Admissions Blog

Go Get Your Dream Internship with Ekky Simanjuntak MPA-DP ’23

By Fitri Mayang Sari ’23
Posted Jan 20 2023

Ekky Simanjuntak is a second year student at SIPA studying MPA in Development Practice (MPA-DP). Ekky started his career as a management trainee in a commercial bank in Jakarta after finishing his undergraduate study at the Faculty of Economics University of Indonesia. He then, after his solo travels to the eastern part of the country, decided to work for financing the development through his role in the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) that exposed him even more to the development world.


Hello Ekky, we are pleased to chat with you. How is it going with school?

Hi, SIPA is great. Second year is definitely better for me. I have adjusted well to the study phase, able to take all classes I wanted. As it is approaching finals, being a bit overwhelmed is okay but pretty much I am excited.    

Last summer, you had a blast! From having a U.S. trip from west to east, to doing an internship at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). First, can you tell us how your internship experience was at the EDF and what did you do there?

The summer experience was great. I was doing an online work with EDF the Climate Resilient Food System Team to produce a white paper on land use optimization with a nutrition and sustainability focus in East Africa and Asia Pacific Region. I read tons of papers on the matter, had discussions with EDF related teams both from the related regions and their scientists. I think that was a new experience for me to work on this topic.

How was the process until you received the internship offers?

The opportunity was offered to DP students. I applied and got interviewed with other candidates. I think the process was quite quick. The administration process also was very seamless. I already started my work by mid of May 2022. 

What do you wish you knew earlier regarding the internship application process?

Hmmm… nothing in particular. But perhaps it is good to bear in mind that selling yourself and showing people what you can do is definitely what you must do to nail the opportunity.    

Do you have any suggestions for our peers students who’s planning to do an internship?

If you wish to get an internship in a certain organization, please apply early. Customize your CV and motivation letter according to the expectation! Having certain working experience does not guarantee an offer. But getting connected to the people inside the organization might help. I have seen this from some of my classmates.

Alright, now how was traveling? How do you manage to split summer time between internship and traveling?

Well, because my work was done online and my supervisor was chill about me working from anywhere, so I had the opportunity to work from some places. I worked from DC, Mexico City, and even worked from Puerto Escondido in Mexico. I worked in some cafés near the beach and profited my time to enjoy the surroundings in the morning and evening. As long as the time allocated to the work is appropriate and the result was there. The trip went smoothly. In the beginning I was a bit hesitant to travel while working, but if I didn't do it then, perhaps I would not have the time again.

What kind of work do you hope to do when you graduate? How your internship experience helps you to achieve that?

Hopefully someone can employ me after reading this, haha... I hope I can do some work related to development finance so that I can still use my past banking experience. For the sector, I am liking the agriculture sector like never before thanks to the class I took and my internship experience. But, SIPA has exposed me to different things that I find interesting. I could imagine myself working to support the government or even going into politics.

Ekky thank you for your time. We wish you the best of luck in your finals and cannot wait to see where you land your next dreaming job!