Pre-Flight Check In: Conversations with Students on Short-Term Internships (STI)

By the Dato’ Kho Hui Meng Career Centre 

As the school term wraps up and the winter term break begins, SMU students are taking the opportunity to develop themselves abroad. Through the Short-Term Internship Programme (STI) offered by the Dato’ Kho Hui Meng Career Centre, enterprising and industrious students get to experience working overseas hassle-free. With the trip details and logistics fully taken care of by SMU, participants will undergo five weeks of overseas internship coupled with perspective-widening ASEAN cultural immersion.

In December, a group of 24 SMU students prepared their boarding passes and luggage to set off to two different ASEAN countries for their Short-Term Internship. Read on as we follow the journeys of Jasper, Zixuan, Calista and Brian and find out what they are looking forward to.

 

 

Why did you choose to take up this internship?

Jasper: I chose to take up a Corporate Strategy internship role with Katadata, an online media company. They primarily deal with the media industry and the job involves consulting, which I have prior experience in and enjoy doing. Personally, I have not done media industry consulting work before, hence I decided to try out this new experience in Jakarta.

Zixuan: While it may seem surprising for a Sociology Major to pursue an internship at a digital assets company like Tokocrypto, I jumped at this opportunity because it is vastly different from my academic expertise. Moreover, as an avid investor and follower of Web3 developments, I am thankful that I would be able to deepen my understanding of both fields with this internship.

Brian: I took up the role of a data analyst with Leong Lee, a consultancy company, as it complements my skillset and knowledge in data analytics. I aim to broaden my knowledge in the field of data analytics through this internship experience and build up my interpersonal skills through networking with the locals.

Calista: The internship with We Food, a plant-based Food & Beverage company, aligned with my major, and I look forward to the hands-on, startup working environment! I also appreciate We Food’s meaningful purpose of driving sustainability and hope to learn more about its innovation processes within Vietnam’s rich plant-based diet culture.

 

What are you most looking forward to during the Short-Term Internship?

Jasper: It’s got to be the chance to meet new people of different cultures! It’s going to be my first time alone overseas, so there will definitely be some challenges, but I’m going to try my best to enjoy the experience and learn what I can along the way. Also, I’ll be on the lookout for some of the best eats in Jakarta.

Zixuan: In Singapore, most workplaces have already developed certain conventions and standard operating procedures. Thus, I am keen to understand and learn about how emerging start-ups in Indonesia operate.

Brian: The internship with Leong Lee will expose me to different fields, from Energy to Trading. To be honest, there is some uncertainty in working abroad and adapting to a different culture and work environment. However, I’m looking forward to being fully immersed in the Vietnamese culture and experience Vietnam as the locals do!

Calista: I am most excited about the people that I will get to work and interact with throughout my internship! I look forward to valuable opportunities for purposeful, first-hand interactions that will help me to better understand and appreciate their culture while working. While I think the language barrier in communicating with my colleagues is daunting, living abroad will allow me to truly immerse myself in an entirely different way of life, which I cannot wait to experience.

 

Internship aside, are there any activities or destinations you are looking forward to?

 

 

Jasper: Besides the food, I’ll probably go trekking with the other SMU students in Jakarta! If possible, I would want to go to Bali too.

Zixuan: I’ve heard that Bandung has lovely beaches that I may want to visit!

Brian: I’m looking forward to exploring Ho Chi Minh City and the other provinces! I’d also like to visit locations related to the Vietnam War, such as the Cu Chi Tunnels and the various war museums.

Calista: I’m looking forward to visiting the Đồng Tháp province. It is a national cultural and historic site three hours away from the city, and is known for its beautiful rice fields and the Sa Đéc flower village!

 

 

Learn more about the SMU Short-Term Internship Programme here