Gradschool Life #2 : Economic Developer in Tourism (In the Making)

Day 38 in Boston. Still survive biking to campus lately even though weather gets colder and naturally it makes me cook any Indonesian fried warm food lately. From Nasi Goreng, bakwan, Tumis sayur2, opor ayam, tahu bacem, and other! Especially because I have a special visit from Bethany, best friend from Canada World Youth program from Sept 25th – Oct 1st.




1 month here is the adjusting phase and now I’m starting to be friend with the city. When Bethany come here, it make me visit many places for the 1st time in Boston and make me realize that I did not really go anywhere except campus, apartment, and friend’s house. Its the 1st time for me visiting Boston Public Garden, Museum of Arts & Science, Seafood dinner near the harbor in downtown, Getting around the downtown and come inside the shopping centre and mall, Boston Common, Groceries shopping at Trader’s Joe, Charles River Esplanade, finally did my 1st RUN in Boston and Howl at The Moon the Duelling Piano Bar. We also willing to watch any sports game and orchestra actually but we did not find any performance happening during that week.




Tonight, before I wrote this, I have an interesting class with Prof. Billington who is also a President of Blackstone Valley in Rhode Island (which the class will have the field trip there on Oct 17) which relevant with what I just wrote above.

He come up with this slide and telling us that most of the local / people who live in one city never visit the tourism destination itself. For example if you are in Beijing, you maybe never visit Great Wall – thats possible. If you are in New York, you maybe never visit Statue of Liberty. The same thing if I am now in Boston, I maybe never visit Freedom Trail. Or If I am in Indonesia and I never visit Bali for example.


Why this is happening? This can happen because of 2 things based on his slide above :

1. People want to travel and see things that not the same with what you experience everyday. People dont want to see the homogenity. We want to see different thing. That is why if we have time and money, we will choose to go outside the places we live. Outside the state, outside the country.

2. People decided to postpone to see places in their own town / country because they always think that we live here, we can do it anytime. And we might ended up never do it until we die :)

My Professor ask this around the classes and started to point out some Chinese students in classes, ask if they visit Great Wall / some touristic places. I ask him, “Is it something that right or wrong to not visiting the place?” He then answer firmly while look at me, “It is wrong, Dini.”

Then he continue to speak to the whole class;

As a local, we might always think that why we have to visit places in our own city, state, country. It should be traveler who visit those places. It is a very wrong perception. We should start it internally. We should visit our own places, getting to know it better, then we can tell the story about it and promote it, develop it. It is your role as economic developer to start thinking about what you can do to improve the situation better. It is your generation who have the responsibility to lead and make the greater impact.

He walk come to the Madrid girl in the class; I maybe can come to Spain and tell you what you can do better in Spain BUT do I have a bigger willingness to create Spain to be the best country rather than you as Spanish?

It is you who will know better about your places and develop it the way you want to see it become the best.

This discussion make me reflect on how many Indonesians that choose to spend the money to travel aboard but never really see our beautiful country itself. It is wrong. Now I understand why it is wrong.


There is an organization in the tourism world called “Destination Management Organization” / DMO which the responsibility is to posses extensive local knowledge, expertise and resources, specializing in the design and implementation of events, activities, tours, transportation and program logistics.

DMO also create policy, regulation, create and articulate destination, as well as promoting it. DMO can come from Government, Non Profit, NGO. In the US, one of the example of DMO is which funded under US Secretary of Commerce which point out by President Obama. This is funny because this is USA’s 1st travel promotion ever and they just have this in 2010. You can check the US travel video promotion also here : which they package US as “Land of Dreams”.

I ask silly question to my Professor at that class, “Why US just have it in 2010?” And he answer while smiling, “Because its the USA.” He paused. “We always think that people will know and come to the US anyway and we dont need to promote it.”

So today’s class at some point make every students curious about DMO and it drag us to long discussion about it. Until in the point that I am thinking is there any DMO in Indonesia? As far as I know we have the Ministry of Tourism with the “Visit Indonesia”. While Prof. Billington mention that usually DMO exist in a country with no Ministry of Tourism.

In the end of the class, I come to him and asking what he think the DMO in Indonesia look like? I never know DMO terms before I join his class. Then he answer,

“Well, then maybe it can be your paper research, Dini. You can see what kind of DMO that Indonesia should have. Will you need a super DMO (on top of every sub DMO), do you need DMO focus on specific island? Mountain? Tribes?”

Then I interupt,

“Well we have Ministry of Tourism and you said that usually country do not have DMO if we have that division in Government.” And he respond :

“Is that division, do you think, work?”

“I dont think they work very well.” I answer and then he said,

“Then thats why you might propose any DMO that need to have by your country. I define the Rhode Island with my DMO that I create by geography boundary and I use the water shade. I define the destination in the first time in 1996 before it become like Blackstone Valley nowadays. It takes yearsssss working together with government, NGO, private, local community, and other to make the DMO works. Its hard, its definitely not an easy job BUT my generation already start it. Your generation is going to continue what we have done and make it better.”


What Prof. Billington said really open my perspective on how we should definitely always ask the status quo by create and innovate things. In developing economic development and tourism, we cannot just think as a mainstream status quo of getting a lot of profit, taxes, revenue for a country from tourism as it is one of the world’s largest industry. But our job here as a economic developer in tourism need to think about the sustainability of tourism industry, the job that we will create for locals, the impact that we will bring to the environment and culture, and many other consideration.

He said that tourism is like a system because there is nothing bigger business in the world then tourism development. It is our responsibility to understand it from the root, keep the system authentic, real, and make it grow.

Thank you Prof. Billington for every words that always waking us up on Monday, to open our eyes wider to see the bigger perspective of developing the economic through sustainable tourism. To learn being the real economic developer in our country after we graduate; from every single discussion, exploration, question, critique, and debate we had in class :)


Gradschool Life : Beyond The Classes

Its been almost 1 month since my first day I touch down Boston. Its been 3 weeks of classes started at my grad school in Boston University (BU). I took a major in MSc Economic Development and Tourism Management under Metropolitan College in BU.

For those who curious, what actually I am studying? Its a mix of putting the business & innovation side, developing the economic of the nation through sustainable tourism. Its been very interesting courses that I join this fall semester. Classes that I take are :

1. Economic Development & Tourism Management with Prof. Robert Billington

2. Cultural Tourism with Prof. Sam Mendingler

3. Project Management with Prof. Gerrard Keegan

4. Innovation Process : Developing New Product and Services with Prof. Barry Ungar

5. Math for Management – only 4 class meeting and required to take in the beginning of semester

Today, I cannot wait to not writing this experience to my blog. I just wanna share how different the classes in Indonesia and in the US. I have some discussion with other Indonesian studying in the US and they are all agree that our system did not really make us learn how to speak up, deliver our idea clearly and brave enough to stand out or being different.

Compare to the classes here, as an Indonesian, I find it difficult at the early week to brave myself to speak up in the class. Everyone here speak up their mind! Be it a questions, comments, challenge to Professor, critique, suggestions, answers, opinion, and other! They are all looks like very easy to say what they think in the class. Even though not all of them, but mostly they are. It is part of their habit and culture that I guess they already have it since in the kindergarden. There is no stupid question here. Everyone who did not speak, the Professor will assume that you might not understand, you might not interested, or the worst, you not even exist in the class.

