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Cross-cultural education through international internship program

SCG, a leading ASEAN conglomerate advocating for sustainability, is a company that’s committed to building its business in line with innovation, good corporate governance and sustainable development principles across the countries it operates in. It also believes in the capacity of every student as a catalyst for change in his country. 

In the last three years, SCG has welcomed students from Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, and Vietnam and granted them the opportunity to have their own working experience and broaden their vision through different environments and cultures for an entire month. The program is open to students who are taking up courses in the engineering, sales and marketing, human resource, and legal fields.

With the goal of helping shape competent professionals who can adapt to the varying needs of an increasingly globalized job market, SCG designed a highly competitive internship program and opened the application to students in Southeast Asia. Accepted trainees are immersed in various working opportunities in Thailand for one month while letting them explore the best cultural experience around Bangkok.

This year, out of 112 Filipino applicants, Hannah Patricia Alboladora and Joseph Joshua Garcia were shortlisted and eventually chosen to take part in the immersive training program along with 37 other students from Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Alboladora and Garcia were both thrilled and excited as soon as they found out that they were accepted into the program.

The 2016 Southeast Asian trainees of the SCG International Internship Program got to visit various landmarks and sites during one of their tours in Bangkok, Thailand
Alboladora, a Business Administration student at the University of the Philippines Diliman, was assigned to be a market researcher and analyst at India’s paper packaging industry for a potential business expansion of Siam Kraft Industry Co., Ltd.. One of the responsibilities given to her was to create a project presentation for the planned expansion. She shared, “I was really surprised when my marketing supervisor asked me to join the expansion meeting and share the presentation I made. The experience taught me how to manage my time well and balance my responsibilities.”

Meanwhile, Garcia, a student of mechanical engineering at Bulacan State University, was assigned to SCG’s energy and maintenance engineering department where he was tasked to develop and study systems and models to improve the plant’s overall energy efficiency, environmental awareness and operational maintenance systems. 

He shared, “Being exposed to different challenges both socially and professionally, I am grateful to my superiors and the friends I’ve made for trusting my skills to take-down engineering tasks and assignments, and for welcoming my suggestions and initiatives. I learned that trust is a very important tool that encourages growth, innovation, and productivity.”

The 2016 trainees also got to visit SCG Experience, a 6,200-sqm lifestyle center which exhibits products for all aspects of building construction
Part of the one-month training period was a tour of Bangkok and participation in SCG’s CSR initiatives such as a check dam building activity. The students visited notable places including the Grand Palace and the Amphawa Floating Market and also toured various SCG sites such as SCG Experience, SCG Stadium, and the like. By doing these tours, SCG is opening up students to the rich and vibrant Thai culture and the different SCG efforts being done to promote renewable and sustainable living.

“Initially, the goal of the internship was to help students apply their knowledge and skills in practice, not only improving their understanding of the business, but also learning the concept of SCG’s core values, good corporate governance, and sustainable development. As SCG got deeper into building the program, there was a realization about the big potential of this experience becoming more valuable to students through a fun and educational learning approach of the SCG culture,” said SCG Philippines Country Director Phaskorn Buranawit.

After the internship program concluded, Alboladora and Garcia shared their learnings from the program.

“The most important learning that I can share about this internship is the long-lasting relationships I’ve been able to form. Meeting people of different backgrounds and cultures and gaining a wider perspective

They enjoyed a football match between SCG Muangthong United and Chiangrai United at SCG Stadium
about work and life in general gave me a sense of fulfilment because I was able to maximize this opportunity to learn things beyond the walls of our classrooms and the borders of the Philippines,” said Alboladora.

“The SCG international internship program really is a one of a kind experience that will not just challenge a student’s work-related capabilities, but also their people skills. It taught me how to adapt and be effective in different scenarios. Moreover, it helped me better understand the ASEAN community and learn more about the culture of each country through my co-interns.” added Garcia.

SCG will soon start calling for internship applications for 2017. 

For more details about the program and other SCG initiatives, visit  www.facebook.com/SCGInternationalCareers.

Topics: SCG , Cross-cultural education , International internship program
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