Time is Ticking

I arrived at a restaurant where my friend and I agreed to meet for an end of year dinner. We did not book our seats at the restaurant, yet knowing that the restaurant allows customer to spend only 90 minutes for a buffet menu and 120 minutes for another buffet menu. I arrived at around 15 minutes earlier than my friend and met the restaurant manager. He offered me a table for the 90 minutes’ buffet menu, but I said that I needed to wait for my friend. In less than 10 minutes, the manager came to me 4 times and asked if I was ready or not, with a convincing sentence on the last as he said, ‘time is ticking’.

This kind of restaurant relays on the time power, which few minutes does matter for them. Yet that sentence from the restaurant manager stuck on my head until now, reminding me that in this very limited time of life, we can do many things. However, we need to consider that just because we can do things, doesn’t mean we should do those things.

It is interesting to observe how people use their time, as meaningful as they believe. It is indeed will be varied from one to another as different people have different perspective in seeing time and seeing their meanings of life. Yet, the way they construct those perspective and meaning would be good to listen to.

Time is ticking: Where do you want to go? What will you do?

I was just spent a week traveling to Morocco and met an old friend of mine in the desert trip. She quitted her job to live her dreams by working abroad and travelling all around the world for almost 2 years now. We talked about how each of us make use our time and found so many differences between us. As she currently has more flexibility than me, the way she organizes things are not in as tight as me. Yet, I met some people from some open trips in Morocco that I joined, who brought their laptops and worked while they were traveling. After talking to some people during my trip here, I realized that how people define their life goals and its values strongly influence the way they manage their time.

Some people said that they want to do good things for society and start for volunteering, some others want to achieve such a high career path and stay up late in the office, some others would believe on saving money and prefer to stay at home, while some others go everywhere but don’t really know what to do with their life. Such definitions would help people to prioritize activities and manage their time to achieve things, in every condition. Thus, those who want to excel in their job but also need to travel might still do their work on the roads. Those who want to do good things for society while traveling would stay in a location longer and be involved with local initiatives. Some people do more than 1 thing in their very limited time.

Those who travel know that life could give more than they deserve, as they meet various people and experience various things in the roads. While traveling, people can get inspired or even feel bad about their own life. These kind of feeling might redefine their life goals and values. As time is keep ticking, we might consider to look back our life goals and values and how we manage our time to make use of it so far. And before we judge how others manage their time, it’s always better to contemplate ourselves. We always can improve our life; we always can be better than who we are today.

Follow @yosea_kurnianto for more photos of my journey in Morocco!

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Why You Should Join the 21st Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) Summer University? Registration is Now Open!

An exciting news, everyone! The registration for the 21st Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) Summer University is now open! Well, you might ask: what is it, for who, when and where, and why should I join? LOL. Okay, here we go:

What

Nah, basically the ASEF Summer University (ASEFSU) is a 2-week experiential learning journey and ‘interdisciplinary innovation’ for Asian and European students and young professionals. It is designed to foster cross-cultural exchanges and networks among youth. It also offers opportunities for students and young professionals to broaden their horizons, deepen their knowledge on contemporary issues, and propose concrete solutions to societal challenges. You will be traveling, learning, and, at the same time, finishing some cases/challenges given to your group.

For Who?

This program is for students, entrepreneurs, academics and professionals; all between the ages of 18 and 30 years old from any of the 51 Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Partner countries. You must have strong skills of English both verbal and written. Don’t worry, this program is designed to also accommodate those with disabilities!

When and Where?

This 21st ASEF Summer University will be held in Melbourne (Australia) and Christchurch (New Zealand). The event will be executed at 27 January – 10 February 2018. How exciting it is to explore Australia and New Zealand with fellow young bright-minds and positive energy!

How Much?

There is no registration or participation fee: the organizer will cover accommodation and meals for the duration of the program, plus a travel subsidy from your country of residence to the starting point and back.I might say it’s free, unless if you want to buy meals/things outside the program – you will have to use your own money for that.

Why Should You join?

