Indonesia immersion for engineering graduates

23 December 2014

Two New Zealand engineering graduates will gain first-hand experience of Jakarta’s construction boom during Asia New Zealand Foundation internships at Beca. 

Sophie Templeton and Howard Smith, who have just completed their degrees at the University of Canterbury, will begin a 10-week stint at the Beca’s Jakarta office in January. The Beca internship is one of several work placements offered by the Asia New Zealand Foundation to give young New Zealanders business experience in Asia.

Sophie Templeton and Howard Smith

Beca is one of the largest employee-owned professional services consultancies in the Asia-Pacific region. It has more than 3000 staff in 17 offices around the world, including five offices in Asia. 

Mike Quirk, Beca’s market leader – buildings, says: “It is great to be able to give young graduates like Sophie and Howard the opportunity to experience working in the engineering profession. Our New Zealand offices are involved in a number of international projects, creating a great learning environment for everyone at Beca.”

Sophie Templeton and Howard have been spending time in Beca’s Auckland office before they begin their Jakarta internships. 

Templeton, who majored in mechanical engineering, has been placed in Beca’s building services team. “This will be a good chance for me to get a taste of working in buildings services. It’s also a good chance to experience working in Asia,” she says. 

Working in the Auckland office has helped her prepare for her stay in Indonesia. “Half the team has been to Jakarta or goes there a lot.”

The former Mount Albert Grammar School prefect has so far been involved in an air-conditioning project for a building about 40 storeys high. “I don’t think that’s considered particularly high over there.” 

Smith, who majored in civil engineering, is interning in Beca’s structural team. “The projects are definitely so much bigger than anything that I would otherwise be exposed to in New Zealand.”  

The former Sacred Heart College student has previously travelled in Asia – including to Singapore, where he saw the resort and “engineering marvel” Marina Bay Sands, which Beca was involved in. He says the Jakarta internship will help him develop a well-rounded view of the region. “It will enable me to build new insights in a country that is developing more rapidly than any in Southeast Asia.” 

Asia New Zealand Foundation business programme director James Penn says the Foundation appreciates the ongoing support from its business partners. “Giving young New Zealanders business experience in Asia helps build the long-term capacity of New Zealand to engage with those markets.”

The Foundation also offers business internships with Benesse Corporation in Japan, Digital Jungle in China, KPMG in Vietnam, Fonterra in China, Kyushu Railway Company in Japan, and the Industrial Technology Research Institute in Taiwan. 

The Asia New Zealand Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan organisation dedicated to building New Zealand’s links with Asia through a range of programmes, including business, culture, education, media, research and a Leadership Network. The Foundation is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year.

For more information, contact:

Rebecca Palmer
Asia New Zealand Foundation media adviser
027 226 8707