LAST YEAR, TODAY: STARTING TO COLLECT MY #CHEVENINGMEMORIES

Last year, today, June 8th – I received an email from the Chevening Secretariat to confirm that I was selected to receive the Chevening Awards scholarship from the UK Government. The scholarship gave me a year of experiences to pursue my career interest in HR Management and People Development areas through a master study at the Manchester Business School majoring HR Management.

I arrived to Manchester in September 2017 and started #MyCheveningJourney. This Wednesday (June 6th), I just did the last exam of the term, which means that my study is almost finished with 1 thing left: master dissertation, that I will submit at the first week of September 2018 at the latest. I will attend the Manchester Business School Postgraduate Summer Ball this evening to mark the end of the master program as well as Chevening Farewell in London, Alexandra Palace. Time flies!

During #MyCheveningJourney, I am lucky enough to get a chance to be 1 of 10 Chevening Social Media Ambassadors and a Student Ambassador for HR Management course at the Manchester Business School. Those roles brought me opportunities to make the most of my time along the year. Through this blog post, I would try to start collecting some #CheveningMemories from September 2017 until this June 2018:

September 2017: I arrived to Manchester at September 13th. I rent a flat near the university with other 2 Chevening scholars from Indonesia. The orientation week from the program director of the Manchester Business School started at the week of September 18th. I had 5 days to set up everything I needed, such as student administration, bank account, water and electricity bill for the flat, etc. The study started at the week of September 25th. It’s a good experience to ‘start a new life’ in a new place and a new culture. I think I don’t have any significant problem in adapting myself, apart of few days of jetlag and be always ready with daily rain in Manchester (as some friends said: Rainchester).

October 2017: My first visit to London for attending a welcome reception from the Chevening Secretariat and the UK Government. It was a magnificent atmosphere to be with other scholarship recipients from around the world. In arrival to London, the very first place I visited was 221B Baker Street where the Sherlock Holmes, one of my favorite characters, ‘lived’. I also visited several places that previously I only could see at some pictures, read at some articles, or watch at some videos.

Chevening Orientation, London (October, 2017)

November 2017: I teamed up with 2 of my classmates to represent Manchester Business School in joining a debate competition held by the Industrial Society in Manchester. One of my professor convinced me to join the team, although I had almost zero experience in a debate competition, but quite used to involve in negotiation or convincing people (clients) through my previous career. I pushed myself to learn the techniques as well as understanding the UK context to be able to build relevant arguments related to the topic. Surprisingly our tem became the winner and received the first price. It was truly an honor as the year before, the team of Manchester Business School couldn’t make it to win.

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Manchester Business School Debate Team (November, 2018)

December 2017: I remember how busy it was as I had to do the first term exams as well as to do my role as the spotlight of Chevening Social Media Ambassador (each ambassador got 1-month spotlight where he/she needs to share in social media quite extensively). However, the month was so magical as in the Christmas break, started at the 3rd week of December, I possibly experienced the most memorable Christmas in my life so far. I travelled to London to meet some friends and to experience some ‘Christmas moments’ there: ice skating at the Natural History Museum, visited Winter Harry Potter’s studio, and enjoyed an evening at the Hyde Park. Few days after visiting London, I travelled to Northern Ireland to visit some Game of Thrones filming areas, continued to Glasgow, Stirling, Inverness, and ended with a white Christmas in Edinburgh. Some Indonesians also gathered at the university of Edinburgh to have a Christmas dinner.

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A Christmas Dinner with Indonesian Cheveners at Univ. of Edinburgh (December, 2017)

January 2018: A new year, new possibilities. Aside of academic studies and travelling around the UK, I also intended to expand my professional networks. Thus, I started to be more ambitious in connecting myself to HR professionals in Manchester and the UK. I attended several HR related events, one of them, to me, the most different kind of professional event, was ‘Connecting HR Manchester’ initiated by Coach Ian Pettigrew and some others. The event basically aimed to invite HR professionals in a pub, to connect, and to talk about anything with no theme or topic of discussion set up by the committee. However, I found it really fun and interesting as although I am a student, I felt welcomed by those professionals and they gave me various insights related to HR and People Development issues based on their expertise.

