Q: Why did you decide to undertake the ACICIS program?
I chose to participate in this virtual internship programme because I wanted to apply what I had learned in the classroom to real-world situations. Furthermore, the prospect of working worldwide and across cultures has always piqued my interest. I wanted to see how it felt to work with people from different cultures, especially those who were interested in the same field as myself.
Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? Do you think the NCP is an important initiative?
A New Colombo Mobility Grant was granted to me. This initiative, in my opinion, is a critical initiative because our placement and ACICIS programmes take up a considerable portion of the day, preventing students from working the same hours they did before starting the programme. The award will assist in covering the program’s costs as well as additional expenses.
Q: How have you found the academic components of this virtual program – i.e. the language classes/seminars?
This programme, in my opinion, does an excellent job of combining several educational elements into a single learning experience.
Q: What organisation did you intern with?
I was interning at the Centre for World Trade Studies (CWTS). I conducted research on the circular economy and developed a report on how Australian firms can implement the change to adopt a more sustainable and economically beneficial producer and consumer model. I created social media content to promote the idea on the organisation’s social media sites and published an article for the CWTS website.
Q: How have you found the work culture (albeit online) of your host organisation? How is it different to work experience in Australia?
I did notice a considerable difference between the work culture. The work culture in Indonesia is fairly laissez-faire, and employees have a lot of liberty. The Australian work culture, in my experience, is not as relaxed, and the status quo is all too visible in most businesses. Indonesia’s usage of WhatsApp as a professional platform is one example that stands out. This is not widely used in Australia, but I wish it were because it is far more efficient than email. In Australia WhatsApp is seen as a casual messaging platform and not a professional one.
Q: What are the main skills you have learnt during your virtual internship?
During my time at CWTS, I improved my attention to detail, autonomy, accountability, and decision-making skills.
Q: What did you find to be the most rewarding part of this virtual experience?
The most fulfilling aspect of my virtual experience for me was seeing my work published. We had put in so much effort for 5 weeks on a topic we had never heard of but were incredibly passionate about, and seeing it all come together in the end was extremely rewarding.
Q: Were you able to learn about the Indonesian culture from this virtual program? If yes, how was this achieved?
I discovered that Indonesians are quite nice and patient. Hats off to Ibu Arin, my language teacher, who exemplified this perfectly. Even though my capacity to learn another language is slim to none, she never lost patience and always had a grin on her face and an overall cheerful demeanour.
Q: How will the virtual internship benefit or influence your career?
This internship offered me a taste of what my future profession will entail. It reassured me that I am on the right track, one that I am passionate about. In addition, my internship was well-integrated with both of my degrees. Government policies, business development, and innovation are all part of the circular economy.
Q: Would you recommend this virtual program to your friends?
Absolutely! It’s a wonderful way to put all of your classroom knowledge to the test in the real world. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to learn about a different culture while meeting some wonderful people along the road.
Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase:
Q: Describe your experience of the virtual internship program in three words:
Educational, inspirational and immersive.