Q: Why did you decide to undertake ACICIS’ Business Professional Practicum?
I only had one semester left before I finally graduated from my master’s degree at University of Melbourne. During my university life, I always wanted to do a short-term exchange program and travel overseas. When I saw the ACICIS program on the Global Mobility website of UniMelb, I thought it was a perfect fit for my study, where I could learn another language and gain professional work placement experience, besides opening a new window to the world.
Indonesia has strategic diplomatic relations with Australia and it’s one of the world’s largest fast-growing economy and has the largest Muslim population in the world. It plays an increasingly important role regionally and internationally, so I thought it would be an invaluable experience for me to explore the country myself and understand more about the local culture.
Q: Did you receive financial support? If so, how did this contribute to your experience in Indonesia?
Yes, I did receive the UniMelb Global Mobility Grant to support my exchange there, which I am grateful to have.
Q: How will the Business Professional Practicum benefit or influence your future career?
It gave me first-hand experience of living and working in the country. I got to know Indonesia’s startup ecosystem and understand better about its politics, foreign investment and digital economy. I may work directly or indirectly with Indonesian businesses or people in the future, so having language, placement and travelling experience in the country builds my business acumen about the region.
Q: Which organisation did you intern with? What were your responsibilities?
I worked as an Investment Banking Intern at PT. Corpus Prima Mandiri, one of the largest family financial service firms in Indonesia. The company was experiencing growth and expansion, so I was given a chance to lead the development of their security product. After conducting market research, I understood the business challenges the company was faced with. The flexibility and autonomy given to me helped me to consult the company in an innovative yet actionable way. In the end, I not only provided business solutions to the company but also the project plan, cost analysis, competitor analysis and entire marketing plan, which impressed my boss and colleagues.
Q: How did you find the work culture of your host organisation? How was it different to work experience in Australia?
Generally speaking, people in Indonesia are flourishing, energetic and have so much hope in the growth of their country. The workplace culture was a bit different from my expectation, as I thought I would have long working hours, however it really depended on the time period. My colleagues and i worked on several projects and had distinctive yet challenging work almost every day, which was a great learning and growing experience. The IB team was not large in Jakarta, so they always had to take the initiative to not only collaborate with other offices but also to be innovative in providing excellent services to clients.
My colleagues were all very approachable and friendly, and I enjoyed having Indonesian street food with them. My supervisor helped me a lot. He was willing to extend working hours and provide genuine feedback to my daily work. My boss had weekly catch-up meetings with me to see whether I was on the right track. Overall, it was a great learning and working experience there and I really appreciate the support from the ACICIS staff team and my host organisation. I was luckily scored 50/50 for my placement!
Q: Would you like to return to work in Indonesia again in future?
I might consider it, as Indonesia is an emerging economy with lots of opportunities. The language can be a barrier for me to work there. It might be a good idea to get some more work experience overseas before returning to the country in the future.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time in Indonesia?
I enjoyed travelling and discovering the country with my friends and family. It was a wonderful experience making batik at Textile Museum, enjoying local food with my Indonesian buddies and their family, fellow ACICIS students, visiting museums, parks and going to a concert.
Q: Favourite Indonesian food?
There are so many great places for food with cheap prices, whether it is on the street or in the restaurants. It’s so hard to pick a favourite one! I like Padang food, satay, mie & nasi goreng and all kinds of dessert and fruit there. The restaurant I enjoyed most is Sate Khas Senayan.
Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?
Luar biasa, which means amazing, incredible! I always used this phrase when I was in Indonesia, because I really enjoyed my experience!
Q: What places in Indonesia have you visited during your practicum so far?
I had the chance to travel to Bekasi, Bandung, Yogya and Bali for short holidays. I celebrated the first day of Chinese New Year with friends at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah in Jakarta, which is an Indonesian architecture show park. We were fortunate to have been interviewed about our experience by a reporter and went live on Indonesian TV. The food at China town was super delicious!