Alright, on this point, I might use my personal experience to convince you that this program is super cool and a lifetime experience! I was a participant of the 20th ASEF Summer University, taking place in China, Russia, and Mongolia last year. The participants were 47 young people from 45 Asia and Europe countries: almost each country was represented by 1 person, except Belgium and United Kingdom with 2 reps. Anyway, we spent 21 days (and more, for those who extend for several days) and travelled together for +8000KM in those 3 countries. Our theme was “Gateways of Asia and Europe: Connectivity by Land, Sea & Air”, in which the word ‘connectivity’ is seen from 3 lenses: Human Connectivity, Trade and Economic Cooperation, and Transport. As a young professional in Human Resources Management, I was included in the ‘Human Connectivity’ lenses.

Our group facilitated a learning session inside the train! (Pict: ASEFEDU Facebook Page)

We moved from Beijing (China), Harbin (China), Vladivostok (Russian Federation), Chita (Russian Federation), Irkutsk (Russian Federation) and Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) – then back to Beijing (China) again. In each city, we were hosted by a University and Youth Organization where we did our seminars, workshops, and other fun activities. Not to mention that some of learning activities also happened during our journey inside the train, especially on the Trans Siberia train in Russia. Aside from the professors and experts from the universities and countries we visited; all participants were divided into some groups based on their expertise and interest, and each had to host/facilitate a workshop/seminar based on the topic related to their respective expertise.

 

Welcomed by a dance and cultural dish in Chita, Russia Federation

It’s a balance between learning, doing some projects (solving challenges), as well as traveling and enjoying the cities we visited. There were so kind student-volunteers from the universities and youth organization who whole-heartedly hosted and acted as tour guide for us to understand more about the cities. Those universities were Beijing Jiaotong University (Beijing), Harbin Institute of Technology (Harbin), Vladivostok State University Economics and Service (Vladivostok), Trans Baikal University (Chita), and Mongolia Youth Federation (Mongolia).

After the event finished, we made a WhatsApp group; and surprisingly is still very active until now. So many ‘mini reunions’ happened and might happen more. As for example this 2017 new year, I visited Bangkok and Phnom Penh and met ASEFSU alumni there; and now I am studying in UK and already met 3 other program alumni. Let see if I travel to Europe during my academic break next year, will certainly arrange some meetings with other program alumni!

Well, these are some benefits that you will get if you join this program: learning experiences from various topics, expertise, and backgrounds; having new (nice, crazy, bright-minded) friends from various countries across Asia-Europe; traveling to places you might never imagine before; understanding the culture (and various factors/dimension behind it); etc – will somehow change the way you see people and the world. And of course, how you will learn from things happen around you will very much depend on whether you’re able to reflect or to contemplate to grasp something from those.

This year’s theme is “Youth with Disabilities: Shaping Inclusive ASEM Societies”. I am pretty sure that the program will be fulfilled by thought-provoking lectures with group research and experiential learning. It’s also listed that the ASEFSU21 will cover 8 thematic areas: Mobility, Rights Protection and Legislation, Economic Security and Employment, Inclusive Education, Health and Well-Being, Participation in Society, Access to Information, also Attitudes and Perceptions. Sounds like students and young professionals from various backgrounds can be related to those areas of interest!

So, is it you who will represent your country to join the 21st Asia Europe Foundation Summer University? Register HERE before December 10th! If you want to see more of last year’s photos, click HERE!

@yosea_kurnianto

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Old Q: Is Any Job Better than No Job?

‘Normal’ discussion topics among last-year undergraduate or graduate students would be ‘have you applied to jobs?’ and/or ‘have you been accepted for a job?’. I assume that those who got a job before finishing their study would be having certain higher level of pride than those who still look for, or even don’t have any plan yet. To reach this kind of pride, I suppose, many graduates might consider to take any job they were offered. Although some reasons would also determine this decision, such as a financial condition as he/she might have to earn some money for living or for supporting his/her family. But, this old question remains: is any job better than no job?

