19 July 2019: Students embark on part-time internships for professional growth

By Lim Wei Da

While most Yale-NUS College students take on internships during the summer, some students take on part-time internships during the semester to explore their professional and academic interests.

Lucy Kuo (Class of 2020). Image by Yasunari Watanabe/Yale-NUS College. 

Lucy Kuo (Class of 2020) previously interned at Ashoka, an organisation that supports social entrepreneurs, as a Marketing & Community-Building Intern in her first two years at Yale-NUS. Lucy was introduced to Ashoka through the College’s Centre for International & Professional Experience (CIPE) and took on the challenge to learn more about creating social impact.

“I am interested in social impact work, which was why I wanted to learn more about social enterprises and the different ways of creating social impact. I also wanted to meet and learn from experts working in this field outside of Yale-NUS and when I mentioned this to Ashoka, they were kind enough to link me up with investors and hop on to their venture capital meetings, which helped developed my interest in finance and impact investing.”

“Since Ashoka is a social impact foundation, it doesn’t focus on a specific cause or group. As such, I was exposed to not only social entrepreneurs but also large business foundations, philanthropists, and other partners across a variety of causes. In communicating with these different stakeholders, I learned how to adapt my communication style and articulate what I wanted to say, which was instrumental in helping me secure my summer internship at HSBC in Hong Kong.”

At Ashoka, Lucy corresponded regularly with business foundations and social entrepreneurs to create content for a bimonthly newsletter. Her regular tasks also included creating social media posts and designing visuals for marketing and outreach.

Lucy also helped plan and facilitate several large-scale events at Ashoka such as the ChangemakerXchange Co-creation Summit, a 4-day retreat for young social entrepreneurs from Asia, and the ASEAN Social Impact Awards. Through these events, Lucy reviewed applications, organised press events, and even designed pull-up banners for Ashoka that have been used at their events ever since.

Through her internship at Ashoka, Lucy was challenged to think about what counts as sustainable social impact. The trust that her supervisors placed in her gave Lucy the confidence to ideate and plan several projects, which has empowered her to pursue her interest in project finance and impact investing.

Willy Wibamanto (Class of 2020). Image by Yasunari Watanabe/Yale-NUS College. 

Another student, Willy Wibamanto (Class of 2020), took on a part-time research position at the Asian Trade Centre from January to March 2019. A Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) major, Willy wanted to gain working experience in political consultancy and gauge his interest in pursuing policy work in the future.

“Despite being new to policy work, Asian Trade Centre gave me the chance to contribute to one of their ongoing research projects. I was one of two interns working with an analyst on a study commissioned by Department for International Trade (United Kingdom) on trade barriers between the UK and Indonesia. As part of my research, I even interviewed UK firms operating in Indonesia and other ASEAN states on how their experience expanding to these countries was like.”

During the stint, Willy co-authored the working draft for the study under the supervision of Dr Deborah Elms, a leading trade policy analyst in the region. As part of this project, Willy applied theories and perspectives from what he learnt from his PPE classes and helped to communicate strategies for foreign firms to expand to Southeast Asia.

As Willy also has an interest in start-ups and Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the Asian Trade Centre gave him an opportunity to author a study on the feasibility for start-ups and SMEs in Asia to engage in international trade and take advantage of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). In the study, Willy prepared recommendations for the development of Asia Pacific MSME Trade Coalition (AMTC), a trade coalition for SMEs that is led by Asian Trade Centre.

Jacob Jarabejo (Class of 2021). Image by Yasunari Watanabe/Yale-NUS College. 

An Economics major, Jacob Jarabejo (Class of 2021) pursued a part-time internship with Aberdeen Standard Investments from August to December 2018. At Aberdeen Standard Investments, Jacob was part of the Real Estate Multi-Manager team, where he helped craft investment memorandums and evaluate different private equity funds.

“My time at Aberdeen Standard Investments provided me with the opportunity to attend multiple meetings-cum-pitches with various fund managers. This opportunity widened my appreciation of the different real estate markets in Australia, India, and China, and deepened my understanding of the different financial metrics used to evaluate these funds. Most of all, my internship experience allowed me to develop soft skills that empowered me to navigate the professional world confidently.”

During his internship, Jacob also helped his team to screen different funds and wrote minutes and memos for meetings he attended. Though juggling a part-time internship with school work was difficult, Jacob said that he has learnt to better manage his time and set priorities.

“I am grateful to the people at Aberdeen Standard Investments who took a chance on me, especially my mentor, Stephanie, who was extremely vested in my growth. Her patience and knowledge in her field are highly admirable. Through this internship experience, I am much better equipped to pursue my interest in the financial services industry in the future.”