Indeed participation in class range around 25% out of total score of the course for most of the class. Participation means not only attend the class but it also means that you need to be active in class by speak up your mind, not being a passive student who only sit and listen to your lecture.

I believe, this is going to be so hard for most of people/student who are not used to speak up in the public. You will need to push yourself so hard to brave enough speak up your idea.

This lead to preparation that you need to have before attend the classes. If you want to get recognize by your lecture as being active and participate in class discussion, you have to really understand whats the discussion about. That way will build confidence among us to speak up because we are not afraid that we comment / answer / challenge / suggest the completely wrong things.

Indeed classes here are designed to make students always have something to prepare before the classes. At BU, we have Blackboard system in internal campus website when you can access all the infomation about the classes, syllabus, schedule, announcement, your score, slides of the Professor’s presentation, read and submit assignments, download the readings you need to prepare, etc.

With that, there is no reason you are not getting any informatiom about the classes because its all there! The Professor will post anything there. They already post all material from Day 1 – End of class and will update in the entire time. In my course, there are a lot of readings, cases, articles, presentations or even video that usually we need to read / watch before the classes. If you want to actively participate in the class then its a mandatory to read / watch all of these because thats like your source of information and a weapon for your class discussion. To grade the student, some classes also did not depend on exam. Between 4 of my courses, 2 courses will not have exam. As a replacement, they grade us with our research paper that we have to write and present.

Tonight, I have a very interesting yet I can say the hardest class this semester  : Innovation Class with Prof. Barry Unger. In this class, we discuss about innovation that happening nowadays and the disruptive technology that going on such as Uber, Airbnb, Spotify, Dropbox, Color Kinetics, etc. We have to read a lot of business cases from Harvard, Stanford, etc. We also have papers analyzing the cases, 2 team presentation on disruptive technology products, and lots of mind-blowing discussion in the 3 hours class.

I find this course very interesting because first, personally I have a huge interest in entrepreneurship and innovation. The second thing is that the Professor is very smart, he graduate from Harvard and MIT back then and he experienced involving in any start up, investing on it, and be the board member too. He pretty much know a lot about the disruptive innovation products / services around the world and can spend hours to talk about it.

It started in the 1st class last 3 weeks, me and the other 2 classmates, a Chinese and Taiwanese, stay after classes and just open the talk with him and he cannot stop talking, very curious about the market in Asia, questioning everything, and we ended up talk until 10pm. The class itself run from 6-9pm. That night, 4 of us discuss about Xiamoi, Chinese way of creating product, rising start up in Asia, Couchsurfing (CS) which surprise me that he knew and happen to work together with the Founder of CS since he is in the college at Harvard, etc.

The 2nd class, last 2 weeks ago, I actually just started to ask him about the group assignment on business cases where my group lucky to get Airbnb case from Stanford Business School. Then it ended up I stay with 2 other classmates, an Indian and a Switzerland talk about many interesting things from shopping mall in the US that will facing their end with all the e-commerce going around, until the economic growth of Switzerland, India, and Indonesia. That night we spend until 11pm.

The 3rd class, I have to finish something in the night that made me skip the after-class mindblowing chat. Varun and Marc who join the discussion said they were staying until around 11pm again! This Professor is really, have so much to share!

Tonight, in the class we discuss about the failure of HP smallest drive named Kittyhawk, Color Kinetics (now: Philips) disruptive technology, the concept of “Crossing the Chasm” in the cycle of business, and many other thing from 6-9pm. After the class, I ask him if I could come up with the group project presentation under the topic of “3D Printing” or “” and he started that interesting chat again where he brought me to see newly startup named, the new competitor that aim to beat Amazon by lowering the price of the stuff. Then our conversation grew up from there, we talk about wholefoods stop selling rabbit in the store, different culture and character of west and east coast in terms of startup culture and investor mindset. He also share his experience investing in any startup that attract him including Color Kinetics at the beginning of their invention in 1997!

The discussion then become more fun as we talk about food, find out that he love Indonesian food and even save the address of some good Indonesian (now already closed) and Asian restaurant in Boston. I share about GO-JEK and how its really trending now in Indonesia as kind of the Indonesian-Uber. He also give me some insight on my idea of startup and how important to keep the cost low for customer if we want to win today’s market. He also willing to connect me and some students in class who interested in startup with Boston University Buzz Innovation Lab where we can get mentor, resources, etc. We chat until around 10.45pm tonight.

This is what I called beyond the classes. To me, its important to build network above everything. Its important to practice what you learn in class rather than getting an A+ score but never use your knowledge. That is why when I found this kind of Professor who willing to help you unleash your potential, I will not waste the chance. Plus, I always enjoy the discussion because its always give me new insight after we warp up.

Between 4 courses that I take (I did not count the Math for Management), the other 2 Professors on top of Prof. Unger are my favorite too! They both also will not have final exam and instead, we have to write some research paper and present it. I will write about them in the upcoming post! :)



Sleepless night of reading cases, article, write paper assignment, and prepare presentation. Welcome to gradschool life :)


Boston Socrates Cafe #1 | Charles River | “Mindful Living”

Andrea, a grad student in Boston University with the same scholarship (+the same batch!) too, hosted me for my 1st week in Boston before I can move to my apartment. It turns out that we have sleepless nights in the end of August. We just found out 1 commonality between us : we love to talk about philosophical things in life that maybe not many people care to even talk / think about it. Our discussion can go very far from religion to gender. From human commonsense to government. Questions such as, “Why people want to die in Indonesia even though they spend most of their time the US” to “What is people value in their life”. We do not talk about right or wrong. We just want to play with our mind and how far we can go.

We enjoy our talks and we both agree that it really open our mind and to have such a mind-blowing conversation will always keep our brain curious and not easily being judgmental to people.

So we decided to formalize the session and having it regularly during our grad school life here in Boston. We pick our 1st talk last week under the topic of “Transformation in the Mid 20s” and we pick Charles River sunset just across our campus as the 1st place! We ride our bike and find this really beautiful and peaceful spot that you can even dip in your feet into the water!


27 Club

We started to talk about how people are usually facing life crisis in their mid 20s and we both are now in that age. I learnt the term “27 Club” which is a term that use for many of young talented people die at the age of 27 mostly because of suicide, drug, sick, etc. Including Kurt Cobain. Is this just coincidence? or they did it intentionally because they are facing those life crisis and thinking to continue the “27 Club” tradition. Well, we never know. One thing that we both agree is that its definitely difficult and challenging to pass the age of 25 – 30. If you give up, you might ended up did not live your life to the fullest and forgot what have you’ve done during these times.

Mindful Living

Turns out, we think that people the mid 20s definitely have to live in the present. We mean really living the moment. Most of us, we live, breath everyday, doing things we do regularly, BUT only few of us can really feel what we are doing. You might be physically there hanging out with your friends in a cafe but your mind is not there.You might think about your job tomorrow, your problem at home, etc.

We also discuss that people in Indonesia mostly get distracted by phone when we talk each other. We are not focusing with the people that we meet at that present time. We are busy replying to some whatssapp group, line group, uploading photo on path, instagram, scrolling facebook timeline, etc. Isn’t that sad? When you meet people, it is a precious time. You  should appreciate people that spend their time choose to meet you among other choices. That is where living in the present is very important.

