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Malaysia Team Internship student reflections – part 3

"Our trip to Penang seemed to revolve completely around meal times."

In a series of blog posts we are currently revealing our students’ experiences during the Trimester 1, 2016 Malaysia Team Internship. The third group has prepared some invaluable tips on working in Malaysia.

Organised by the Faculty of Business of Law Work Integrated Learning team, the program is a fantastic opportunity for undergraduate students of all disciplines and takes place in Malaysia twice a year (Penang and Kuala Lumpur).

Students are enrolled in the Team Internship unit (MWL301), which provides an opportunity to gain academic credit, while travelling the world.

For details about the Malaysia Team Internships visit our Enhance your Study website.

Team ZACT – Working life in Penang

Team members: Zarlashta Ghafory, Angus Lewis, Corey Heard and Tia Rappel

During our brief two week working holiday in Penang, we learned an incredible amount about what it is like to work in Malaysia. The first thing we discovered was that the most important topic of the day was always about food. Every single day we had employees from the host organization coming up and recommending places and dishes for us to eat. Being Penang, such a cultural hub, we were spoilt with options and we were usually joined on our lunches by some of the employees. This was the best time of the day as the delicious food seemed to liven up the place even more and everyone would be chatting away while shoveling food down as best they could. Our group initially struggled with the chopsticks but I like to think that the muffled laughter aimed at us over our skills lessened slightly by the end of our internship. Our trip to Penang seemed to revolve completely around meal times and I am certain that our group was not the only one that seemed to endlessly debate where to go.

On one of our first days we got to witness a special Chinese Ritual that was conducted by an Indian monk. This display of two religions accepting and embracing each other was an incredible experience that resonated strongly with our group. The ritual itself consisted of two small statues called Dataks, which had decided they wanted to move – according to the monk. This meant that our organisation had to build the statues a new house and the monk with the use of joss sticks cleared a path for them. The entire organisation came out to experience this ritual and almost everyone showed their respect regardless of religion. Our group had the chance to and we were quite nervous but accepted this rare opportunity with delight.

Another aspect that our group noticed about the work place was that everyone was immaculate. The staff members at the organisation we were based at took exceptional pride in their appearance. In such a hot and humid country, the fact that everyone still dressed to impress was staggering. We struggled somewhat at the start before we slowly started to acclimatise and discovered the places at lunch that had air-conditioning!

Before we knew it, the two weeks had flown by and we completed our final presentation. These two weeks were probably the busiest two weeks of our lives and we learnt an incredible amount about the country and what its like to work in South East Asia. Despite being so busy our group had the time of our lives and I would absolutely recommend anyone to take Deakin up on this opportunity. 

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