Last week, I attended a discussion from Work and Equality Institute in Manchester, entitled “Work, Health, and Stress: Some Observations”. Prof. Tarani Chandola, a professor of medical sociology from the University of Manchester shared some perspectives of his research and thoughts on how job and stress can relate each other. It is interesting to know that based on medical data that he collected (in civil service): the lower the grade of the job, the higher its job mortality. It’s indeed because of several factors such as financial, relationship stress (with bureaucracy), etc. Yet, that data actually shows ‘the myth of executive stress’. It is argued that stress of the executives is only being perceived, but not ‘as bad as’ it is on medical data.

Good Job or Bad Job?

Another finding from the session was that people with ‘bad jobs’ increase their happiness some years before retirement; but those in ‘good job’ remain no significant differences. However, it is actually contradicting with an argument that ‘retirement is beneficial, but only for those in the top / good grades (jobs)’. Those with bad jobs might face another ‘episode’ of stress after that short-term happiness, as the might not have an enough pension/fund for living and since they would be ‘unemployed’ again.

Somebody said that, ‘the worst work status for health is unemployment’. But, is it true that any job is better than no job? Well, from the medical measurement as what Prof. Tarani did above, it might not be entirely true. Some people might be ‘healthier’ with no job rather than doing ‘bad job’. The term bad job here could be assumed as job with under/minimum pay, job with bad relations with managers, etc; and I guess you might have some definitions on what good or bad jobs for you based on your interest, skills, passion, and other dimensions.

It is important then, for me and my fellow graduate students, to really think about jobs to do after finishing our study. Again, some factors might determine or even push us to some decisions in taking a job; but whatever the decision is – make sure that we’re being mindful and consciously know the consequences. Some organisations or companies might try to help its employees to reduce stress at work by assigning a Chief Happiness Officer or some ‘fun internal events’; but it might be useless if we have a ‘bad job’ (structurally or emotionally). Good luck for (y)our career journey!

@yosea_kurnianto

Not A Believer on Work-Life Balance, What About Student-Life Balance?

I remember on the first week of my study, the program director showed some list of HR issues and asked the students which issues might be the most ‘interesting’ to discuss in these days. A student answered that ‘aligning HR and business strategy’ is currently a ‘hot topic’. Well, that’s somehow true – yet, I was actually expecting that ‘HR Technologies’, ‘People Analytics’, or ‘The Diminish of HR’ would be on the list. Other students, I guess plenty numbers of them, said that ‘work-life balance’ would be interesting to be discussed.

I personally am not a believer of work-life balance, in the sense that it should be 50-50. I mean, I try to see that working is part of my life journey. So, what I need to do is actually trying to harmonize or to create such orchestra of all things that happen in my life, including work. I was fortunate enough to have really good experiences in my previous jobs about this respective topic. The flexibility that I had, the egalitarian leaders and friends who feels like family, and the meaningfulness of the job that I did, help me to avoid to say ‘No’- when it comes to working overtime or over the weekend for several times. But again, it’s indeed a personal view, it might change based on some conditions. For instance, some of you who made a commitment to marry and/or already have children, might define this ‘balance’ differently. It’s indeed about your personal choice, some ‘given’ conditions, as well as maybe a bit of mindset.

Anyway, that’s not the main topic I want to share from this piece. Hahaha.

So, recently I met a friend in my university. She looked really tired. With her sleepy eyes and very low energy, she said to me: ‘Oh, I am so tired of studying. I want to go home and sleep’. Yet she didn’t go home and remain the campus. LOL.

Surprisingly, I heard that this friend was actually come to the university from 8am to 5pm every day – in the reading week! Such a learning dedication, in contrast with me or some other friends who traveled or did the reading elsewhere outside the university during that week.

I was intrigued by her statement that she was really tired of studying, not because of my impression to her learning dedication (sorry about that, LOL). But, the fact that she was doing a writing (an assignment) about ‘Work Life Balance’ while saying that. Oh, what a lovely irony! Yet, thanks to her. I was then contemplating whether I am doing good enough or not in harmonizing my student-life ‘adventure’. I truly respect her dedication to learn things, but I might not be able to be like her in studying.