If we think further, this applied in our life especially the mid 20s that we talked here. Time will flies so fast until you forget to living the moment in the present. If you want your time valuable, people that you meet will be a long life investment, and your dream comes true, one of the key that we think very important is living the moment, living in the present. In other word, we love to use the term “Mindful Living”. That is mean mindful eating, mindful talking, mindful traveling, and other.

It is extremely hard to applied mindful living with all distraction that people will have in their life. But we both believe that we can try to start focus on today and lets enjoy the day by really living in the moment. We suddenly remember our trip to Chicago last 2 weeks ago that we change the way of traveling from ticking a lot of places to visit become enjoying every single moment we found on our way and do not care about not visiting all the landmark places for example. It is the journey, not the destination. That is what life is all about too. It does not need to be always the destination of your life, but more on how you make the best of the journey to go to the destination :)

We have a temporary name for this talk : Boston Socrates Cafe. 1st, we are having the talk in Boston. 2nd, we want to do more philosophical think and questioning everything like Socrates. 3rd, lets make it just like in the cafe – and our definition of cafe here is everywhere, started from Charles River sunset.

See you in the next thought of our Socrates Cafe!

Moving to Boston

Its been 20 days since I arrived at Logan International airport on 27 August 2015 around 2 pm. My adjustment is going pretty well due to the huge support from current Indonesian Bostonian fellow here! Special thanks for Andrea, a friend of mine from the same scholarship batch who help me a lot with the moving (and everything!) and hosted me 1 week at her place! I couldnt imagine everything will be a lot difficult without their present.

I come to Boston with only 1 way ticket. Will I ever know when I am going back to the other part of the world where I belong to? It could be next year, maybe couple months later, next 2 years, or how if I will only come back after 3 years? When you bought 1 way ticket, you never really know when you will go back.

This remind me of the song played at the Chicago Jazz Festival last 2 weeks called “1 Way Ticket” where the singer bought 1 way ticket to India and never know when she will go back.

But one thing is definite; I will come back for the stronger reason than staying here. “No reason to stay, is a good reason to go” is that right? :)



Tips Meraih Beasiswa LPDP & Serba-serbi LPDP

Halo para pejuang beasiswa!

Saya tahu betul bagaimana rasanya berjuang untuk mendapatkan beasiswa untuk bersekolah diluar negri. Beberapa macam jenis beasiswa saya coba mulai dari Fulbright, USAID Prestasi, Erasmus Mundus. Perjalanan saya meraih beasiswa untuk bersekolah di Amerika Fall 2015 ini dapat dibaca di postingan saya sebelumnya disini.

Hingga akhirnya pada Juli 2014, saya ditetapkan sebagai penerima beasiswa LPDP dan 26 Agustus 2015 ini akan berangkat meraih impian yang sudah dipupuk sejak lama melanjutkan Master Degree ke Amerika, yang akhirnya berjodoh dengan Boston University. Alhamdulillah adik saya pun meraih beasiswa lebih dulu dan berangkat ke Tokyo University pada September 2014. Kami sangat bersyukur, satu keluarga mendapatkan rejeki beasiswa LPDP di tahun yang sama :)

Di  postingan kali ini saya akan berbagi pengalaman saya pribadi tentang bagaimana tahapan yang saya lalui hingga akhirnya lolos beasiswa Magister LPDP. Perlu diketahui bahwa saya melakukan tes pada bulan Juni 2014 sehingga mungkin saja sekarang tahapannya ada yang berubah. Postingan inipun hanya sharing pengalaman yang saya alami sehingga pengalaman teman-teman mungkin saja bisa berbeda dalam seleksi.


Pertama, kenalan dulu yuk sama LPDP!

Semua info mengenai beasiswa LPDP dapat diakses disini. Khusus untuk yang akan mengambil Magister / Doktor, dapat diakses langsung disini. Jadi, apa itu beasiswa LPDP? Berikut informasi yang langsung saya rujuk dari website-nya.

Pemerintah dan DPR RI pada tahun 2010 melalui UU Nomor 2 tahun 2010 tentang APBN-P 2010 menyepakati bahwa sebagian dana dari alokasi dana fungsi pendidikan dalam APBN-P tersebut dijadikan sebagai Dana Pengembangan Pendidikan Nasional (DPPN) yang dikelola dengan mekanisme pengelolaan dana abadi (endowment fund) oleh sebuah Badan Layanan Umum (BLU).

Pada tahun 2011, Menteri Keuangan dan Menteri Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan menyepakati bahwa pengelolaan DPPN dan pemanfaatan hasil pengelolaan dana tersebut akan dilaksanakan oleh Kementerian Keuangan namun pejabat dan pegawainya merupakan gabungan antara pegawai Kementerian Keuangan dan pegawai Kementerian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan.

Menteri Keuangan melalui Peraturan Menteri Keuangan (PMK) Nomor 252/PMK.01/2011 tanggal 28 Desember 2011 menetapkan Organisasi dan Tata Kelola Lembaga Pengelola Dana Pendidikan sebagai sebuah lembaga non eselon yang langsung bertanggung jawab kepada Menteri Keuangan dan berpedoman pada kebijakan-kebijakan yang ditetapkan oleh Dewan Penyantun LPDP (Menteri Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, Menteri Keuangan, dan Mensteri Agama). Melalui Keputusan Menteri Keuangan (KMK) Nomor 18/KMK.05/2012 tanggal 30 Januari 2012, LPDP ditetapkan sebagai instansi pemerintah yang menerapkan pola keuangan Badana Layanan Umum.

Tujuan Fokus & Program LPDP :

Lembaga Pengelola Dana Pendidikan mengarahkan segenap usahanya guna mencetak pemimpin masa depan yang tersebar di berbagai bidang. Pengelolaan dana abadi pendidikan ini bertujuan menjamin keberlangsungan program pendidikan bagi generasi mendatang sebagai pertanggungjawaban antargenerasi. Selain itu, LPDP juga bertujuan mengantisipasi keperluan rehabilitasi pendidikan yang rusak akibat bencana.

LPDP berfokus pada pengembangan kualitas sumber daya manusia di berbagai bidang yang menunjang percepatan pembangunan Indonesia. Beberapa di antara prioritas yang menjadi fokus LPDP antara lain; teknik, sains, pertanian, hukum, ekonomi, keuangan, kedokteran, agama, serta sosial-budaya.


Jenis beasiswa yang diberikan oleh LPDP sendiri adalah :

1. Beasiswa Magister & Doktor (beasiswa yang saya dapatkan)
2. Beasiswa Tesis & Disertasi 
3. Beasiswa Afirmasi
4. Beasiswa Spesialis Kedokteran
5. Presidential Scholarship

Daftar kampus yang bisa kita daftarkan untuk dapat beasiswa LPDP
1. Beasiswa Pendidikan Indonesia / BPI (200 Besar Kampus Dunia, dalam & luar negri)
2. Beasiswa Presidential -> (Beasiswa yang mendanai hanya 50 Besar Kampus Dunia, lebih susah tahapannya dibanding BPI, baru diadakan 1x di tahun 2014 jadi baru ada 1 angkatan per Agustus 2015).

