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Bernard Singarimbun, IUP Law UNAIR Student and His Experience as an Intern at the Indonesian Consulate General in Los Angeles

In addition to studying in class, the student also learns outside the classroom by conducting internships and Field Work Practices (PKL). The student can carry out the internship program on campus or off campus. For law students, there are many options for internships, such as the State Attorney, the House of Representatives, law firms, the Indonesian Embassy (KBRI), the Indonesian Consulate General (KJRI), and many more.

Bernard Nicholas Singarimbun is one of the students who interned at the Indonesian Consulate General in Los Angeles, United States of America. Bernard is a student of the Faculty of Law Universitas Airlangga (FH UNAIR) batch 2019. Through an interview with FH News on Monday (12/9/2022), Bernard said that his intention to do an internship at the Indonesian Consulate General started from his status as a student of the International Undergraduate Program (IUP) FH UNAIR.

“As an IUP students, we are expected to carry out international exposure activities while studying, such as conducting student exchanges, internships, participating in international conferences, and others. I chose to do my internship abroad,” said Bernard.

Bernard also explained his reasons for choosing the Consulate General in Los Angeles as the agency where he did his internship. According to him, the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia is an ideal place for internships for students who are interested in international law.

“In my opinion, the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia is the is an ideal place to carry out internships for international law students like me because they are closely related to international law issues,” said Bernard.

He stated that his choice fell on the Indonesian Consulate General in Los Angeles because the United States of America opened the opportunity for internship registration at that time.

“I applied for the internship in 2021 via email. The email contains an internship application letter and a Curriculum Vitae. I emailed an internship application to several RI representative offices abroad. One that gave a good response was the Indonesian Consulate General in Los Angeles. From there, I did deep communication with the Consulate General until finally, I was accepted as one of their interns,” explained Bernard.

During the internship program, Bernard was placed in the department of consular protocol and immigration functions. He is tasked with handling cases related to immigration and citizenship.

“I do many activities such as making passports, certificates, document legalization, protocol activities, and others. One of the most memorable moments was when accompanying the Indonesian Consulate General staff to welcome and facilitate officials who came to make work visits,” he said.

However, behind the excitement of carrying out the internship program, Bernard also experienced difficulties, especially when adapting to the world of work. According to him, work experience is very different from college because it is always required to be ready to face various existing problems. In addition, he continued, he is also required to handle cases unrelated to the legal field.

“Many things that I got here that I didn’t get during lectures, for example, communication, how we deal with complaints and compliments from other people, as well as quick problem-solving skills where we are always required to be alert to handle cases. The cases are not only cases related to the legal field, but also other cases that occurred Indonesian citizens in Los Angeles,” he explained.

The internship program is essential to carry out because it can develop soft and hard skills that can be useful later in the work world. In addition to academic achievements such as the Grade Point Average (GPA) and non-academic achievements such as competition winners, a history of undergoing internships is also one of the crucial things to pay attention to make it easier to register for work later. Internships, both domestically and abroad, can improve one’s educational status. The academic environment and quality of education abroad differ from developing countries such as Indonesia, which can encourage learning opportunities and empower students.

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