NEXSTEP is an experiential learning company that specializes in offering transformative programs and experiences across Asia. We provide customized learning experiences for university students and working professionals, with a strong emphasis on on-the-ground learning. Our programs cater to individuals from around the world, allowing them to engage in life-changing overseas experiences.
Through both virtual and abroad internships, focusing on the APAC region and partnering with global companies, we push participants out of their comfort zones. At NEXSTEP, we aim to deliver cutting-edge, invested learning opportunities that have the power to change lives.
Samantha Malang is a project manager, business facilitator, and integrator with her superpower lying in process efficiency strategy. She works at the NEXSTEP team as an operations and efficiency project manager to improve and innovate business systems and processes.
With over a decade of experience in the space, she tells us that her personal mission is to “improve and innovate the business systems and processes for the organizations [and] teams … I work with.”
“So that’s me in a nutshell,” she chuckles and explains to us candidly.
Her day-to-day life starts early in the morning and email free. Checking emails is a big no for her, and she sticks to it as a self-described systems person who loves structure. Her first task is to look at her calendar and orchestrate the plan for the following day based on the previous day.
NEXSTEP is now part of her day-to-day mission. She works on their systems and operations and has created a 90-day roadmap plan for the organization to allow them to continue furthering their mission.
“Currently,” she explains, “we’ve [updated] the resources, what we call the knowledge base for NEXSTEP. So that’s one of the biggest chunk of work that I’ve been working on. Then, the second part now is the optimization, doing the project management, adding some automations into the current process… So that’s the next target on a day-to-day basis. What I do is first focus on realignment of my goals and then second, checking what has been done. Third is communicating with the team daily, following up on the educational programs that we have on, as on top of the systems and operations, I also do project management. So that’s another part of my role in NEXSTEP wherein I make sure and communicate with the team and then our vendors as well and partners.”
However, before Samantha dived head-deep into the global operations of NEXSTEP, she dialed it back, explaining why the mission at NEXSTEP resonated so deeply with her. “I actually made the decision to leave my conventional nine to five job and shift my focus towards establishing my own consultancy specializing in serving clients on a global scale similar to NEXSTEP. (…) I was planning to take a two-month break, but fate had other plans for me when I actually saw NEXSTEP’s job posting.”
“… The organization’s unwavering commitment to enhancing its existing processes in order to deliver exceptional service to its clients and more importantly to support its team. Basically they want to grow and improve their processes, which is not something that you’ll see to a lot of organizations, especially to the start-up ones and then growing big. That’s very big for me. Then NEXSTEP also holds a profiled sense of purpose that deeply resonated with me,” shares Samantha. For her, the focus of the company and founder is both admirable and inspiring.
She describes the driving force of NEXSTEP as something that provides students with “a transformative, experiential learning experience, which is equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in the workplace.” The emphasis, therefore, lies in preparing younger generations for future success.
As for her most memorable experience working with NEXSTEP, she recalls her first meeting with the team in Singapore.
“Seeing the team in action on how they actually first design the perfect tour for the students, how they look at every detail and make sure that all of the details are perfect and in line with the expectations and what we’ve promised the clients- it was powerful to see.” With a team of talent spread across the globe, the dedication and differences every team member brings to the table is quite extraordinary. Samantha adds that she was “mind blown to see people from across the globe working into one goal. [NEXSTEP is] a global enterprise connected by one purpose.”
Samantha emphasizes her strong belief in NEXSTEP’s line of mission that promotes and supports on-the-ground experience for participants, as it is crucial for students in today’s world to gain hands-on practical opportunities that “go beyond the traditional classroom introduction that we are used to.”
She continues by saying how these experiences allow students to “apply theoretical knowledge, which is the usual the classroom and knowledge in real world scenarios fostering critical thinking, problem solving skills and adaptability. And so, by engaging directly with practical challenges as well, students gain a deeper understanding of the concepts; they develop essential communication and collaborative skills, and they cultivate a sense of confidence and independence. Which is hard to apply when you are in a traditional classroom.”
What a NEXSTEP opportunity does is that it essentially “bridges the gap between the academic learning and the demands of the modern workplace.” highlights Samantha. This way, students have the chance to see what happens in the workplace before they graduate. This experience “basically prepares the students to navigate the complex, dynamic environments effectively when they graduate and when they start their careers in the professional world.”
As an individual, Samantha is passion-driven, and that is one of the reasons she loves working with NEXSTEP. The drive and the values the company carries and implements (integrity, inspiration, grit, harmony, and resilience) are crucial elements of the spiritual structure of the company.
Samantha also sees NEXSTEP as visionary and ahead of their time, as we have been offering in-person internships in Asia since 2008 and remote internships since 2017, before the COVID-19 normalized virtual work. The opportunities offered are transformational, educational and professional for students and professionals who exchange experiences based on values of intercultural understanding, life-long learning, and global competencies.
When asked about her aims at NEXSTEP, Samantha explained that she would want to have a meaningful impact on students as part of her role with us at NEXSTEP “by inspiring them to pursue personal growth, enhancing their soft skills and help them embrace new experiences. My goal is to empower them to thrive in the workplace, fostering a passion for lifelong learning and an openness to immerse themselves in different cultures. By instilling these values, I hope to equip students with the mindset and skills necessary for success in their careers and to make a positive, positive impact on the world around them.”
NEXSTEP is a portal, a toolkit that can pave the way towards a successful life, filled with passion and a deeper understanding and connection of the world and cultures we live in.
With that, “if you have the right mindset, and early on, if you learn the right skills and experience all this immersive learning, regardless of where you are in the world, you can be a global talent and you’ll be able to provide a positive impact in the world.”