RMIT students have experienced Indonesian business and culture first-hand through a Global Entrepreneurship and Internship Program (GEIP).
The group of seven business students began their trip in Surabaya at the Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology (ITS) where they participated in the Community and Technological Camp (CommTECH) along with students from twelve other countries.
They worked on projects focused on Social Entrepreneurship, visited government and non-government agencies and experienced Indonesian culture through traditional music and dances, visiting cultural landmarks, and sampling local food.
Vatsal Thakkar, a Master of Supply Chain and Logistic Management student, said, “we had the chance to visit local businesses which are founded on the basis of communal efforts in order to accomplish a common goal.”
For Master of Business Administration student John Kuot, the internship was a fantastic learning experience.
“I was able to expand my lateral thinking and ability to construct business ideas through interactions with the local communities and by witnessing how they are combating their social challenges,” he said.
The second part of the program was held in Jakarta and facilitated by International Internships. Participants had the opportunity to meet with staff from multinational companies, government agencies, start-ups, and NGOs. They also attended the Indonesia Australia Business Council New Year Event.
Julia Alftan, a Bachelor of Business (Human Resources Management) student, saw this as a highlight of the trip.
“I got lots of business cards and connections which might be really valuable later in life when I want start my own business or in terms of getting a job,” she said.
To round off the program students took part in the Social Startup Hackathon. This involved teams from four Australian universities and three Indonesian universities working together to solve problems associated with changing food consumption patterns in Indonesia.
At the end of the day participants pitched their start-up ideas to a panel of judges from Venture Capital firms East Ventures and KK Fund, and recently funded AgTech startup Eragano. The winning team, which included Kuot, presented a solution for a school-canteen food ordering and nutrition education service, aimed at increasing healthy eating in schools.
Bachelor of Business (International Business) student John Mitchelhill said the GEIP program allowed him to apply the theory he’d learnt in his degree.
“I was able to see first-hand what it was like to conduct business in Asia,” he said.
“It was an eye-opening experience and I would definitely recommend this program to others.
“I came home with plenty of new friends and memories as well as a whole new perspective on Indonesia and life in general.”
Applications for GEIP, Winter 2017 close on April 10. Programs are running in San Francisco, India, Hong Kong, Singapore and Berlin. Find out more.
Story: Ainslie Logsdon