SCG International Internship Program

What do you do in Thailand? Where do you stay? Is it paid-internship?

Some of my junior, even my senior asked me a lot of questions about this program that I’m doing, and I am glad to share my experience, opinion, tips, and any other information about this program, unless it is confidential.  Bear in mind that anything I say in this post is 100% my opinion and so it is neither reflects the company nor endorsing the company 😉

First thing first, I think the most important thing to talk about is the company behind this amazing idea; Siam Cement Group or shall we call SCG. So, What is SCG? To put this in a simple way, it is a company that (formerly) produced cement, but now it has expanded into three business units; Cement-Building Materials, Chemicals and Packaging. To be honest, I always a bit offended when my friends asked “pabrik semen??” with a raised eyebrow, because honestly.. it is so so soo much more than a cement factory. Believe it or not, it has been around for 104 years, so it is even older than my grandparents! Other than expanding the products, the company also opened its branches in Southeast Asia nations by both greenfield and M&A, including in Indonesia. If you’ve never heard of SCG existence in Indonesia before, maybe you know KIA Ceramics? Or Semen Jawa? Both are SCG’s, and actually SCG’s biggest asset overseas is in Indonesia. Surprised? Me too.

Four Core Values of SCG

Secondly, why SCG? Well.. SCG has such amazing company culture that based on four of its core values – ABCD; Adherence to fairness, Belief in the value of individual, Concern for Social Responsibility, Dedication to Excellence and a recent value Open and Challenge. As someone who is growing an interest in Human Resources management & development, my favorite one is definitely the ‘Belief in the value of individual’.

One fun fact, during the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997-98 or as the Thai called it Tom Yam Goong crisis, while all the other employers and companies laid off their employees, SCG did none of it. They kept their employee, developed them so once the crisis is over, SCG will come back stronger than others.. and it actually did happened! It only took them few years to recover because their people were ready for that. All of these values are not only performed in the past. Today I am standing here in the company and totally see their commitment towards employees such as flexible hours of working (depends on department), no uniforms, a good and comfortable Moslem praying room (although pretty sure the employee who pray is less than 1%). All is done with the purpose of decreasing the unimportant limitation and make the employee more comfortable and thus engage with the company even more, and for me it works. Fortunately, all cultures of company I’m looking for is in this one massive company so it really match me! SCG has set a high standard in my head about what a company should be, and how working should be.

1. SCG
SCG International Internship 2017 Poster

Next and the most important to address of all is, what is SCG International Internship actually? How is it? So, basically this is an internship program for university students in the year 3, 4 or 5 residing and studying in Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, the Philippines, Laos and Cambodia. This program lasts for one month, usually after Hari raya, and the participants will be working in Thailand, and yes, everything is fully-funded including the visa application, flight tickets, accommodation, morning breakfast. You literally only need to roll out of your bed and come to Thailand bringing nothing but your brain, and 20 kg of luggage. For this year, there are 45 students chosen – 12 students from Indonesia, and if I am not mistaken.. 12 from Vietnam, 9 from Myanmar, 7 from Cambodia, and 5 from the Philippines. However, I don’t think that this is the standard or so, because the number changed every year and I think it depends on what’s and who’s needed. For the reasons why the number of students is not equally, in my own judgement I think the number depends on the assets of SCG in each country.

Moreover, even though there are 45 of us, it does not mean that we meet each other in daily basis because everyone is sent to different SCG business units in different areas and departments. The Headquarter of SCG is in Bangkok but not all of us are working in Bangkok as the engineering students are sent to plants in different areas like Rayong, etc. The non-engineering students are indeed located in HQ Bangkok but the HQ itself is really big I really do feel like I am in SCG villlage. So, almost none of us actually works with any of us, because at most only two or three interns from different countries in one floor. For me, I am an intern at the Corporate HR in Bangkok and I am the one and only intern at my HR division. Although I’m the only one and also the youngest one, but everyone is extremely nice. Too nice that I can’t even explain it by words.

Safari World sightseeing

Everyday is a great balance of work and fun life. Weekdays are working days that I feel like it is pretty short so no boredom at all, and weekends is the time where all SCG interns come together and enjoy the designated activities. The office itself is so enjoyable that I feel like working is just an extension of my social life. Oh, did I forget to mention that we get paid? Yes we do receive daily wage and it is 500 baht per day, and trust me it is way more than enough even if you eat 5 times a day + dessert in the office cafeteria. Up until this day, I always enjoy every millisecond that I spent here in SCG Thailand.

I will write more about my whole experience in SCG Headquarter in Bangkok on my next blog post, maybe related to the workloads, office vibes, cafetaria, accommodation, weekend activities, etc. Stay tuned!

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