I believe we all have our own way of studying/learning. Some of us enjoy to sit in the library to read books, some others prefer to watch videos to understand better, and some people might also listen to audiobooks while doing morning or evening jog. In another perspective, each of us do also have different way to ‘enjoy the life’ – might be cooking, travelling, hanging out with friends in a bar / café, or having a ‘me’ time. Understanding the best way on how we study and how we enjoy our life, and harmonizing both of them to make the most of our journey will be so important. Otherwise, we will keep grumbling about what happen to us.

We might be familiar already with terms of mindfulness, consciousness, and self-control. I don’t want to talk about their definitions, but making sure we are able to apply those concepts in our daily life will be useful. We are surrounded by time limitation, constant changing of contexts, the variety of emotions, as well as the demand and supply of interactions. Being aware of all of those dynamics will help us harmonizing the life that we have in some respective contexts we are in: it can be both work-life or student-life.

Harmonizing and Celebrating Life!

Again, my ‘balance’ definition on work-life balance or student-life balance is not 50-50. It’s about becoming fully aware that we will not live forever in this world, then we need to make the best harmony or orchestra of life – based on your goal, based on your call.

@yosea_kurnianto

 

Coming Back to University, after Several Years of Working

It’s a reading week (self-driven learning activities) in my university. Marking a half of the first semester from my 2 semesters master degree here in the UK. As you may follow my journey, I am currently studying MSc Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations in the Manchester Business School. ‘How’s your life in the university?’ – somebody asked me.

I recalled my conversation with somebody who sat beside me during the orientation week. Let’s call him Mike. Mike has been working +8 years before coming back to study again and reached a good position as a head of HR division in a well-known company in his country. We had a small talk while our program director explained to us about what would happen during the year of study. Seeing the reading list and the academic assignments that we have to do, Mike said to me, ‘I start to question my-self on why I decided to pursue master degree in a formal education again’. I thought, I couldn’t answer as what he might expect me to answer.

Another day in the same week, I met another friend, let’s call her Ann, who also said the same thing to me. Ann has also been working for +10 years as a head of IT infrastructure division in a multinational bank based in her country. ‘You know Yos, my friends previously asked me: are you sure you want to study again? – and I was thinking that I would be alright. Now I am questioning myself.’ Not much words I could say to Ann, except helped her to realize that a decision has been made – and the only option now is to finish what she’s started.

Coming Back to University!

I can relate to both Mike and Ann, although I never regret my decision to study again (at least until now, LOL). I know that my working experience is less than them, I have only 4 years of working experience, but in these 5 weeks of studying I got some challenges I need to handle, in regards to coming back to study after several years of working. Here are some of my challenges in the beginning of my journey here:

  1. UK Weather Strengthens the Relationship between Me and my Bed

I arrived in the UK when autumn is in action – with its gloomy, cloudy, windy, rainy, and cold. It was a moment when wake up in the morning and get off from the bed became the hardest thing to do in life. I had to really push myself to take a bath and to do activities. LOL. Sounds ridiculous? Yeah, it was that ridiculous.

  1. What? Reading list? Academic writing?

In the orientation week, our program director invited almost all lecturers to introduce each courses that we will learn. As usual, listening to the course descriptions was far easier and enjoyable than experiencing what has been described. Pages of reading list and bunches of academic writings (essay) become your (no-other-option) menu for the days. Those +XY years working experiences who worked in corporations with no requirement to write academic writing to gain total rewards & benefits or highest rank of performance appraisal, would be sick because of this.

Not to mention that you need to fully control yourself, as in most of the time you will need to apply what so called self-driven learning. ‘I missed undergrad, everything is organized. I am tired to push myself to do self-study’ – said my British classmate who did her undergraduate in London.

  1. Sorry, we are in an Academic – Situation Talk

In the first seminar, I asked a ‘too technical’ question to the presented group. The members of the group, who I knew after – are all fresh from undergraduate, hardly understand the context of my question. At the end of the session, the lecturer explained to all of us that in MSc program, we basically discuss 2 things: how to do and how to analyze (how to think (e.g why things happen)). Yet the course is basically will be run with ‘how to analyze’, which means that from that moment I had to change the type of questions I need to ask in the course. LOL.