February 2018: I won another competition. This was a case-study based competition held by Manchester Business School within its annual HR Conference. My team and I received a case related to a grievance mechanism in Chinese manufactures. We presented some proposed solutions based on several perspectives and theories related to HRM and Industrial Relations issues. I was fortunate enough to have teammates who worked hard to find the best proposed solutions and able to work together, although we had different backgrounds and believes related to the issues.

March 2018: My first visit to the UK’s Foregin and Commonwealth Office in London to attend Partners Reception, an event held by the UK government to thank and to appreciate institutions and organization partners for the Chevening Scholarship. I met several representatives from global companies, from banking to oil and gas industries. I was then realized that not all companies who came were already partners, but still considering to be partner. That’s why they came to meet several scholars to understand their experiences. Hopefully they make a commitment to support the program soon!

Chevening Partnership Reception, FCO – London (March, 2018)

April 2018: If in December 2017 I travelled to the north, I travelled to the south in this month. I joined some other Cheveners to explore the Cornwall area in south-east of England. We visited Eden Project and the city of Falmouth, hosted by the University of Exeter, Penryn Campus. Before coming back to Manchester, I stopped by in the middle of the journey to visit the city of Bath and the infamous Stonehenge. I saw a photo of Stonehenge in my childhood and put it on a list to visit during my year in the UK.

May 2018: Several moments of ‘ending’ on this Month: ending the week of classroom studies, ending my participation at the Manchester Industrial Relations Society (MIRS), and ending my attendance to the Work and Equality Institute (WEI). I joined MIRS and WEI in the beginning of the academic year (around October) in attempt to learn beyond classroom and to connect with professionals and experts related to HRM and Industrial Relations. Although I usually the ‘only student’, I always enjoyed the sessions as they never failed to give me more understanding and insights related to the issues.

Manchester Industrial Relations Society & Work and Equality Institution Reception (May, 2018)

June 2018: Well, in the first week of June I received an email invitation for the Chevening Farewell in London next month (July 4th) and an instruction to book my flight ticket back to Indonesia. As I mentioned before, I also did the last exam in early June, which means that the term is ended. Marking the end of the master study, I will attend the Manchester Business School Postgraduate Summer Ball later this evening (June 9th). I will update this post with several photos from the event.

End of exam party with classmates (June, 2018)

Beyond those highlights, I indeed travelled to several other cities and regions in the UK, visited some iconic places, tried several iconic foods and beverages, and importantly, made significant numbers of friends and professional networks during the year. #MyCheveningJourney in the UK might soon to end, which also means that I will have several new beginnings with lots of opportunities and challenges ahead. These #CheveningMemories changed my life, and I hope I can amplify the positive impacts I gained this year to the people around me on the next journeys.

What are your #CheveningMemories? This a short video of mine:

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@yosea_kurnianto

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(A Short Note) In Choosing Jobs (If You Could): Thanks, but It’s Not ‘My Game’

I sent an email to express my gratitude and to apologize as I would not be attending to an invitation from a giant consulting firm for a recruitment process in London (for a placement in South East Asia) earlier this month. Indeed, I felt grateful because they recognized my profile and considered that I would somehow ‘fit’ with the job and their organization. However, after thinking about it for few moments, I realized something and decided to send that email. In short, I thought that the business and the remuneration package if I joined them would be amazing, but it’s not the kind of ‘game’ I would like to ‘play’ for my next career journey.

Remember when we’re children (and in fact we still have some ‘childish’ behaviors), we might try many things and play everything. Yet in one moment, we would have some preferences of ‘games’ that we wanted to play and then ‘stayed’ on that. The ‘game’ we preferred to play might have several characteristics that the others don’t have. It could be as simple as the display (color, weight, etc.), to the difficulties (simplicity or complexity), or even the sources (who gave the toy / who provide the game), etc. Nevertheless, there are also moments that you might change your preferences, which is also fine. The point is, that consciously or unconsciously, you’ll have preferences and factors in determining what kind of ‘game’ you would like to play.

