Career Development with the ASEAN Internship Programme (AIP)

By the Dato’ Kho Hui Meng Career Centre 

The university years are the best time to start planning and investing in one’s future — and career development is an essential aspect of that investment. Beyond simply securing a job, career development involves exploring one’s interests, sharpening one’s skillsets and in today’s hyper-connected world, building relationships with others, both locally and globally.

Here at SMU, the ASEAN Internship Programme (AIP) offered by the Dato’ Kho Hui Meng Career Centre allows its students to do just that – by giving them a headstart in building their global careers. With the ASEAN region seeing rapid development over the past few decades, countries such as Thailand and Vietnam have progressed from low to middle-income economies in less than a generation. On track to becoming the world’s fourth largest economy, ASEAN is looking to become a promising and invaluable jumping-off point for industrious students.

With multiple cadres of SMU students embarking on internships all over ASEAN in the last few years, here are three of our current students who will share on how an ASEAN Internship will go a long way in developing one’s career.


Gain regional exposure


Hui Ling (left) receiving the Indorama Ventures’ International (IVL) Intern Badge


Today’s connected economy means that building a successful career likely involves working with counterparts from countries outside of Singapore — and often within the ASEAN region. Beyond building a regional network, ASEAN internships provide SMU students with valuable insights into how common issues are tackled across different nations and cultures.

SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business (LKCSB) student Leong Hui Ling is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Business Management with a double major in Operations Management and Sustainability. When the time came for her to apply for an internship, she saw Thailand to be the perfect testbed for innovative sustainability-based solutions that would offer her new perspectives on sustainability solutions beyond Singapore.


Hui Ling (2nd from left) became firm friends with her colleagues at Indorama Ventures


She chose to complete an internship with Indorama Ventures’ International (IVL), a global petrochemical company and the world’s largest producer of PET resin. With the multinational corporation’s strong emphasis in making positive environmental and social impact, the internship deepened her understanding and brought her new insights. She looks forward to amassing even more experiences in sustainable developments regionally and apply these learnings in her future career.


Explore new career interests

ASEAN Internships are some of the best opportunities to explore career interests outside of your own course of study.

Though she’s currently pursuing Law, SMU Yong Pung How School of Law (YPHSL) student Cheriya Chomrat has always held an interest in private equity and real estate. Fortunately, while many of such roles required applicants to have a background in related fields, Cheriya came across PT Genesis Indojaya — a real estate development company based in Jakarta, Indonesia — that was recruiting law undergraduates as interns.



Having since completed her internship, she has developed a new appreciation for law and how it plays a relevant role in almost every industry — especially in real estate development. “[The internship] provided me with the opportunity to learn about the different aspects of law within an industry that I’ve always been interested in,” Cheriya shared.


Cheriya (2nd from right) and her fellow interns at a meal with supervisor and PT Genesis Indojaya co-founder, Darren Chua (right)


Put theory into practice


Brian exploring Vietnam in his free time


Beyond providing students with the best opportunities to see how textbook theory translates into real-world application, internships also give then the chance to learn from, and even solve problems together with industry professionals.

For his ASEAN Internship, SMU School of Computing and Information Systems (SCIS) student Brian Tan traveled to Vietnam in search of real-world experiences under his belt. As a student majoring in Smart-City Management and Technology, he took on a five-week data analyst internship with Leong Lee, a consultancy company.


Brian (first from the right) with his team at Leong Lee


Being deeply enthusiastic about sustainability, Brian was involved in planning for the installation of 33 wind towers in the offshore area of Bac Lieu province. Together with the team, he applied what he had learnt in SMU and made direct impact to the community in the province, helping to overcome the electricity shortages sometimes faced.

Hui Ling, Cheriya and Brian are just three of many SMU students who have gotten a head start in building their careers beyond Singapore’s shores even before graduation. Aside from how their respective internships have benefited them, there are so many other ways an ASEAN Internship can help students in achieving personal and professional growth.

This summer, take a step towards your career goal by signing up for an ASEAN Internship.



The ASEAN Internship Programme (AIP) and Short-Term Internship (STI) are part of the offerings provided by Dato’ Kho Hui Meng Career Centre (DKHMCC) to encourage students to build up an international network and be Global Citizens. Apply for a Summer AIP via OnTRAC II now.