Jika ada pertanyaan khusus diluar yang sudah tertera di website, silakan email ke dan untuk saran serta pengaduan silakan email ke Jika tidak dibalas-balas, langsung aja coba telfon ke (021) 3846474 atau datangi kantornya di : Gedung A.A. Maramis II. Lt. 2 Kementerian Keuangan, Jl. Lap. Banteng Timur No. 1 Jakarta 10710.


Beasiswa yang  saya dapatkan adalah Beasiswa Pendidikan Indonesia Magister / Doktor dan disini saya ingin membahas mengenai bagaimana tips meraih beasiswa tersebut berdasarkan pengalaman pribadi saya.

Apa sih syarat-syarat untuk mendaftar beasiswa Magister LPDP?

1. Persyaratan Umum
a. Warga Negara Indonesia (WNI);
b. Telah menyelesaikan studi program sarjana atau program magister dari:
1. Perguruan Tinggi di dalam negeri yang telah terakreditasi oleh Badan Akreditasi Nasional Perguruan Tinggi (BAN-PT), atau
2. Perguruan Tinggi kedinasan dalam negeri, atau
3. Perguruan Tinggi di luar negeri yang telah terdaftar pada Direktorat Jenderal Pendidikan Tinggi, Kementerian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan Republik Indonesia.
c. Memiliki karakter kepemimpinan, profesionalisme, nasionalisme, patriotisme, integritas, memiliki kepercayaan diri, kegigihan, kemandirian, kematangan dalam mengelola emosi, dan kemampuan beradaptasi;
d. Berpartisipasi dalam kegiatan sosial kemasyarakatan / keilmuan / inovasi / kreasi / budaya;
e. Bersedia menandatangani surat pernyataan yang menyatakan bahwa pelamar:
1. Bersedia kembali ke Indonesia setelah selesai studi;
2. Tidak sedang menerima/akan menerima beasiswa dari sumber lain;
3. Tidak terlibat dalam aktivitas/tindakan yang melanggar hukum, atau mengikuti organisasi yang bertentangan dengan ideologi Pancasila;
4. Tidak pernah/akan terlibat dalam aktivitas/tindakan yang melanggar kode etik Akademik;
5. Selalu mengabdi untuk kepentingan bangsa Indonesia;
6. Selalu setia kepada Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia;
7. Sanggup memenuhi ketentuan beasiswa yang ditetapkan LPDP;
8. Menyampaikan data dan dokumen yang benar, sesuai dokumen asli serta bersedia menerima sanksi hukum yang berlaku apabila dokumen tersebut tidak sah.
f. Telah mendapatkan izin dari atasan bagi yang sedang bekerja;
g. Surat keterangan berbadan sehat dan bebas narkoba (untuk semua pelamar tujuan dalam negeri serta luar negeri) dan untuk tujuan ke luar negeriditambah dengan bebas TBC yang dinyatakan oleh dokter dari Rumah Sakit Pemerintah;
h. Telah mendapatkan rekomendasi dari tokoh masyarakat bagi yang belum/tidak sedang bekerja, atau rekomendasi dari atasan bagi yang sedang bekerja;
i. Memiliki dan memilih bidang keilmuan yang sesuai dengan bidang keilmuan yang menjadi sasaran LPDP;
j. Memilih program studi dan Perguruan Tinggi yang sesuai dengan ketentuan LPDP;
k. Menulis essay (500 sampai 700 kata) dengan tema: “Kontribusiku Bagi Indonesia: kontribusi yang telah, sedang dan akan saya lakukan untuk masyarakat / lembaga / instansi / profesi komunitas saya” dan “Sukses Terbesar dalam Hidupku”;
l. Apabila terdapat pemalsuan data atau dokumen maka pendaftar dinyatakan gugur dan tidak berhak mendaftar lagi di LPDP;
m. Menyerahkan Surat Kelakuan Baik/ Suat Keterangan Catatan Kepolisian (SKCK) yang dibawa pada waktu seleksi wawancara;
2. Persyaratan Khusus
Pelamar beasiswa untuk studi lanjut program Magister dan program Doktoral adalah mereka yang memenuhi ketentuan berikut ini.
a. Untuk pelamar beasiswa program Magister:
1. Usia maksimum pelamar pada 31 Desember di tahun pendaftaran adalah 35 (tiga puluh lima) tahun,
2. Telah menyelesaikan studi pada program sarjana/sarjana terapan dantidak berlaku bagi mereka yang telah menyelesaikan program magister baik dalam maupun luar negeri.
3. Mempunyai Letter of Acceptance (LoA) Unconditional dari Perguruan Tinggi tujuan yang ada dalam daftar LPDP.
4. Jika tidak memiliki LoA Unconditional (a.3), pendaftar wajib memiiki Indeks Prestasi Kumulatif (IPK) minimum 3,00 pada skala 4 dan memiliki dokumen resmi bukti penguasaan bahasa Inggris yang diterbitkan oleh ETS ( atau IELTS ( yang masih berlaku atau bahasa asing lainnya yang ditentukan LPDP:
a. Untuk studi program Magister di dalam negeri, skor minimal: TOEFL ITP® 500/iBT® 61/IELTS™ 6,0/TOEIC® 600.
b. Untuk studi program Magister di luar negeri, skor minimal: TOEFL ITP® 550/TOEFL iBT® 79/ IELTS™ 6,5/TOEIC® 750.
c. Butir a) dan b) dikecualikan bagi mereka yang menyelesaikan pendidikan tinggi yang menggunakan bahasa pengantar akademik bahasa Inggris atau bahasa internasional yang diakui oleh Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa (PBB). Duplikat ijasah digunakan sebagai pengganti persyaratan TOEFL, dengan masa berlaku 2 (dua) tahun sejak ijasah diterbitkan.
d. Untuk studi program Magister di luar negeri pada Perguruan Tinggi yang bahasa pengantar akademiknya non-bahasa Inggris atau bahasa internasional yang diakui oleh Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa (PBB), dapat menyesuaikan dengan persyaratan kemampuan bahasa yang berlaku.
5. Jadwal rencana perkuliahan dimulai paling cepat 6 (enam) bulansetelah penutupan pendaftaran di setiap periode seleksi.
6. Sanggup menyelesaikan studi program magister sesuai masa studi yang berlaku, paling lama 2 (dua) tahun,
7. Memiliki dokumen resmi TPA/GRE/GMAT/LSAT (jika ada),
8. Menulis rencana studi sesuai program studi magister pada perguruan tinggi tujuan.

Apa saja yang ditanggung oleh LPDP jika kamu lolos menjadi Awardee LPDP (Sebutan untuk penerima beasiswa LPDP)?

1. Biaya Pendidikan:
a. Pendaftaran (at cost);
b. SPP, termasuk matrikulasi non-bahasa (at cost);
C. Non-SPP, yang dapat digunakan untuk tunjangan buku, tesis/disertasi, seminar, publikasi, wisuda (paket, per tahun, akumulatif).
2. Biaya Pendukung:
a. Transportasi keberangkatan dan kepulangan studi dari asal domisili ke perguruan tinggi tujuan (satu kali, at cost),
b. Asuransi kesehatan (paket),
c. Visa (at cost),
d. Hidup bulanan/living allowance (paket),
e. Tunjangan keluarga (paket),
f. Kedatangan/settlement allowance (paket),
g. Insentif peringkat perguruan tinggi unggulan yang memenuhi ketentuan LPDP,
h. Keadaan darurat/force majeure yang disetujui oleh LPDP.

