowledge is invaluable when dealing with Indonesian companies in negotiation with Australian companies. I am now better equipped to facilitate trade between the two countries.
Q: What organisation will you be interning with? (Explain your roles and responsibilities)
I am interning at the Indonesian Stock Exchange. There are three other women interning here with me, and together we have had the best time. Mainly we translate English documents and research other stock exchanges to provide information for IDX to compare with. We also attend networking events, such as the Opening Ceremony when a new company gets listed. One of the highlights of the working day was when the Stock Exchange had a live concert, called StockSound. Famous Indonesian band Nidji played a show in the main hall, four floors below our office. We spent the work day dancing in the moshpit with our colleagues.
Q: How have you found the work culture of your host organisation? How is it different to work experience in Australia?
I love all my colleagues and I am so sad to be leaving. I have never worked in an organisation that is so friendly and so entertaining. Every single day the office finds something to cheer about or laugh at. I will share something that is unique to the Indonesian Stock Exchange known as the ‘food is here – bird call’. When it is someone’s birthday, or someone is leaving, they bring food for the entire office to share. Members of staff will then initiate a loud, shrill ‘bird call’ that is supposed to signal to the whole floor that food has arrived. So unique, and so hilarious. Indonesians certainly know how to have fun, which explains why all the colleagues are good friends and hang out together on the weekends. I also can’t forget the time one of the senior managers bought new pants on the lunch break and came back into the office wearing them and posing, pretending to be on a catwalk, while the rest of the office cheered for him. It is the fun memories like these that have truly made my experience unforgettable.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time in Indonesia?
Travel. The island of Java is so diverse. It ranges from the incredibly hot and humid afternoons, to the freezing, rainy and windy weather witnessed at Kawah Putih. We like to spend time with our colleagues on weekends, it really adds to the learning experience. Don’t get caught in the trap of only spending time with other Australian’s on the ACICIS program. If you want to hang out with Australians, stay in Australia. Whilst in Indonesia, meet as many Indo’s as you can and invite them to your weekend plans.
Q: Would you like to return to work in Indonesia again in future?
I would definitely work in Jakarta. This city has everything you need, but most importantly, it has Gojek. I can’t imagine a life without Gojek and GoFood.
Q: Favourite Indonesian food?
Pastel. I like to add 4 or 5 green chillies into it while the other Australians watch in horror.
Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?
Makasi bro (used by our super cool gojek driver). It is the slang for thankyou. Make sure you roll the ‘r’ in the word ‘bro’.
Q: Favourite place to eat?
There are so many I can’t decide. At the Indonesian Stock Exchange we are provided with a free buffet lunch every day and the beef Rendang is top quality.
Q: What places in Indonesia have you visited during your practicum so far?
We visited Bandung and Yogyakarta. We have spent a lot of time travelling around Jakarta city, from the south to the north. Bandung is beautiful, it is a great escape from the city and a breath of fresh air.