Having an ‘academic mind’, after several years of working, might not that easy. Every time I attended a lecturer, I always drew the topics into their ‘practicality’. Even sometimes challenged the theories with the reality. However, I slowly learn to balance it with the academic – situation thinking.

Classroom Sitting

  1. Embracing diversity: ‘know the limit’

The context of diversity here is, again, about working experiences that (most probably) differ the degree of contextual understanding: some students continue their journey directly from undergraduate degree, some of them have been working for months or years. And even those who have been working, might have different understanding (and belief) about things related to the topics being discussed.

I once had a group discussion to prepare a presentation. Being interested in a case in a country where my friend is coming from (since I think the information would help me to design an HR policy in the future), I started to probe more questions about it. Surprisingly, my friend answered: ‘I don’t think we need to discuss it since it’s not in the questions list that we need to answer.’ LOL. Okay, I have to know the limit – since the context of discussion between my friend and I were different in this case.

Well, I realize that nobody could help but myself. I am trying my best to adapt and to develop myself to fit in the academic situation, step by step. I talked to my academic advisor and to some lecturers, I asked them to help me in my learning journey. Several months to go, will see how I can survive here! LOL.

@yosea_kurnianto

Giliranmu Pakai Hastag #MyCheveningJourney: Daftar Sebelum 7 November 2017!

Ah akhirnya sempat nulis lagi! Beberapa waktu terakhir rekan-rekan mengirim WA, FB message, DM Instagram dan Linkedin untuk tanya-tanya soal proses beasiswa Chevening. Beasiswa Chevening ini setahun ke depan sponsori aku untuk kuliah S2 di Manchester Business School – The University of Manchester ambil jurusan MSc Human Resources Management and Industrial Relations. Selain prestigious, beasiswa Chevening ini menawarkan jaringan alumni tingkat global yang isinya memang orang-orang yang menarik.

Oya, aku ketemu banyak orang Indonesia yang beruntung ga perlu ini itu buat dapat beasiswa, karena kondisi finansial keluarga yang memungkinkan. Buat yang memang membutuhkan beasiswa, terus semangat berusaha yah, semoga tulisan ini kasih sedikit gambaran proses dari beasiswa the Chevening Awards!

Receiving the certificate of #ChosenForChevening in UK Embassy Jakarta

Dulu banget aku ga berani daftar beasiswa Chevening karena kupikir ini untuk orang-orang yang memang punya profil beken dan keren, tapi akhirnya aku coba beranikan diri. Syarat paling utama sebenarnya adalah udah lulus S1 dan punya pengalaman kerja minimal 2 tahun. Nah berhenti di sini dulu. Soalnya ada pengalaman udah cerita panjang lebar, tapi lawan bicaraku tanya: Beasiswa Chevening itu apa sih? Dhuaar. Hehehe..

Beasiswa Chevening atau biasa disebut ‘The Chevening Awards’ ini adalah beasiswa S2 dari pemerintah Inggris Raya (UK) yang ditujukan untuk mengembangkan global leaders. Beasiswa ini ada sejak tahun 1983, dibiayai oleh Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) dan beberapa organisasi partnernya. Jadi kamu bisa kuliah S2 selama 1 tahun di universitas mana saja yang kamu mau (dan diterima :p) di Inggris Raya. Pengalaman 1 tahun ini diharapkan kasih kamu kesempatan untuk mengembangkan diri secara akademik dan professional, memperluas jejaring, dan mengalami sendiri budaya di Inggris Raya. Monggo kalau mau dibaca lebih seksama di laman INI.

Nah, lanjut yah. Proses pendaftaran Chevening dilakukan secara online dimulai dari laman INI. Super duper gampang, tinggal isi dan klik (plus mikir juga jangan lupa :p).

