Together with economic and political ties, people to people linkages are an integral way to raise awareness and understanding of different cultures and traditions in Australia’s neighbourhood. A key priority for Griffith Asia Institute (GAI) is to foster future Asia-Pacific leaders, driving their mission to cultivate the knowledge, capabilities and connections that will inform and enrich Australia’s Asia-Pacific future. Supported by the Australian Government New Colombo Plan (NCP) Mobility Program, 52 students have now returned from one of five internship destinations in Asia – Hong Kong, Jakarta, Seoul, Shanghai or Tokyo, where they completed an industry-related project or series of tasks on a full-time, short-term (six week) unpaid basis. Host organisations included ANZ, Australian Chamber of Commerce, Crossroads Foundation, Fred Hollows Foundation, Global Sky Education, Lipman Karas, Mayer Brown, Ovolo Group, Royale International, Steelcase and Trade and Investment Queensland.
Post Global Internship Workshops were recently delivered by GAI across the Gold Coast and Nathan campuses. These full day events included student presentations, debriefing activities and a practical Careers and Employment Services session focusing on translating the experiential learning experience into demonstrated skill sets gained, to assist with responding to graduate employment job advertisement selection criteria. Appreciation is also extended to distinguished guests, Emeritus Colin Mackerras and Adjunct Professor Colin Brown, generously making the time to support the student presentations by sharing valuable insight and encouragement. Professor Mackerras offers his impression as follows:
‘I really enjoyed attending the workshops and meeting and listening to the students. I was very impressed by the standard of presentation and content”.
“I got a very good idea of how young Australians react to living in an Asian culture and how they contributed to the internship program and can do so afterwards. Experiences and reactions differed, as one would expect, since a variety of destinations were involved in the program, and the students who took part were from diverse backgrounds and disciplines. The vast majority enjoyed the experience and believed they had learned and benefited a great deal from it. My own belief is that it is only by actually living in another culture that one can really learn about it, that it is by talking to people who truly believe in an alternative set of ideas that one learns the concerns, attitudes and priorities of other people. Reading about these things in books or online is of course useful, but nothing can equal face-to-face conversation and contact. That is why I passionately believe in the benefits of a program such as the one GAI has organised, and am convinced of the benefits it has for our students in practice. Congratulations to the GAI in general and to Dr Andrea Haefner and Kiri Stinson in particular!’
– Professor Emeritus Colin Mackerras
This positive sentiment was reinforced by the following student reflection:
‘My internship within Royale International has been an invaluable experience. This trip was the most amazing and diverse experience of my life and has provided me with so much knowledge, insight, and opportunity. The amount I have learned not only about my industry and Hong Kong, but also about myself and how I handle tough situations astonishes me.’
– Courtney Russell, Bachelor of Business (Human Resource Management)
Global Internships help to prepare the next generation of Asia-Pacific leaders for the future world of work, affording the opportunity to advance academic interests and vocational intentions, strengthen cultural awareness and understanding, increase self-efficacy, and expand professional networks and personal relationships. Looking forward, GAI is excited to commence the student recruitment process for the 2020 cohort in the coming months.
2019 Global interns attend the post internship workshop. (Photo supplied)