It’s similar with career and jobs. You might have different jobs in the same career track. You might also have different career tracks with various jobs within them. No matter what job it is, the question to be discussed here is: ‘Do you really enjoy this ‘game’? How mindful was I when choosing the jobs (if I were able to choose)?

Jobs, like games, have ‘rules’ that you need to ‘follow’. Some of the rules will require yourselves to sacrifice parts of your life; this then usually called as the ‘trade-off’ process. How much you would follow and deal with those rule of the games will determine your next step in your jobs and career journey.

I decided not to join the ‘games’ invited by that giant consulting firms because of several reasons, which I finally considered that it’s not ‘my game’. I would not share the reasons here anyway, but you could send me a private message if you want to know more about how I considered whether this is ‘my game or not’.

Again, to end this short note, it is really important that we keep ourselves as conscious as possible and as mindful as we can when making any decision whether to join ‘a game’ or not. Things might change, our preferences might also differ time by time, but we can focus on this moment by understanding what kind of rules we want to follow or how possible we can change the rules and create our own? By understanding that, we will be able to choose wisely to join the ‘best game’ (job or career) we want to ‘play’ or to say ‘Thanks, but it’s not my game’.

@yosea_kurnianto

The Partnership for You: an Investment or a Cost?

I attended the Chevening Partnership Reception on last Wednesday, March 21st 2018 at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). A diverse networks of corporate and university partners gathered to receive such appreciations from the FCO for their contributions to the Chevening Scholarship Programme. A number of Chevening Scholars (from the Partnerships) and alumni were also attended to this event. The reception was started at 6pm and finished at around 8pm. The Minister of State for Asia and The Pacific at the FCO, Mr Rt Hon Mark Field MP, delivered a speech to thank the organisation partners. Also giving speeches, Ananda Lakshmikumani, a Chevening HSBC Scholar, and an alumni representative.

It’s truly an honor for me to join the good crowd there, as in my Chevening ID card, I don’t have any specific support from a partner organisation, in regard to this context. I was invited as the part of the Chevening Social Media Ambassador for this year. So, yeah, I arrived in London at around 4pm by train from Manchester. Got a chance to have a coffee in LSE with a friend of mine, and headed to FCO to join the reception. During the reception, I met and talked with several organisation partners such as a global media company and a global oil and gas company.

Chevening Partnerships Reception (Photo: Personal Collection)

It is interesting that not all organisation representatives who came to the event were already became partners. The global media company has been a partner since years. However, this global oil and gas company, for instance, told me that they’re willing to be part of the networks and currently exploring the best way to partner with the Chevening Scholarships. As this company representative is part of the Government Affairs department, she told me that after the event, she would need to discuss several aspects with their HR team as well as the PR/Marketing team to follow this up. Well, I hope their discussion will be fruitful and soon become one of the Chevening partner 🙂

Anyway, I was then recalled my short experience in helping my previous employer to reshape its partnership strategy. Well true that partnership does need strategy; or in other words as partnership strategic plan. Partnership, however, will need such amount of resources, or frankly, money. This money spent for establishing partnership could be a good investment or ended as a cost (liability). As a company, we might really think how to make this money for making a beneficial partnership. The benefits could be in several forms: employer branding (corporate reputation), attracting high quality talents, market positioning, business development, strategic networking, etc. Therefore, it’s important to align the partnership strategic plan with the business goals (short term & long term) as well as organization philosophy and values, etc.

In the other hand, I was also reflected to myself, as how can I be a responsible partner. It’s important to note that in this context, the partnership is not only between the FCO and the organisation partners; but also with the scholars. I believe that the selection process, which resulted to select this year’s scholars, intend to ‘produce’ such a fruitful investment; not to spend a cost (or liability).

So, I came back to Manchester right after the Reception finished by a train from Euston at 9pm. During the journey back, I used the time to contemplate about how far I have tried to ‘produce my best’ from that ‘good investment’. Not only from this Chevening Partnerships, but also ‘investments’ from anyone that I met and spent time (or money) with. Well, indeed sometimes cost is needed and inevitable; yet it’s always good to bear in mind that we live so far by any kind of ‘investments’ from others. Thus, it’s important to always try our best in proving that what they give to us is a ‘good investment’ not a cost (liability).