Apa sih yang biasanya jadi kegundahan saat daftar? Mungkin beberapa list di bawah ini membantu:

  1. Pilih jurusan dan kampus

Beberapa pertanyaan terkait pilih jurusan dan kampus untuk beasiswa Chevening mewarnai percakapanku belakangan waktu. Memang kita boleh belajar S2 apapun yang kita suka untuk daftar beasiswa ini, tapi akan jauh lebih meyakinkan kalau jurusan yang diambil ada kaitannya dengan pekerjaan saat ini atau aspirasi pencapaian di masa yang akan datang.

Jangan sampai kita ambil jurusan dan kampus yang hanya terdengar keren, tapi ga ada hubungannya dengan ‘diri kita’. Coba cek juga fokus kerjasama pemerintah Inggris dengan Indonesia di tahun berjalan saat kamu mendaftar beasiswa Chevening di laman ini. Saat mendaftar, kamu diminta untuk masukkan 3 pilihan jurusan dan kampus berdasarkan prioritas. Jangan khawatir juga, kalau nanti masuk interview, akan dikonfirmasi lagi apakah pilihan jurusan dan kampus masih sama dengan awal daftar atau mau diganti urutan (atau bahkan ganti jurusan dan kampus). Kalau saat mendaftar (atau periode sebelum pengumuman) kamu udah dapat Letter of Acceptance (LoA) dari kampus, kamu bisa upload di profil pendaftaranmu. LoA ini wajib diterima secretariat Chevening saat konfirmasi akhir kalau kamu dinyatakan berhak menerima beasiswa.

  1. Pengalaman Kerja

Soal pengalaman kerja, syarat yang ditulis adalah 2 tahun. Tapi saat mengisi nanti biasanya kamu juga bisa hitung jam volunteer atau magang. Akan sangat baik kalau setiap apa yang kamu kerjakan sejalan dengan jurusan yang kamu ambil. Meski tak jarang juga beberapa teman bisa meyakinkan bahwa jurusan yang diambil tidak (sepenuhnya) senada dengan pekerjaan, tapi lebih sesuai dengan aspirasi ke depan. Kasus semacam ini mungkin jarang, tapi bukan tidak mungkin terjadi. Tugasmu nanti meyakinkan panel saat interview.

  1. Menjawab Beberapa Pertanyaan (Penulisan Essay)

Ada beberapa pertanyaan yang perlu dijawab untuk menyelesaikan pendaftaran beasiswa Chevening ini. Pertanyaan biasanya seputar pengalaman pekerjaan dan leadership serta aspirasi (karir) masa depan dan kaitannya dengan jurusan yang diambil (detail pertanyaan silakan dilihat di aplikasi, bisa jadi ada perubahan). Ada rekan mengirimkan WhatsApp dan bertanya apakah harus menggunakan seluruh ‘jatah’ huruf untuk menulis jawaban pertanyaan (sekitar 300 kata). Sederhananya, menurutku kalau kita bisa maksimalkan, lebih baik maksimalkan, agar pesan yang kita sampaikan dapat tergambar dengan jelas. Tapi kalau cukup percaya diri dengan sedikit kata-kata, tidak masalah juga J Jawaban ini perlu ditulis dengan jujur karena akan banyak dikonfirmasi saat interview nanti apabila lolos tahap administrasi.

  1. Proses Menunggu 1

Kalau udah klik submit application, kita akan menunggu sekitar 4 bulan untuk mendapatkan konfirmasi/undangan untuk interview. Bagi yang lolos untuk interview, nanti akan mendapatkan email undangan dan link untuk memilih jam interview (biasanya tersedia beberapa slot). Penting untuk segera memilih slot interview sesuai jam yang diinginkan, kalau tidak, nanti sudah diambil yang lain dan kita ga punya banyak pilihan.

  1. Interview

Woah, ini nih yang bikin jantung dagdigdug 😀 – seingatku kemarin aku bener-bener persiapan untuk interview Chevening. Mulai dari tanya-tanya alumni, ngopi bareng Chevener tahun sebelumnya untuk dapat insight dan gambaran pertanyaan, bikin list ‘possible questions’ plus coba jawab sendiri, baca-baca berita soal UK dan Indonesia (terutama yang berkaitan dengan jurusan yang aku tuju), dan banyak doa. Hahaha. Sempat dengar kalau saat interview, biasanya untuk 1 issue/jurusan hanya 2-3 orang yang diundang – jadi kalau bukan aku yang terima beasiswa, maka orang sebelum atau setelahku yang dapat. Bukankah rasanya lebih perih kalau ternyata persentase terima/gagalnya lebih besar? Hueheu.