Bagaimana pendaftaran dan proses seleksi-nya?

Pendaftaran BPI untuk Program Magister dan Doktoral dibuka sepanjang tahun, dengan proses seleksi yang dilakukan sebanyak 4 (empat) kali.

Pendaftaran BPI dilaksanakan secara online dengan cara mengisi formulir pendaftaran, dan mengunggah semua dokumen kelengkapannya pada laman resmi LPDP di

Tahapan Seleksi BPI adalah sebagai berikut:

1. Pendaftaran
a. Pelamar mengisi formulir pendaftaran secara online pada laman resmi LPDP;
b. Pelamar melengkapi semua dokumen persyaratan serta dokumen pendukung yang relevan, dan mengunggah semua dokumen tersebut pada laman resmi LPDP;
c. Semua dokumen pada poin 1.b diatas wajib dibawa pada tahap seleksi wawancara bila dinyatakan lulus seleksi administrasi.
2. Seleksi Administrasi
Pendaftar yang diproses dalam tahapan ini adalah yang telah melengkapi data pendaftaran dan submit di pendaftaran online di setiap periode seleksinya. Seleksi ini merupakan proses pemeriksaan kelengkapan data dan dokumen pendaftar sesuai persyaratan yang berlaku di LPDP.
3. Seleksi Wawancara, Leaderless Grup Discussion (LGD) dan On the Spot Essay Writing
a. Peserta yang lulus seleksi administrasi pada pendaftaran online berhak mengikuti seleksi wawancara, Leaderless Grup Discussion (LGD), danOn the Spot Essay Writing.
b. Dalam tahapan proses seleksi ini, peserta diwajibkan membawaseluruh data dan dokumen asli yang telah digunakan untuk pendaftaran beasiswa BPI. Apabila tidak menyerahkan data dan dokumen tersebut serta dokumen dan data tersebut tidak sesuai persyaratan yang berlaku di LPDP maka tidak diperkenankan mengikuti Seleksi Wawancara, Leaderless Grup Discussion (LGD) dan On the Spot Essay Writing.
c. Bagi peserta yang tidak lulus Seleksi Wawancara memiliki 1 (satu) kali kesempatan kembali untuk melakukan pendaftaran Beasiswa Pendidikan Indonesia.


Penetapan Penerima Beasiswa
a. Hasil penetapan kelulusan seleksi Wawancara, Leaderless Grup Discussion (LGD) dan On the Spot Essay Writing Beasiswa Pendidikan Indonesia disampaikan kepada pelamar yang lulus melalui akun pendaftaran online pelamar, email atau media elektronik lainnya sesuai waktu telah ditentukan oleh LPDP.
b. Peserta yang dinyatakan lulus menjadi penerima beasiswa akan mengikuti program Persiapan Keberangkatan (PK) sebelum memulai studi di Perguruan Tinggi Tujuan masing-masing. Adapun program ini merupakan karantina khusus berupa penanaman nilai-nilai nasionalisme, kepemimpinan, basic life training, financial literacy, dan sebagainya.
c. Surat penerimaan masuk perguruan tinggi tanpa syarat (LoA Unconditional) didapatkan selambat-lambatnya 1 (satu) tahun setelah dikeluarkan Surat Keputusan Direktur Utama LPDP Tentang Penerima Beasiswa Pendidikan Indonesia. Jika dalam jangka waktu tersebut tidak terpenuhi penerima beasiswa yang telah ditetapkan maka dinyatakan gugur.

Sudah khatam pemahaman umum tentang LPDP? Nah, sekarang bagaimana tips & triknya dari mulai persiapan hingga akhirnya meraih beasiswa LPDP?

Saya percaya tidak ada yang instan kalau mau berhasil di dunia ini kecuali indomie :D. Begitupun mempersiapkan beasiswa LPDP. Harus dipersiapkan matang-matang, penuh dengan strategi, dan doa yang banyak! Jangan lupa sedekah, bro sist! :)

1. Tips Tahap Administrasi

a) Pastikan semua memenuhi syarat
Sebagaimana beasiswa lainnya, LPDP strict pada syarat administrasi. Kalau dibilang minimal IELTS 6.5, jangan coba-coba masukin IELTS yang masih 6. Begitu juga syarat yang lainnya. Kalau kalian belum mencapai syarat LPDP, Ayo berjuang terus supaya bisa memenuhi syarat baru daftar :)

b) Isi formulir dengan teliti
Formulir LPDP diisi online baru di download di akhir. Isi semuanya dengan teliti, masukkan semua riwayat pekerjaan, sekolah, kegiatan, dll. Baca dan review lagi sebelum di submit. Jangan sampai hanya karena belum diisi / salah isi jadi ga dipanggil buat tes interview. Pada dasarnya, seleksi administrasi LPDP akan meloloskan SEMUA kandidat yang MEMENUHI SYARAT umum & khusus LPDP.

c) Lebih baik sudah memiliki LoA (Letter of Acceptence)
Banyak yang nanya sama saya, dulu ketika saya mendaftar udah ada LoA belum? BELUM. Saya memasukkan aplikasi Februari 2014 belum punya LoA. Waktu itu mungkin belum sekompetitif sekarang. Belum sebanyak sekarang yang tahu dan mendaftar LPDP. LPDP belum se-hits sekarang. Jadi saran saya, untuk bisa dapat nilai plus, dapetin LoA dulu baru daftar LPDP. Apalagi peraturan yang baru hanya memberikan kesempatan kalian mendaftar 2x saja. Jika sudah 2x mendaftar dan belum lolos hingga tahap akhir maka LPDP tidak akan menerima kandidat tersebut jika mendaftar kembali.

Jadi, manfaatkan kesempatan 2x itu sebaik-baiknya. Lebih baik menunggu mendapatkan LoA & memperbaiki skor2 lain misalnya baru mendaftar LPDP daripada buru-buru mendaftar lalu ujung-ujungnya 2x tidak lolos, maka selamanya teman-teman tidak akan bisa mendaftar LPDP. Sayang, kan? Ohya, dan kalau kalian bisa dapetin LoA dari 20 besar kampus dunia versi LPDP, kalian akan dapat insentif tambahan $ 5000.

Gimana kalau tiba-tiba setelah dapet LPDP kita pengen ganti jurusan, kampus, dapet LoA yang lebih baik ranking kampusnya? 

Dont worry be happy! LPDP membolehkan kita mengajukan perpindahan jurusan atau Universitas namun hanya 1x saja. Di kasus saya pun saya pindah dari Duke University ke Boston University. Pindah jurusan & Universitas. Tentunya harus disertai alasan yang kuat serta dokumen-dokumen lain ketika mengajukan karena tetap harus melalui proses approval dari manajemen LPDP.

d) Essay adalah ujung tombak!
Essay menurut saya adalah komponen terpenting selain syarat2 lainnya. LPDP memberlakukan tes baru di ronde seleksi berikutnya yaitu essay on the spot pada saat seleksi interview & LGD, saya kurang tahu mengenai ini karena totally new. Namun pada saat saya seleksi, salah satu syaratnya adalah menulis 3 essay bahasa Indonesia: Peranku untuk bangsa, Rencana Studi, dan Sukses terbesar dalam hidupku. Saran: tulislah essay yang terstruktur, fokus pada apa yang ingin kamu tulis jangan kemana-mana, dan tell an interesting story sampe buat yang baca tersentuh / impress sama essay kamu :)

e) Mendaftarlah di Gelombang 1 atau 2
Menurut saya, lebih gede chance untuk diterima di gelombang 1 atau 2. Karena makin akhir tahun, kuotanya tiap tahunnya makin dikit.

