The Griffith Asia Business Internships Program, also known as ‘GABI’, kicked off once more in November 2022 with a total of thirty students diving straight into an exciting, international chapter of their time with Griffith! Twenty-eight students participated in in-country internships in Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, and Japan, while two students completed remote internships. The first time since 2019, students were again able to travel off-shore for a global Work-Integrated Learning opportunity with students spending the 6-week period establishing professional networks and launching future careers in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Following the trend of pre-COVID cohorts, Japan was the most popular destination with seventeen students completing internships in Tokyo followed by South Korea with seven students a slightly lower number in Southeast Asia. In an ever-increasing global world, the GABI program provides students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in a foreign culture and business full-time. Over the 6-weeks, students gain working experience in their industry and learn to navigate living abroad as well as adapting to cultural norms— ensuring students are prepared and well-equipped to engage with and work within the Asia-Pacific region post-graduation. The program at its core demonstrates the importance of developing and maintaining key regional partnerships and enhancing Asian literacy in our students.

William MacDonald pictured with Hannah Yeoh MP, the current Minister of Youth and Sports for Malaysia.

William MacDonald pictured with Hannah Yeoh MP, the current Minister of Youth and Sports for Malaysia.

One student, William MacDonald, supported by New Columbo Plan (NCP) mobility funding by the Australian government, completed an internship in Malaysia with Glenreagh Sdn Bhd, a consulting, communications and crisis management company in his penultimate year. The international opportunity aligned well with his studies as William highlighted:

“As a Bachelor of Government and International relations student, I worked primarily with the recent General Elections in Malaysia, helping the company and its clients make sense of the sometimes-tedious situations.”

Throughout the process, students develop and exercise a variety of skillsets, namely communicating across language barriers, adapting to a new environment as well as networking. When asked about the benefit to the post-graduation life, William said, “the networking and friendships I’ve been able to build here will be invaluable in my future. Furthermore, I was able to work in an area I enjoyed, apply the knowledge I already knew, and learn many new skills, especially networking and speaking with colleagues.”

In terms of highlights from the internship, William said, “I had many favourite moments in my internship. Three definitive highlights were attending two events with Malaysian Royalty, where I followed royal protocols, tagging along with a campaign trail for a candidate in the general election for a day and being at Bernama (the national broadcaster) on election day.”

Overall, the GABI program helps in creating and bolstering university and business linkages, as well as strengthening international relationships with host organisations and countries alike. This initiative aids in shaping a new generation of Asia-literate graduates, by facilitating authentic professional experience within the Asia-Pacific region and increasing important soft skills supporting employability. To find out more information visit the Griffith Asia Business Internships (GABI) program.