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Malaysia Team Internship in Penang: experiencing a real work environment

"It solidified the foundations of our workplace understanding".

All 3 members in our team currently have casual part time jobs. However, these jobs are not relevant to the commerce/information systems industry that we wish to work in in the future. As a result, before the Malaysian Internship experience we had no relevant experience in our chosen field and our work was simple customer service that did not have high consequences for our respective companies.

In the first few days working for our host in Malaysia, we discovered that we were not just working for money for the weekend or our next purchase, we were working to improve the state of a company that needed our help. This sense of responsibility was warmly welcomed though at times daunting; but it was what an internship should be.

Over the course of our stay at the Performing Arts Centre of Penang, we had the ability to apply our knowledge in finance, accounting and information systems into real life situations. By gaining access to the company’s accounting and finance book, we were able to analyse the company’s financial and develop strategies in order for them to increase awareness of their product and create new income streams.

When it was time to present our findings to the directors of Penangpac, the nerves we felt did not come from the normal butterflies of “if we forgot to say something” or “if we didn’t speak for long enough”, they came from the fact that we knew that our recommendations could be taken into effect and used to improve the position of the business. After the presentation the company leaders were very impressed and it was one of the most satisfying feelings we have felt to date. We truly worked as a team, in a real life situation and presented findings that had real impact on others.

Overall it was a very humbling and eye opening experience, one that we will remember for many years to come. It solidified the foundations of our workplace understanding and gave us first class experience in our chosen field.

Written by Anthony Rizakis

 The students participating in the Malaysia Team Internship were supported via the New Colombo Plan. The New Colombo Plan mobility program is open to Australian Undergraduate students who wish to undertake work-based experiences in the Indo-Pacific region. The Program is part of the Australian Government’s aim to facilitate young people’s engagement in the region.

If you would like to learn more about the New Colombo Plan Scholarship Program, visit the Department of Foreign Affairs website.

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