You can see my short video about this event here:

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To know more about Chevening Partnership, click here: http://www.chevening.org/partners

@yosea_kurnianto

Commentary: Lecturers’ Right to Strike and Students’ Compensation Demand

Today is marking the first day of lecturers’ strike action in several universities in the UK, including mine. I received some emails from my lecturer earlier this week to confirm their participation on the strike action upon their grievance related to their changing pension scheme. You can see the updates of today’s rally and picket lines HERE.

I was informed from one of my lecturer’s email on this matter. Here is his explanation:

USS (ed: read more about USS HERE) is a pension fund set up to provide a decent retirement for staff. Now our pensions are under attack.  Employers want to end guaranteed pension benefits so our final pensions would depend on how the stock market perform. That means huge uncertainty and a reduced retirement income for all. A typical lecturer will lose £10,000 a year in retirement. Our union has repeatedly tried to negotiate with employers to no avail. So now we have no choice but to strike. 88% of UCU (ed: read more about UCU HERE) members voting supported for this strike in a legal ballot.”

I was personally surprised to see how strong is this action as it involved 88% of the union members. As far as I know, the renewed Trade Union Act (2016) which seems to ‘weaken’ the power of union by setting a 50% threshold and 40% support from its members for a strike to be happened. I also observed some online discussion and found a comment in a financial times article (read HERE):

“Last year in our department, a grand total of 1 person out of 25 in the union (and 37 in the department) heeded the call to strike. This year 23 are intending to. Not only is that more than half the department, but it is also the half that are more teaching focused. On one module I am currently teaching for example, the entire second half of the module is going to be missing.”

I personally fully respect this action as it is indeed a fundamental right, as long as lawful and align with the industrial relations guideline. However, if there is nothing happened (negotiation or etc.), the strike will continue in these days: Feb 22nd, 23rd, 26th, 27th, and 28th also March 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 12th, 13th , 14th, 15th,  and 16th (total of 14 days in 4 weeks).

Nevertheless, not all lecturers and staffs are in favor of this strike action. It seems that not all lecturers in the UK is eligible for the USS pension scheme. A lecturer from the University of Sussex, for instance, shared my Facebook post related to this issue with comments:

Whilst I feel guilty walking past the picket line this morning, I will not be eligible to draw any pension for at least another thirty years. Meanwhile academia seems pretty determined to deny me a permanent job, and I have kids to feed. I also don’t want to let my students down, and have sent emails confirming that my seminars will be running as normal. I don’t know whether they will be pleased or will chant “Scab!” at me when I walk in.”

1 out of 4 courses’ lecturer of mine in this semester declared that he would not join this strike action. This lecturer once said that he’s respecting the action, but didn’t want our classes to be missed as he thought that his job is to ‘serve’ the students.

Illustration: Classroom (personal collection)

On this stance, I basically try to respect both lecturers who join strikes and who keep ‘doing his job’ whatever the reasons are. Yet, I thought I would only experience 3 days’ strike action by my lecturers in last semester (previously was about redundancy). Yet, now is even longer (and I might say, worse) than before. Although am studying with a scholarship, I could imagine how it feels to pay a lot for an education in the UK (esp. for international students) and lost 3 weeks of classes and opportunities to have a proper interaction with the dissertation supervisor. In my degree, for example, UK and EU students pay 9000 pounds while the international students pay 18000 pounds for a year master degree. This my vary, based on the courses and universities. No wonder that compensation call is amplified by lots of students (read more HERE)

In my university, an online petition for students’ compensation via change.org was circulated and gained more than 5,8K signs (and counting) from the students (see HERE). The online petition was firstly created by a student named Melis Royer, which later she sent a message to thank the supporters with a statement, “You wouldn’t pay for a meal you didn’t eat so why should students pay for 3 weeks of teaching we didn’t receive?”. It is worth noting that this students’ demand was not a form of not supporting / respecting the strike action, but more on a sense of balance transaction in economic process: you pay what you get.

