Education with adventure! (Issue 24, 2011)
Twelve days touring around Indonesia may sound like the perfect vacation for some, but for La Trobe University students it was about gaining cultural knowledge and applying it to all aspects of business.
Run each year through the La Trobe School of Management, the Indonesian Business Study Tour comprises of visits to Indonesian public and private companies, government agencies and major tourist destinations.
Students have the opportunity to meet senior executives and gain valuable insights into conducting international business and formulating marketing strategies.
‘The main objective of the Indonesian Business Study Tour is to take La Trobe students to experience real life, real businesses and dealing with people in Indonesia,’ says Dr. Petrus Usmanij, Lecturer of Accounting in the Regional School of Business, Mildura.
‘Students are exposed to various different cultural and traditional values of Indonesia by taking a close look at the history, economy and socio-culture of the country.’
Visiting Bengkulu, Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Bali, students engage in a learning process designed to explore cultural, social and political issues to gain a better understanding of business practices and opportunities in a dynamic Asian economy.
Third-year business student at La Trobe University’s Mildura campus, Narelle Tomlinson, says at first she felt out of her comfort zone but by the end of the tour she found the experience amazing.
‘I didn’t see the country as a tourist; I saw it through the eyes of an Indonesian. What struck me most was that little things do not matter, it's all about getting the task at hand done, earning an income and moving on to the next thing.’
‘The people I met and the group I travelled with are now friends and together through our experiences I hope we will become more well-rounded students and fantastic future employees,’ says Narelle.
Academically, students are required to attend a preparatory workshop, write an individual daily journal and an individual business plan and give a group presentation.
The unit uses Indonesia as an overseas destination and an example of a developing market, while considering market entry and marketing strategies appropriate for the country
‘The subject enriches the students’ perspective about Indonesia as a country with the largest Muslim population in the world,’ says Dr Usmanij.
‘It allows students to be innovative and creative in establishing a business plan that opens up business opportunities between Australia and Indonesia.’
To find out more about opportunities for La Trobe students from the Faculty of Law and Management, visit latrobe.edu.au/lawman.