Proses interview biasanya cuma 30 menitan. Datang ke lokasi 15-30 menit sebelum jadwal akan sangat membantu, selain karena ada proses screening dari tim security, perlu juga waktu untuk menenangkan diri dan ngeringin keringat :p

Beberapa pertanyaan interview akan terkait essay yang kita tulis. Untuk detil model pertanyaannya bisa japri nanti kalau sudah dapat undangan interview yah 😀

  1. Proses Menunggu 2

Jangan sedih, abis interview ada proses menunggu lagi kira-kira 3 bulan. Di minggu ke-2 atau ke-3 Juni (timeline bisa saja berubah) akan dapat email kalau dapat beasiswa Chevening. Di proses ini, kamu akan dapat beberapa list dokumen yang harus disubmit untuk mendapatkan Final Award Letter (FAL) yang membuktikan bahwa kamu ‘sah’ mendapatkan beasiswa. Ada beberapa rekan yang kurang beruntung dan akhirnya tidak bisa mendapatkan, biasanya karena IELTS, LoA kampus, atau dokumen kesehatan (scan TBC).

  1. Proses Administrasi Final dan Menunggu 3

Semua dokumen yang dibutuhkan harus disubmit sebelum deadline. Menurutku pribadi dokumen yang dibutuhkan ga ribet. Yang perlu dicatat adalah, beberapa orang ‘ga mau rugi’ untuk test IELTS sebelumnya, jadi pas disuruh ngumpulin baru test. Kadang test center IELTS penuh di tanggal-tanggal itu jadi harus keluar kota (atau keluar negeri), atau akhirnya hasilnya kurang bagus dang a ada waktu buat ngulang test. Meski test IELTS ga harus disubmit saat pendaftaran dokumen di awal (bisa disusul saat dapat konfirmasi tahap akhir), lebih baik mulai test IELTS segera, itung-itung sebagai investasi karena cukup berguna untuk beberapa kebutuhan lainnya juga.

Proses menunggu untuk tiap tahap, Final Award Letter, Visa, dan tiket pesawat biasanya cukup membuat gundah. Penting banget di awal ini untuk paham bahwa kita harus bersabar dan percaya dengan tim Chevening dan Kedutaan Inggris di Jakarta, semuanya akan baik-baik saja.

Pendaftaran Beasiswa The Chevening Awards untuk tahun 2018/2019 sudah dibuka dan akan tutup tanggal 7 November 2017. Pendaftar tahun lalu se Indonesia ada sekitar 4400an (secara global ada 50.000an orang) dan dari Indonesia yang dapat ada sekitar 63 orang.

Starting #MyCheveningJourney in the University of Manchester

Alhasil, selamat untuk nanti yang dapat kesempatan menggunakaxn hastag #MyCheveningJourney di tahun depan. Buat yang belum dapat kesempatan, bisa jadi tahun depan atau mungkin bisa coba beasiswa/kesempatan lainnya. Selamat berusaha!

@yosea_kurnianto

Sowan ke Rumah Mbak Alissa: Mumpung Masih Muda, Benerin Polanya

Minggu lalu aku sempat pulang ke rumah di Temanggung. Di hari pertama aku di kampung halaman, tetiba terpikir untuk sowan ke rumah Mbak Alissa Wahid, putri dari Gus Dur, Presiden Republik Indonesia ke-4. Akhirnya aku coba kirim WhatsApp dan bertanya apakah beliau sedang berada di rumahnya yang di Jogja. Voila! WhatsAppku dibalas dan kita janjian ketemu di hari Minggu malam. Mbak Alissa Wahid memang salah satu sosok sumber pembelajaranku. Beberapa tahun lalu sempat juga berkunjung ke Sekolah yang didirikan beliau di Jogja, kemudian bertemu beberapa kali dalam berbagai kesempatan. Beruntung sekali aku, karena dalam kesibukan yang luar biasa, Mbak Alissa masih tetap membalas setiap WA-ku dan meluangkan waktu untuk ngobrol dengan remukan rempeyek kacang semacam diriku.

