Six RMIT University (Melbourne) students have become the first to complete RMIT Vietnam’s International Internship program.
The students have been working at various international companies based in Vietnam over the last twelve weeks, gaining work and cultural experience in one of the most dynamic countries in Southeast Asia.
Ms Manuela Spiga, RMIT Vietnam Senior Manager Careers & Industry Relations, said the program offers international students a life-changing opportunity to live, work and study in Vietnam.
“RMIT Vietnam’s International Internship program delivers a perfect combination of academic and professional experience,” Ms Spiga said.
“Students can come to Vietnam through the exchange program for one semester and then do the internship after that.
“It’s easier for students to work in industry after the exchange as they will already be familiar with Vietnamese culture, people and places.”
RMIT Vietnam also provides the multidisciplinary course Culture & Context in Vietnam to immerse international students in the business and cultural life of Vietnam. The course is intended to encourage students reflect critically on their own culture and values, while offering skills to help them adapt in different situations.
Ms Spiga added that the program started in 2017, and so far students have only completed the Culture & Context in Vietnam course and the internship. The first cohort, she said, reported having amazing internships.
“Students noted that they had the opportunities to do real work…were given tasks, projects, and responsibilities, which all help to build up their employability profile,” she said.
“We started the International Internship Program with RMIT Melbourne students and plan to accommodate students from other partner universities in the future.”
RMIT University’s Bachelor of Chemical Engineering student Amelia Forrest was pleased with her internship at Nutrition Technologies, an agricultural start-up company located in Ho Chi Minh City.
“My role was in the research and development department, where I conducted research on the oil extracted from the Black Soldier Fly Larvae and helped out with other business admin work when necessary,” Amelia explained.
“The company was in the process of a scale up and international move to Malaysia, so there were also chances to contribute to brainstorming and problem-solving for the up-scaled processes.”
For Amelia, conducting an international internship was a way to push herself out of her comfort zone and gain a global understanding of engineering. Her internship at Nutrition Technologies met her expectations of working in a foreign country.
“As Nutrition Technologies is a start-up company, I was able to gain an understanding of the financial and other business difficulties they faced in establishing the business,” she said.
“The staff were very welcoming and understanding of my transition to the Vietnamese culture and daily lifestyle.
Addressing fellow students thinking about taking an internship in Vietnam, Amelia advised: “The international internship here in Vietnam is a great way to develop yourself and gain global experience in your field of study. RMIT Vietnam’s Careers & Industry Relations team is more than willing to seek out companies looking for interns, and currently has industry partnerships with a range of local and internationals companies located throughout Vietnam.”
Story: Hoang Ha