The Griffith Asia Business Internship (GABI) re-imagines ‘Asian Studies’ for the contemporary business context. The transformational work integrated learning (WIL) initiative places students in one of six Asian business destinations, including Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo, and is led by the Griffith Asia Institute (GAI). The aim of the program is to equip students with the knowledge, skills and networks to operate successfully in Asia, while enhancing employability outcomes.

Following a rigorous recruitment process, including written applications and individual interviews, 52 students have been selected to participate in the 20 credit point Global Mobility Internship elective course for Trimester 3, 2020. Supported by the Australian Government New Colombo Mobility Program (NCP), the centrepiece of the 7 week in-country program is a 6-week work placement with an international industry partner, aligned to an academic discipline area. The opportunity provides exposure and relevant ‘hands-on’ learning in an Asian business context.

Given the uncertainty surrounding foreseeable international travel arrangements and increasing reliance to work remotely, GAI has successfully adapted to the changing landscape by offering students a range of alternate options to an in-country experience which was well received.

‘I am surprised by the number of options available and I feel more confident in the process now, than I had before the meeting.’

Samuel Hishon, B Commerce, 2020 Indonesia Intern

Six, one-hour online meetings were facilitated by GAI’s Dr Andrea Haefner and Kiri Stinson, and included general introductions, key developments, internship destination specific details, available support services, and a dedicated Q&A session. Students expressed enthusiasm for the program via GIFs shared in the meeting to reflect how they were feeling about the global internship.

Students were also informed of the current status of global mobility restrictions and the different opportunities available to complete the T3 course. These include: a slightly delayed in-country commencement date; the option to undertake a remote global internship with an industry partner based in the allocated internship destination; or alternatively, working in a small multi-disciplinary team to complete a research project in collaboration with an affiliated partner such as Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ), liaising with the head office in Brisbane, in addition to Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai and/or Tokyo TIQ offices. Discussion around the various alternative options highlighted student’s continued enthusiasm for the program.

‘Thanks Andrea and Kiri! Very hopeful that things go ahead but I’m glad we have some fantastic alternatives!’

Dahlia Bar, B International Business / B Government and International Relations, 2020 Hong Kong Intern

Reflecting on the past few months with COVID-19 and the current ‘work from home’ (WFH) situation, Global Ambassador and recent graduate Matthew Neave (pictured left) reinforced the value of undertaking a Global Internship based on his experience in Singapore, 2017. Matt completed his placement with Purnama Outreach, a social enterprise with the mission to provide job creation in developing countries through an e-commerce platform. During his time with Purnama, Matt developed a marketing and growth strategy, and due to the challenge of resources, including traditional office space, he worked remotely to complete many tasks in Singapore. Matt says:

‘I guess sometimes you get lucky because the Global Internship I completed in Singapore has turned out to be incredibly helpful. I’m currently working from home on the Gold Coast as a Graduate Relationship Executive with HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation), Melbourne Corporate Banking team. A lot of our clients have strong global operations or exposure and we would usually service them across numerous jurisdictions. My Griffith Business School internship in Singapore has successfully ticked two boxes: i) adapting to the WFH environment; and ii) effectively working in a cross border/cross cultural environment. It’s safe to say that the international experience was a significant aid in securing a position with an international bank and working remotely will definitely prepare students for graduate positions in view of anticipated continuing WFH arrangements in the future.’

Looking to expand the GABI Program to include the alternate options beyond 2020, GAI is excited by the learning opportunities that these experiences will offer students. In turn, increasing student participation and bolstering employability by strengthening not only cultural competency but also digital capability, problem solving and interpersonal skill development. In support of graduate success, providing students flexible options to complete the Global Internship elective course in lieu of an in-country experience, demonstrates GAI’s ability to respond to the challenges associated with the rapidly changing world of work. GAI is committed to developing the next generation of Asia-Pacific leaders and the GAI team is looking forward to officially welcoming our 2020 Global Intern cohort at an on-campus lunch in late August.

2020 Indonesia intern cohort meeting

For further information regarding the Griffith Asia Business Internship Program, please