Dan lebih aman kalau misalnya kasusnya kamu akan kuliah Fall 2016 dan mendaftar LPDP di gelombang 1 (Februari) / 2 (April) di 2016. Karena kalau kamu mendaftar di gelombang 3 (sekitar bulan Juni), sangat pendek waktunya dengan keberangkatan yang akhirnya bikin kamu harus rebutan tukeran jadwal PK (Persiapan Keberangkatan), ada yang sampe harus defer kuliah, atau berangkat kuliah dulu terus pulang buat PK terus berangkat lagi kuliah. Semua pake duit sendiri dulu.

f) Minta rekomendasi dari orang yang tahu tentang diri kamu
Banyak yang nanya, siapa yang saya pilih buat kasih surat rekomendasi? Saya memilih Supervisor Indonesia saya waktu di program Canada Wolrd Youth untuk menuliskan surat rekomendasi LPDP. Pilih orang yang pernah berinteraksi dengan kamu secara profesional (bukan teman / saudara), tahu diri kamu dengan baik. Baik di tempat kerja, kampus, organisasi masyarakat, dll.

Setelah tips administrasi, sekarang kalau kamu sudah lolos dan diundang untuk tes interview & LGD, bagaimana tips-nya?

Selamat! Kalau kamu sudah lolos administrasi, ini adalah tahapan terakhir dan maha penting dari proses kamu meraih LPDP.Selain interview dan LGD, ada ESSAY ON THE SPOT yang baru diberlakukan nanti di gelombang ke-3 tahun 2014 tes seleksi LPDP. Saya belum bisa memberi tips untuk yang itu karena belum tahu seperti apa tesnya.

Namun dari pengalaman saya Interview & LGD, ini beberapa tips-nya.

a) Baca aplikasi kamu berulang-ulang
Materi interview itu 100% dari aplikasi kamu! Interviewer yang biasanya dari psikolog & tim LPDP (bisa 3-4 orang) biasanya sudah membaca aplikasi kamu dan akan menanyakan seputar diri kamu dari situ.

Jadi, baca dan kuasai hingga diiluar kepala apa yang kamu tulis di essay, formulir data diri kamu, dan baca-baca tentang tujuan jurusan serta Universitas kamu.

b) Persiapkan jawaban dari pertanyaan-pertanyaan yang mungkin muncul
Supaya kamu ngga kaget, coba kira-kira apa yang akan ditanya Interviewer dari aplikasi kamu. Siapkan jawabannya. Kalau perlu ditulis dan dibaca sudah OK belum jawabannya. Beberapa yang sering ditanyakan :

1. Apa motivasi kamu mengambil S2?
2. Kenapa mengambil jurusan X di Universitas X?
3. Kenapa mengambil jurusan yang berbeda? (Kalau beda ama S1 kamu)
4. Ceritakan pekerjaan kamu sehari-hari!
5. Apa kontribusi kamu untuk Indonesia?
6. Apa yang akan kamu lakukan setelah pulang dari sekolah?
7. Ceritakan kegagalan terbesar yang pernah kamu alami!
8. Apa penyesalan yang pernah kamu rasakan dalam hidup?
9. Kenapa kamu layak mendapatkan beasiswa LPDP?
10. Apa hobi dan passion kamu?
11. Ceritakan kembali kesuksesan terbesar dalam hidup kamu!

Pengalaman interview di LPDP tentunya beragam. Di kasus saya, 45 menit interview berlangsung lancar, interviewer sangat baik dan mostly psikolog. Highlight interview lebih ke kenapa saya mengambil jurusan yang berbeda dari S1 saya di Sastra Inggris, apakah saya bisa mengikuti materinya serta pertanyaan tentang social business saya di Wanderlust Indonesia.

Ada yang interview-nya ampe dibikin nangis ama interviewer-nya, adayang biasa-biasa aja, ada yang dibikin gondok sebel dan kezel gara-gara merasa dipojokin dan disudutin, dll. Yang penting pas  interview, jangan songong2 bro sist, sepinter apapun kamu, please stay humble di depan interviewer.. dan nyantai aja kaya ngobrol ama mereka. Just pray that you lucky enough to get the kind interviewer :)

c) Tonjolkan kontribusi untuk Indonesia & jiwa Nasionalisme
Satu yang saya lihat, LPDP sangat menyukai kandidat-kandidat yang sangat passionate menceritakan tentang kegiatan dia untuk Indonesia. Meyakinkan interviewer bahwa jika dia lolos LPDP, dia ga akan lupa untuk pulang (well, emang wajib lapor diri sih habis lulus ga boleh kerja diluar) kalau udah lulus buat membangun negri dengan caranya masing2. LPDP sangat suka kandidat-kandidat yang seperti itu karena itulah tujuan dari beasiswa ini pada dasarnya: Menciptakan Indonesia Emas 2045 melalui lulusan2 penerima beasiswanya.


So, kalau kamu punya kegiatan2, organisasi, bisnis, social innovation, dll yang melalukan sesuatu untuk kontribusi memecahkan masalah di Indonesia, ceritakanlah itu di essay dan bawa menjadi pembicaraan di interview! :)

d) Jangan mendominasi ketika Leaderless Group Discussion (LGD)
Jadilan problem solver di LGD session, jangan mendominasi tanpa point2 penting yang kamu keluarkan. Jadilah peserta yang helpful dan support the other member of LGD. Jangan nyebelin deh intinya pas lagi LGD :D

Topik LGD pun beragam mulai dari Ketahanan pangan, transportasi, perdagangan, pertanian, politik, masalah kemiskinan, dll. Tips-nya sering-sering baca berita terkini sebelum LGD karena biasanya ga jauh-jauh dari berita yang lagi hits.

e) Be yourself & Enjoy the process!
Jangan nervous bro sist! Santai aja,  rileks dan nikmati setiap tahapannya. Biasanya waktu interview & LGD itu macem2. Ada yang 1 hari bisa dapet interview di pagi hari, siang/sorenya LGD. Ada yang hari pertama LGD, hari kedua interview, dll. Kamu akan tahu pas udah di email setelah diumumin lolos administrasi. Yang terpenting, be yourself :) Tunjukin apa yang ngebedain kamu dari yang lain. Inget, LPDP bukan nyari orang yang pinternya mahadewa kok. Tapi LPDP nyari orang yang punya value for the other & the country. LPDP nyari orang-orang yang kalau dikasih beasiswa bisa bermanfaat buat ga cuman dirinya tapi orang lain & negaranya.