I am personally not sure if the universities would be willing to give the compensation (refund) to the students for losing some classes, as ‘business might be in trouble’ if they spent lots of money to refund the students. Although, the university is not paying the lecturers’ whilst striking. Thus, if the university is not paying the lecturers but also not refunding the students’ fee, I don’t think it’s fair enough.

The universities are in pressures from both the lecturers and the students. I have no idea what might be the decision of the universities: the students’ demand/pressure might be used by the universities to ‘blame’ the lecturers, but can also be used by the lecturers to strengthen their position (to press the universities for making a ‘desirable’ decision so they get back to work’. The basic ideas of strike, which are to create a disruption in the system and to raise ‘public’ awareness seems achieved so far. Yet, I wonder if this action would also drive to ‘desirable’ decision and situation for both parties; and wonder what would happen next if the ‘desirable’ decision was not made by the universities.

@yosea_kurnianto

‘Good’ Questions, ‘-Bad- [The Other Type]’ Questions

I just received some results of my first term exams. I personally have more confidence in doing case study / discussing an issue and making / delivering presentation in front of examiners; rather than writing an academic essay. Thus, I know how to set my expectations when I submitted my papers and received the results. Anyway, I started to contemplate as I don’t think the important part is how much the score that I received; but how much I learnt from the processes (to be applied in ‘real/professional life’).

As much as 3 out of 4 courses’ exams in the first term involved academic writing (essay). The other 1 was actually quite the same, but the students needed to sit in the exam room to answer few questions in only 2 hours. The lecturers gave us several questions related to the courses’ contents and the students were allowed to choose 1 question to be explained in maximum of 3000 words. Here comes the considerations and dilemmas of choosing the question. Some people might choose the question that they think the ‘easiest’ one (or that they ‘master’ in) so they could expect high score, and some other might choose some questions that would help to learn more things related to the issue but with an uncertainty of score.

If it’s a competition, and I really wanted to win, I might not need any further discussion since I would definitely choose the easiest one (or that I ‘master’ in). However, in this context, I might be too skeptical with an assumption that those who achieved the highest score in class were not necessarily have the guarantee of smooth career progressions in the professional journey. Although, receiving highest score (or at least a good one) is kind of pride as a student, as a form of responsibility to be shown to our sponsors (might be our parents, scholarship organization, and even ourselves), and also a good start to show to the employer that we ‘have something’. So, before I continue, I need to say that achieving a high score (or at least a good one) is really important, but to me, is not the most important one.

Learning, to my believe, should not (only) be measured by the exam score. The exam score itself is somehow needed as learning is being institutionalized. By saying institutionalized, an ‘economic’ process of learning happened in which then results need to be measured (and shown by score / grade / rank). However, beyond institutionalization, the process of learning within an individual shall not be limited with score or other written/tangible results. An individual will experience the process of learning, re-learning, and unlearning within their minds during the processes. Thus, it is important to be aware that as students, our role is not only to learn as part of the institution, but also as an individual (with goals, dreams, desires, etc.).

Going to ‘School’

Back to the topic of exam questions above, when I received the questions from the lecturers, I was fully aware on how much my skills and capacity in academic writing, yet I also wanted to learn more from the question that I would spend my time to discuss about.

I avoided to choose the questions that previously I had worked on (from studies or works), and tried to explore more the questions that I have never worked on and/or would be important for my future career aspirations. Nevertheless, in making the final decision, I reconsidered my choice of question with my capability of academic writing, so still could balance my role as a part of institutionalized learning and as an individual. In results, I am currently not having any kind of disappointment with my score (although not the highest) and also with my learning experiences.

To close this, I believe that the questions from the lecturers were all good. Yet, it indeed depends on our perspectives, needs, and contexts/situations. Some of us, in a situation and a need, would prefer to choose the ‘easiest’ question (or that we ‘master’ in) to achieve high score, although we might not learn much things from the exam process. Some others, in this case, including me, might prefer to explore the ‘challenging questions’ in order to ‘maximize’ the learning opportunity.

@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

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