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GII Feature - Forge Your Own Path: Darryl Chan

Wednesday Feb 14,2024 | IIE News

Darryl GIISS24


Meet Darryl, a third year SMU School of Social Sciences student, with primary major in Politics, Law and Economics, and second major in Sustainability Management. Darryl landed the internship of his choice through the GII Self-Sourcing Internship route. He secured a placement at Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) in Riau Indonesia, a company he perceives as extremely progressive in its Sustainability efforts. Let’s dive with Darryl as he shares in detail about this unique opportunity on the cultural diversity and career growth levels!

🚀 Register Now for GII Self-source 2024!


Can you share about your self-sourced internship experience through GII? What motivated you to take the self-sourcing route?

The experience was nothing short of amazing for me! I had the opportunity to meet and network with many different individuals of different cultures and backgrounds, while  learning  more about the sustainability industry. I believed in finding and making my own opportunities, which is why I decided to self-source for an internship opportunity outside of Singapore to embrace the international working experience.

How did you go about securing your dream internship? And what are the challenges you faced along the process?

I had a huge interest in the Sustainability industry.  It was natural for me to  look for companies that were passionate about conducting business sustainably. I spent lots of time researching companies that are of interest to me and reached out to them seeking internship opportunities. The process of obtaining such opportunities were daunting and you could face multiple rejections along the way. However, I persevered and continued reaching out until I received a response!


In what ways did GII support you in maximizing your self-sourced internship experience?

The GII mentorship sessions definitely helped as there were lots of good advice given from Industry mentors. It was also easy to get a hold of the GII Programme managers  if you require any help or assistance. This definitely provided me with a sense of security while I was overseas alone. The financial support given by GII helped ease my worries regarding the cost of interning overseas. I was able to fully concentrate on my internship and utilize my time embracing a new culture!


What skills or knowledge did you gain during your self-sourced internship that you believe have contributed to your professional growth?

Critical-thinking is a career development skill that I honed during my internship. I was tasked to curate a Risk Management Framework specifically for one of my company’s Sustainability projects, where I had to identify the important areas of analysis and figure out how to include them in the assessment process. The framework went through many revisions, however I was glad to have the opportunity to create a framework that was of value and impact for the company’s growth.


GII24SS-Darryl Photo 1
(Source: Darryl Chan)


Can you provide specific examples of how your GII internship experience has influenced your career trajectory?

The GII internship experience has given me the confidence that I would be able to work overseas. Now that I’m back, I’m more enthusiastic about embracing opportunities for roles abroad. I am confident that such experiences will contribute significantly to my personal growth and enable me to evolve into a global citizen.

GII24SS-Darryl photo 2
(Source: Darryl Chan)


How do you reflect on your GII internship experience? What are the main takeaways? Do you envision incorporating them into your professional or personal development?

It was an amazing experience for me as I discovered more about myself while interning overseas. One of the main takeaways for me is to be adaptable. Getting yourself into a new and foreign environment may be daunting at first. However you should see it as a way to challenge yourself to do things you thought were impossible in the first place.

I did not know how to speak Bahasa prior to the internship, and when I was there, I realised that I had to learn the language in order to better communicate with my teammates. While I am not fluent in the language, I definitely learned a thing or two there which made living in Indonesia a lot easier. Being adaptable, having an open mind and embracing new cultures are crucial skills to develop in a workplace and can help deepen connections with your colleagues, especially in an international context.


Complete the sentence: "I used to think innovation & entrepreneurship.... now I think innovation & entrepreneurship...."

I used to think innovation & entrepreneurship relies just on one’s personal brilliance, however, the GII experience made me believe that innovation & entrepreneurship helps solve highly complex problems in the world we live in.


What advice would you give to your peers considering the self-source route for their GII internship?

Never fear the unknown, embrace it! Take the time overseas to make as many connections as possible and extend your networks.

🚀 Register Now for GII Self-source 2024!


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