Nah, aku sampai di rumah Mbak Alissa pukul 8 malam. Beberapa perbincangan awal menceritaka aktivitas masing-masing setelah beberapa lama kita tidak bertemu dan berbincang. Banyak hal menarik yang aku tangkap dari cerita Mbak Alissa, mulai dari aktivitas beliau bersama komunitas Gusdurian yang tersebar di seantero-jagad hingga kesibukan beliau dalam Pengurus Besar NU dan program-program edukasi terkait ‘family resilience’ bersama Kementerian Agama. Dari dulu memang Mbak Alissa cukup konsisten di isu-isu yang digemari dan menjadi perhatiannya, paling tidak yang paling terasa adalah kebhinnekaan (keberagaman / diversity / religious pluralism) dan psychology keluarga (dan anak).

Kekonsistenan Mbak Alissa merebut perhatian saya malam itu. Maksudnya, saya yakin Mbak Alissa dapat banyak sekali tawaran untuk kerjain project A,B,Z – atau ikut di ajang politik sebagai pejabat A,B,Z. Pertanyaan saya di malam itu salah satunya: dari sekian banyak kesempatan itu, bagaimana Mbak Alissa memilih A dan B kemudian menolak C dan D? Apa yang menjadi parameter atau indikator sebuah kesempatan layak kita ‘jajal’ atau kita hindari?

Mbak Alissa bercerita bagaimana beliau tiap tahun membuat peta diri (self map), persis yang selama ini saya sudah coba lakukan juga. Beliau menunjukkan beberapa peta diri yang dibuat tahun lalu, untuk kemudian dapat memetakan peran dan prioritas untuk tahun berjalan. Prioritas tahun berjalan ini selalu harus harmoni dengan tujuan jangka panjang serta tujuan besar dalam perjalanan hidup. Penentuan tujuan-tujuan ini harus menjadi sebuah pola, agar kita secara sadar dapat mengelola diri untuk melangkah pada titik-titik yang penting dan perlu.

Selanjutnya, Mbak Alissa menerangkan bagaimana observasi beliau pada 2 tipe orang yang berbeda: principal based dan power based. Orang-orang yang menganut ‘principal based’, maka apapun yang dia kerjakan (termasuk menerima tawaran / kesempatan) akan menjadi kepuasan aktualisasi diri karena sesuai dengan prinsip-prinsip hidupnya, dalam hal ini sejalan dengan prinsip universal: kebaikan dan harmoni. Sebaliknya, mereka yang dalam jalur ‘power based’ akan melakukan apa saja (termasuk menerima atau mengusahakan tawaran / kesempatan) supaya dia menjadi ‘center of power’ dalam system di mana dia berada. Orang-orang dengan jalur ‘power based’ ini banyak sekali kita lihat dalam pemberitaan, self-centric dan mencari keuntungan sebesar-besarnya untuk diri sendiri tanpa mengindahkan hukum.

Aku pamit pulang saat jam menunjukkan hampir pukul 10 malam. Menjadi perenunganku secara pribadi ketika perjalanan pulang dari rumah Mbak Alissa: seberapa jauh aku sudah mengenal diriku, mengelola prioritas dan mengatur waktu, membangun prinsip-prinsip hidup yang memberi dampak positif untuk orang di sekitarku, serta selalu berusaha memberikan nilai tambah untuk system di mana aku berada. Obrolan ini cukup mengingatkanku untuk kembali menilik pola; baik pola pikir dan pola hidup. Pola yang baik akan menghasilkan kepribadian dan karakter yang baik, sehingga kita mampu menjadi manusia bermanfaat, bukan malah menjadi batu sandungan.

Have a nice weekend!

@yosea_kurnianto