A Brief Story of Studies and Internship Experience in Malaysia

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In this article, our columnist Astrid Kohar tells the story of Aldris Prayogo Limpo and his experience of four years in Malaysia. While studying for his bachelor degree, Aldris managed to experience internship and part-time work as well. Here is the brief story of Aldris’ time abroad.

In 2007, Aldris decided to continue his education in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. There were at least two reasons why he chose Malaysia for his further studies. The first one was because of Malaysia’s close proximity to Indonesia, which made it more convenient for his commute between the two neighboring countries. The second reason was due to the education standard in Malaysia. Most private universities in Malaysia have partnerships with universities in the United Kingdom or Australia, such as partnerships with Monash University, Taylor’s University, University of Nottingham, Swinburne University, Curtin University and many more. Aldris himself chose to enroll at the University of East London at Help University College as he planned to study and qualify with the standards of British education (but with affordable price). After studying for four years, Aldris finally graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (hons) degree in Business Administration from the University of East London in 2011.

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During his studies in Malaysia, Aldris actively participated in activities outside school events. For instance, he used to work at the TGIF Friday Restaurant for 7 Ringgit per hour in the weekends and at a small painting café in China Town for 40 Ringgit per day. Aldris could also be found jamming in live music cafés over the weekends and participating in various events and activities with fellow Indonesian students from different universities. Aldris believes that when being a student, one’s life should not be limited to studying only, but one needs also to join various positive activities (internship is one thing that comes to mind) so that one may also gain experience in earning money, learning work ethics and to have a balance between studying and social life.

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One highlight during Aldris’ studies in Malaysia was his internship experience at one of the local brokerage companies, where his main job was managing investors’ funds for a certain period of time by engaging in future transactions and also working in the marketing division of the company. Admittedly, the job was quite risky as it required Aldris to directly handle investors’ funds and thereby, extra care should be exercised in observing and analyzing market stats, sentiment analysis and risk calculation. Nevertheless, Aldris considered the internship as one of his breakthrough moments as he could experience office working ambience, received thousands of Ringgit salary, work with a team from diverse backgrounds and in a heavily motivated, competitive work environment.

Aldris believes that the whole journey from day one he arrived in Malaysia until the graduation has transformed him from a person with a local mindset to an international one, from one with little confidence to having self-confidence. Further, his experience living and studying abroad has also given Aldris with solid communication and leadership skills.

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Lastly, for those interested to study or wish to have working experience in Malaysia, Aldris suggests to start finding the courses which suit your need, i.e. either getting a local degree or International degree or sandwich program and etc., as universities in Malaysia have a variety of options related to the courses and certifications. However, for those wishing or planning to work or get an internship in Malaysia, Aldris thinks that it would be better to find a specific or technical kind a course, for example like accounting and finance, psychology, human resource development, mechanical engineering rather than business studies, management, marketing since based on his experience, the employers in Malaysia seem to prefer hire locals (rather than foreigners) for the latter majors due to the working visa requirements. Aldris also encourages engagements with the international community at school and taking part in extracurricular activities to boost curriculum vitae.

Do not get worried whether you would get homesick in Malaysia, Aldris says, as he believes that there would be no problem whatsoever for Indonesians in adapting to the local language and food in Malaysia. There were tons of Chinese and Malay (and even Indian, which admittedly, took Aldris some getting used to) foods that suit Indonesians’ taste buds. Further, Malaysia’s public transportation is very accessible (and quite affordable too!).

Overall, Aldris says, studying in Malaysia is one great option to consider for your future education.

Photos are provided by the author.