Setelah selesai melewati tes interview & LGD, saatnya untuk pasrah. Banyakin doa, sholat malam (buat yang muslim), dan sedekah. Restu & doa orang tua juga jangan lupa. Apapun hasilnya, itu yang terbaik buat kamu :)

Kalau kamu mendaftar 1x dan belum beruntung, buat strategi sebelum mendaftar lagi. Naikin skor IELTS/TOEFL, dapetin LoA kalau belum dapet, rombak ulang essay dan minta temen atau alumni LPDP baca serta review essay-nya, gabung organisasi/komunitas untuk berkontribusi buat Indonesia kalau ngga punya sebelumnya, dan usaha-usaha lainnya :)


Yeay! I got accepted. Then what?

Setelah diterima, biasanya kamu akan mendapatkan giliran untuk PK alias Persiapan Keberangkatan. Saya sendiri mendapat PK-23 pada 23-29 November 2014 di Wisma Hijau Depok, PK penutup di tahun 2014 yang video-nya (sampai saya tulis blog ini) masih dipakai buat tugas PK me-review video PK-23 hehehe. Yang penasaran, nih video versi kita Awardee PK-23 (yang dijadiin tugas PK ampe sekarang & viewer-nya udah 8,473 per saya nulis blog ini) dan ini video versi panitia LPDP PK-23. 

PK 23

PK sendiri itu sesuatu! Seru, challenging, dan kadang bikin frustasi kalau inget tugas-tugasnya yang seabrek. Tapiiii dibikin enjoy dan asik aja, ya ngga! Apalagi ketemu temen2 seangkatan PK (biasanya 100an 1 angkatan PK) yang bakal lanjut kuliah ada yang dalam negri, luar negri, magister, doktoral, afirmasi, spesialis kedokteran. Pastinya networking yang seru :)

All Awardee PK-23 at the Opening Ceremony

My group: MALAHAYATI. If you wonder what the orange thing on my hand, saya kebagian jadi social media admin di grup & dapat priviledge bisa megang HP deh :)

Me and “sudden” Saman Group performing for Opening Pasar Kreatif :)

Pasar Kreatif ala PK 23 (Tugas akhir puncak PK)

Di PK itu ada yang namanya tugas Pra-PK, tugas selama PK, dan tugas pasca PK. Tugas Pra-PK beragam pas jaman saya ada sekitar 29 mulai nge-add LinkedIN teman-teman PK sampai bikin buku angkatan. Sekarang diarahkan tugasnya bikin community development dan dikemas dalam program yang bernama Indonesia Menyapa. Berikut pemberitaannya di salah satu media ada disini. Program-program yang pernah saya dengar seperti bikin jembatan, WC untuk daerah yang membutuhkan, proyek pengembangan masyarakat, dll. Semoga tugas-tugas ini akan bermanfaat buat banyak orang yah! :)

Di PK sendiri kita akan dibekali dengan banyak materi dari pembicara2 keren seperti Dik Doank, Anies Baswedan, Jusuf Kalla, dr.Gamal Albinsaid, Effendy Ghazali, Rene Suhardono, dan lebih banyak lagi. PK juga memiliki sesi penting seperti penjelasan LPDP, seputar pencairan dana, dll. Tidak lupa sesi seru-seru di PK seperti outbond, proyek di akhir PK seperti di PK saya ada Pasar Kreatif, dll. PK sangat melelahkan tetapi keseruan  dan kenangan bersama teman 1 angkatan PK akan membayar semua lelahnya.


Setelah dapet beasiswa LPDP dan PK, then you are off to go! Kalau udah dapet LoA, tinggal tunggu hari H keberangkatan nyiapin dokumen2 dari LPDP seperti Letter of Sponsorship dan Letter of Guarantee. Lalu pembuatan visa, cari akomodasi di tempat kuliah, pesen flight via agent travel rekanan LPDP, dan siapin packing. Semua itu memakan waktu banget lho ternyata! Bisa berbulan-bulan dan harus sabar ngurusin segala macam hal tersebut, ya :)

Kalau belum dapet LoA atau masih mau ngejar sekolah impian, jangan lupa kamu punya waktu maximal 1 tahun hingga batas pengajuan LoA ke LPDP sejak surat keputusan kamu diterima LPDP.

Semoga postingan ini berguna buat teman-teman yang sedang berjuang mencari beasiswa dan jika ada pertanyaan lebih lanjut, silakan komen di postingan ini atau kontak saya di:, I will be glad to help! :)

Thank you for reading and good luck on your scholarship & school hunting!

Roller Coaster Journey to Graduate School Dream

We were having a family gathering yesterday night with all my Grandma’s son, daughter, grandchild. After my uncle (the 1st son of my grandma) share his advice to all family based on his own experience, my aunt (which is his wife) suddenly point out at me and said that I should share the experience how to finally get into Grad school with the full scholarship from the Government so that everyone in the family can learn from it and know the story. I didn’t prepare any speech at all so I just share the story and suddenly I feel so emotional about it that make me about to cry.


Its all started even since I didn’t graduate from my Bachelor of Humanities. I have a dream to continue my study aboard with the full scholarship. Why? At that time, my simple reason is just I want to experience living aboard for some years and maybe the Grad school will open the bigger opportunity. And maybe this picture explain another reason too, lol.

– 2012. I tried Fulbright right after I graduate. Not even pass the 1st screening.
– 2012 &2013. I tried PRESTASI scholarship by USAID. Twice. In 2 consecutive years. Rejected.
– 2013-2014. Seems not lucky enough with the US, I tried Erasmus Mundus Tourism Management (EMTM) program. I was very confidence I can get in even though I submit the application very close to the deadline at Starbucks Central Park. After a long wait, I got the letter that make me cry early morning when I wake up. I didn’t get it and I was in the big 30 candidates out of 300 applicants while they only pick 8 around the world.
– 2013. In any chances, I met the head of admission from Hult International Business School (Master in Social Entrepreneurship). Even we have a collaboration when I was in Danone in my project Danone Young Social Entrepreneur. I got accepted with 25% scholarship. Still not much and I still want to try shoot the better school. So, I reject the offer.

and finally, I heard about current scholarship that people start to talk about: LPDP (Lembaga Pengelola Dana Pendidikan) by Minister of Finance – Education – Religious Affairs. I came to the info session and start to do the research about it. Submit my application after moving on from Erasmus Mundus announcement at February 2014. It take so long until LPDP proceed the application for the batch of June 2014. I pass the administration. Got interview and have a leaderless group discussion. Then in July 2014, they announce the Awardee who got the scholarship and I am one of them! I got the training in batch 23 in November 2014. They call it PK 23 which mean PK (Persiapan Keberangkatan) in batch 23. Finally, all these effort started to show some lights.

The next effort is to get the school! I was committed to myself since the beginning that I want to pursue my grad school in the USA. My dream is to get accepted into MBA program in Duke University at Durham – North Carolina, USA. Why? Because they are one of the leader in MBA non profit program / Social Entrepreneurship program. And I would like to pursue school that learn about Social Entrepreneurship / Tourism. So I write MBA at Duke University as my school destination for LPDP form.

I came to the Duke MBA – Fuqua School of Business info session at Jakarta in 2013 and 2014. I met and interact closely with the admission team and he was really help me a lot in giving advice, motivation, and direction. I prepare all the things for my application such as Essays, GMAT, GRE, IELTS since early 2013 and finally submit my application at Early Action Round in September 2014. There are a lot of support from the current Indonesian students at Duke Fuqua, some of my Canadian close friends, and friends in Indonesia during fulfilling all the requirements. I couldn’t thank you enough for all their contribution.

