Thursday, December 09, 2010

Otak Otak: placing students in high-quality internships

I can tell you from personal experience that getting a good internship in Malaysia is hard. There is no easy way to discern the good from the bad, and very few companies even have actual internship programmes. Those few that do tend to offer mixed results, with interns often feeling they are an afterthought and an adjunct to the organisation's work. (When I talk with friends who intern at local banks, they often have more stories to tell about running the photocopiers and buying kuih than they do about actual finance-related work.)

Of course, where there's a problem, there's an opportunity. Some friends have set up Otak Otak, a project to match qualified interns with good companies, and provide structure to the internship programmes. They are currently looking for companies interested in hiring competent interns for a month or two, as well as interested students looking for internship opportunities in Malaysia. The website is; more details after the jump.

Otak-Otak : An Elite Internship Program for Future Malaysian Leaders

What is it : Otak-Otak is a highly selective leadership program for interns to be held during the June - July 2011 period. We are looking to accept 50 top students and place them in leading organisations across 4 sectors in Malaysia - the corporate sector, small businesses, goverment, and the non profit realm. All interns will have access to events most evenings after work (networking, site visits, training from corporates), and also share common accomodation - with regular sharing and development sessions planned.

Why it's important : This is a unique oppurtunity for students to participate in a highly selective program of its kind and share experiences with other students who are going through the same program. It will be the first year (of many to come) for a very innovative program that will allow young Malaysians to work at top companies across KL and at the same time be part of a larger group.

How to Apply : Application details and more program information can be found at