Student Profile: Jessica Plewright (STPP 2020)

Mar 31, 2020
New Colombo Plan - Connect to Australia’s future - study in the region.

Sustainable Tourism Professional Practicum

Jessica Plewright was a participant in the 2020 Sustainable Tourism Professional Practicum from Murdoch University. Jessica is studying a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Indonesian, Tourism and Events. Jessica received a $3,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant to support her participation in this program.

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

I’d wanted to participate in an ACICIS program since before starting university. I found it when I went to my uni’s open day, and knowing that I was planning on studying Indonesian at uni, finding out ACICIS had all different kinds of programs going to different areas of Indonesia immediately captivated me and I knew I wanted to go on one of the trips at some stage in my studies. I study a double major of Indonesian and Tourism and Events, so the STPP was a perfect choice as it combined tourism studies with the country and language I am learning about. It just made perfect sense to apply.

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

I did receive a New Colombo Plan Grant! The grant made the program so much more accessible, and I was able to stress less about money while I was away. The grant meant that I could establish a budget that was strict, but still allowed room for living comfortably, and I had no money problems to worry about if I just followed that budget.

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

I think the STPP might help me get my foot in the door in a career in tourism, especially regarding sustainable tourism. Going on the Professional Practicum firmly established my passion for sustainability and especially sustainable tourism, so I hope that future employers can see different opportunities that I’ve taken, such as the STPP to gain experience in the field and see my dedication toward more sustainable tourism in the future. The work we did on the practicum was very valuable to me and I think it could help me find a career in the future that’s right for me.

Q: Which organisation are you interning with? What are your roles and responsibilities?

I interned with Puri Lumbung Cottages, North Bali. We worked with an amazing group of staff members who welcomed us warmly into their usual routines, showed us how they do their jobs and gave us meaningful tasks to undertake during our time there. Some things I did while interning there included going through and correcting any English mistakes in many of the articles written by the owner of the Cottages, which describe the history and vision of the cottages, as well as academic articles he’d written about issues facing Bali to do with tourism, and conservation. I worked predominantly in the front office with the reception staff where we had group meetings discussing ways to handle any complaints guests may have, new marketing strategies and what they were already doing to promote the Cottages both on and offline, and helping out with any small tasks that needed to get done in the day to day. It was great because our host organisation gave us the flexibility to really find which department of theirs we felt most comfortable and excited to work with, so we spent a few days with each department and then for the rest of the time we got to choose where we worked.

Q: How have you found the work culture of your host organisation? How is it different to work experience in Australia?

The work culture at my host organisation was second to none. All staff were included in everything that was going on, everyone was friends, you could talk to anyone or ask any questions, and no one would think twice before helping you. I felt very comfortable working at my host organisation because I knew if I needed help with a task I could ask and would be supported. I also noticed that in Bali, things are a lot more relaxed than in Australia. Deadlines are pretty loose, and you can’t forget about ‘Jam Karet’ or rubber time!

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

I would! It definitely is a different work environment to Australia, but it was such a great experience. Someday I hope I get another opportunity like this again!

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

Practising Indonesian with my host family, getting massages, eating local food, relaxing at the pool or beach.

Q: Favourite place to eat? Favourite Indonesian food?

I don’t have a specific favourite place to eat because we ate wherever we went, and I enjoyed pretty much everything I ate! However, my favourite food would have to be the classics nasi goreng and chicken sate.

Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?

Favourite phrase would definitely be “boleh saya memesan sepiring nasi goreng?” Indonesian nasi goreng is unmatched!! My favourite word is definitely “Aduh” because I’m clumsy and whenever I trip over whether I’m Indonesia or not, I always say ‘Aduh!’

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

Penglipuran village, Singaraja, Pedawa village, Munduk village, Sanur, Seminyak, Kuta, Canggu, Jimbaran and Uluwatu. We made our way around the island over the course of the 6 weeks and I was lucky enough to be placed in North Bali, so I had access to much of North Bali whilst on my placement.

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