In October 2014, I also apply for Yale MBA program. In November 2014, I got the result from Duke. I got WAITLISTED which means they not accept me in that round and will consider my application again in the next round. In the case of Waitlisted, we have to do more effort to add on our application so that we could improve our application. In my case, I finally decided to take GMAT course at Sandy Institute in Cikini. Why? Because the admission team suggest me to take another GRE / GMAT since my score is still very low which I am aware of it as my weakness.

Since December – February, every Saturday except National holiday, I spent 6-7 hours with the other 5 people at the course learning about GMAT and how to ace it, my target is at least to get the score 600 minimum. Is it easy? Hell no. Its damn hard for me and I hate doing this. Mr. Sandy, the very awesome genius teacher who earn school in Europe (Germany, Netherland, UK) and ex-Schumblerger, is very helpful with me. He even add more class for me in private and offer me to take the simulation test every Sunday to improve my score. He even suggest me to also retake GRE also so that we can compare which one I  do better.

So, imagine. Every Monday-Wednesday-Friday I have to come to Cikini at 6-8am in the morning to do the simulation test on GRE and learn about it before I go to work. Then, in the Saturday, I have to attend the  6-7  hours group course on GMAT and on Sunday,  I take the GMAT simulation test for 3 hours. I almost have no life at that months. Well, in fact Mr. Sandy even advice me in the 1st class: “Dini, from now until you finally take the real GMAT test, your priority is GMAT. Your Saturday is for GMAT. Family, boyfriend, friend, office, and other.. its your next priority after GMAT if you want to be successful with GMAT.”

Now you can imagine how hard and challenging is learning GMAT  and how to improve the score. I really appreciate how Mr. Sandy really want the students success and he is very committed with all the students. Respect!

I will never forget that hard months of struggling for something that we really want. My sleepless nights and tired of everything. I just want to  do my best, stretching my limit and go beyond my comfort zone. So whatever the result, I will never regret it because I am doing my best.

On December 2014, I got rejection decision from Yale. Not surprise. I started to get used with rejection. But this rejection make me regret why not I apply for many school since the Round 1 / beginning. Then I quickly prepare my application for 2 other school with MBA program: Boston University and University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. I apply on the round 2 at January 2015. Still not hear anything from Duke. While I already submit some update to Duke admission team on achievements, career progression, certification, etc that I just got after applying Duke. I was also collecting additional recommendation letter from 10 different people who work with me in any context and know me. This is one of the advice from the current Indonesian student at Duke Fuqua.

February & early March 2015, I did my 1st GMAT and retake GRE test! Things that I actually really hate and if I can choose, I do not want to take those test again! I believe every GMAT/GRE takers knew what I mean. Lol.

In that month, I also got the decision that I am invited to Duke interview! I am so excited for this because it is only 1 step ahead before I finally become one of the “Team Fuqua”! I did two mock up interview with two current Indonesian students at Duke Fuqua and they help me a lot in preparing my interview. Until now, I am really amaze on how collaborative they are and that Team Fuqua spirit and culture is really exist.

I love the interview and the alumnae that interview me at that time was very impressive, kind and humble. Seems the Team Fuqua culture is on her blood forever. She said she interview around 3-4 Indonesian in this Round 2.

In the end of February or early March, I got 2 rejection in a different week from Boston University & University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. I started to be worried. My chance is decreasing again.

In March 2015, just 1 week before my birthday, the night before I did my 1st trail running in Halimun-Salak mountain, I finally got that-decision-email-that-every-applicants-waiting-for! In a sick condition at that morning after getting tired of the sleepless night, I open the online application that has my decision on it.

REJECTED from my waitlisted status on Duke Fuqua.

There is some seconds pause after I read the sentences. I couldn’t say anything but just staring at my laptop in the office. I remember all the effort that I took to reach my dream at Duke Fuqua, I feel it was nothing at that time. I thought I prepare myself already for this decision but in fact, I still feel so sad – even much more than  I got rejected to Yale. I just lost my dream and it was so close. So close. And now, I have no school to rely on.


Until finally I met EducationUSA team who collaborate with LPDP in helping Awardee who did not get the US school and have to start school this year. Of course, I am one of them.

They help me to give some direction on where I should apply again and finally I got accepted at University of Washington, Global  Executive MBA program. I am so glad that finally there is at least 1 school that accept me finally. BUT after I consider the program, class environment, etc seems that its not gonna fit me except the beautiful place in Seattle.

So I decided to apply for 1 more school. Yes, after 5 school, I am still not giving up. It was JP, my friend in 1 batch training in LPDP who randomly suggest me to check the program at Boston University called “Master of Science in Economic Development & Tourism Management” since he think I am gonna be a good fit with it. I open the program and it look very interesting and I decided to give my last shot. My last hope.

Boston University-affiliated High School Workshop Has An anti-Israel Agenda

And guess what? In April 2015, I finally got accepted! I finally have the Letter of Acceptance from Boston University (BU)! I reject my offer from University of Washington and take BU offer instead.

I think all of this roller coaster journey is a great learning  process for me. I learn to be patient, should prepare everything very well, to struggle and pushing the limit for our dream, and the most important thing is to accept what God finally give us which I believe the best even though that’s not what we want since the beginning.

Some key takeout from the story :

1. Do not giving up before the end of your limit.
I finally stop my searching and decided to go this Fall with Boston University because my scholarship only can be used this year.

2. Prepare to apply for Grad school long time before you submit application. Don’t be a procrastinator!
If you want to go Fall 2015 for instance, you better prepare everything since 2012 or 2013. You can start with IELTS/TOEFL.Then if that’s pass, move on to find the scholarship or research on school that you want. After that moving on to prepare school application, essays, GMAT / GRE, etc. The longer you prepare is the better. Never try to be procrastinator for your Grad school application.

3. Apply for at least 3 school (Top, Middle, Safe)
It is important to have a lot of backup plan. So when you failed with the plan A, you still have B, C, D, E, F, etc. This is very important and make sure you plan the timing very well. Once you miss the deadline for US school for example, you have to battle the next round which is more difficult regarding the availability of the quota. And if you miss  the last round, you have to wait until next year to apply. At least, apply for 3 type of school :

a. Your dream school (Ivy league, hard to get in, you hope you will get in)
b. Your middle 2nd dream school (2nd tier school, you might have a chance to get accepted)
c. Your safe school (3rd tier, you are 80-90% sure that you will got accepted with all qualification that you already have)

4. Do your best, commit to what you start, and make your effort worth it!
Its very hard to keep on track, keep committed for the thing that you start when you apply for Grad school especially in the US where you still need to work on GRE/GMAT. Have a courage, persistence and faith that you will be able to pursue Graduate school aboard. You better make the effort worth it – even though its not exactly the same dream that you imagine, but at least you have to realize the Graduate School dream, an expensive dream that you need to appreciate it a lot when you get it finally.

Hey little fighter, don’t worry. Soon, things are gonna be brighter!
Keep the faith and do not giving up! 

This photo taken at the US Ambassador Residence in reception of honoring LPDP Awardee who going to study in the USA. June 2015.