Engineering intern up to
the challenge in Jakarta

Engineering graduates Surya Sappa and Derryn Bracey have just returned from spending eight weeks interning at professional services consultancy BECA in Jakarta. Sappa describes his time working at the company and living in Indonesia's capital and largest city.

Derryn Bracey takes a selfie with Surya Sappa (back) and two colleagues from BECA

My internship at BECA Jakarta has been an amazing and memorable experience. Jakarta is a city that can be best described as organized chaos.

My first notable experience was arriving in Jakarta and realising that the driver sent to pick me up was not there at the airport. In a slight state of panic, I was hustled into a taxi and ended up being stuck in peak Chinese-New-Year traffic. It was quite an adventure and a good introduction to the fast pace and chaotic nature of the city.

I was assigned to the mechanical/procurement team of the industrial department on my first day of work and was straight away involved in the Rich Project, which is currently PBTK’s (BECA's) biggest project.

Attending my first project meeting was quite nerve wracking but interesting at the same time as it gave me an understanding of what was to be expected and what work there was to come

My role was not defined within the team and my tasks continuously changed over the weeks, such as producing tender evaluations, technical specifications, reviewing drawings and reports.

The variety of work allowed me to interact with engineers from other departments and also learn about interdisciplinary teamwork.

It gave me an insight into how management and leadership works within a project and allowed me to learn technical aspects in other engineering disciplines.

The project that I was assigned to did not require any technical process engineering, therefore I was continuously learning from my seniors while working through my given tasks.

The company culture in Jakarta has been a memorable experience. Everyone at the office was very welcoming and friendly, which made it very easy to settle in. As the office was quite small, I quickly got to know everyone.

Although communication was slightly difficult at times, everyone was patient and understanding. I, along with another intern, was adopted by a group of engineers who introduced us to the different types of local cuisine.

Outside of work, I managed to join a local gym and made friends with some locals who, like me, were interested in the sport of powerlifting. I ended up helping/coaching them over the last 8 weeks.

One of the highlights of my time in Indonesia was visiting Kampungs (villages) and seeing how life functioned. It is quite surreal to see how different it is outside of the big cities; in the rural areas the locals make the most of what they have with the limited resources available.

Travelling around Indonesia taught me the diversity of culture present within the country; each city had its own vibe and tradition.

The most valuable experience that I have to take away from my time with BECA is my exposure to the both the technical and management aspects of engineering. It has allowed me to expand my technical knowledge and also aided in my personal development as an engineer.

My impression of Indonesia has changed after working and living here for eight weeks. With my limited knowledge of Bahasa Indonesia, the first couple weeks were a steep learning curve for daily tasks and communication.

Over the weeks of exploring the country, I developed a new understanding and appreciation of the traditions and culture here, while continually developing my language skills. It has also allowed me to meet some incredible people and experience a new culture. My only regret would be that I was unable to stay there longer.

Surya Sappa and Derryn Bracey interned at BECA as part of the Foundation's business internship programme.