My Engineering Internship Experience in Environmental Consulting Company in Bali

"A part of this Environmental Consulting Company's philosophy is that problems and challenges should be solved by oneself therefor the working atmosphere is really quiet, yet I have never felt unmotivated during my internship" Raphael, Technische Universität München, Germany

Bali was actually not my first choice of destination for an internship abroad. I have been to Bali for 3 weeks back in 2016 and back then I made some really bad experience with a lot of people (unfriendly, severely scamming etc.). Now that I have stayed for 3 months for my internship, I can say it’s different, all the bad experiences are forgotten. During my three months internship abroad, I only encountered with friendly people who were always smiling and wanting to help. Sure, they still try to scam you on every possible occasion, but once you are used to it you can handle it, I think my bargaining skills improved massively during the stay.

How interns contribute to the project

The company I worked for as an intern is structured in three branches which are all connected to one another other. The business branch was responsible for the sustainable business by selling eco- friendly cocoa and coffee. The second branch, Climate change and Sustainability were scientifically researched by the research team. As a part of the engineering team my main tasks were to contribute to the development of biogas digesters. The company mainly relies on interns for the implementation of their projects this results in a high fluctuation of workforce and makes things sometimes complicated as the consequent of not knowing deeply what the previous interns have done and contributed. I think the projects of are rather advanced that may bring change the future of many Indonesians.

One thing which is very important to know for future interns: in order to contribute to the company’s projects, you should be able to discover and solve problems on your own. Do not expect too much of the team work and be independent. A part of the company philosophy is that problems and challenges should be solved by oneself therefor the working atmosphere is really quiet. No one really talks to each other after the official start, this is highly efficient but on your first day this can be quite strange.

Suggestion for future interns

This is not a typical engineering internship where you can acquire engineering hardskills like CAD-programming. Instead the intern should be a real classical engineer, fine with taking a screwdriver or a saw in his own hand if something does not work or needs to be repaired. The interns should be fine with getting really dirty (cow manure) and working physically and practically.

What did I learn during the stay in Bali

I have learned a lot during my stay in Bali, from learning and practicing basic Bahasa Indonesia to eating extremely spicy food. I met a lot of new and interesting people while learning to deal with the relaxing way of Indonesian workers. One thing I am very thankful for is how much I learned from my mentor, his way of working and using time efficiently will affect my approach to solve problems in the future.

Best trip when in Bali

I made a lot of trips with a friend to several installation sites, which were usually fun and a deep dive into Balinese culture (Martabak, Es Buah and so on oh and yeah the seafood nasi goreng for breakfast on our trip to Gilimanuk). Some other really fun scooter roadtrips to multiple locations on the island (Taman Ujung; Plaga et cetera). These trips were fun as well cause I got stopped by the police several times, but after a while you are getting used to be controlled and your bargaining skills are getting better. So in the end these trips were fun bargaining trips.

What did I enjoy? Babi Guling and all the other foods, riding the scooter and live 10 minutes away from the beach.

What will I not miss in the future? The very hot days without any wind.

Did you get inspired by Raphael's story?