Arranging Life’s Puzzle Pieces To Reach The Dream: My IM Mentorship Experience

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Letter of Acceptance from LSE. (Photo by Author)

Deciding what your next steps will be in life is not easy. It can be a lonely and hard journey. However, you don’t have to go through the process alone. Sometimes all you need is a helping hand to guide you find your true calling and start the path to achieve your dreams — including getting into your dream school. Our contributor, Nisa, shares her experience with Indonesia Mengglobal’s Mentorship Program and how it brought her to the famous and highly regarded LSE, her dream school.

Quite a long time ago, a friend of mine appeared on the scene fresh from his last graduation ceremony. Instead of being entirely happy, he told me with regret that he did not know what to do after graduation, though he said that no one has any idea anyway.

The conversation left a mark on my mind, making me start thinking about my own path — I did not want to have the same question after my graduation. I  took the moment to go back, to see what I had been through so far, the steps I’ve been taking, and whether I am drawing a path or simply unconsciously following my instinct.

I realized that I had been through a very zigzagging experience and interest. All was good, but I need to decide on what field I want to contribute further or what career I would like to build. Long story short, I decide to pursue a dream to become an expert on environment and development study, and I would like to see myself being part of those think tanks who work for development organization.

But then, how do I get there? My answer at that time, was that I need to advance my knowledge and ability, and thus I may need to take master degree not too long after graduation. This eventually started my looking-for-mentorship journey in Indonesia Mengglobal (IM), which also marked the first step of my struggle.

I was informed by many that IM may help me to sharpen my plan for study and get the milestones I need to start crawling. It encouraged me to join the program although it was quite challenging during my first try to even fill its application form. I recall with embarrassing clarity the unfirmed answers I came up while filling the form, until I finally gave up and decided to come back later. Fortunately, my second attempt produced better answers. I was then accepted and paired with a very bright and dedicative mentor who fortunately was about starting her study in the school I would like to go to, which of course benefits me a lot as I could follow her steps and learn from her experience pursuing study in London School of Economics and Political Science.

Meeting fellow LSE incoming students from Indonesia and alumni. (Photo by Author)
Meeting fellow LSE incoming students from Indonesia and alumni. (Photo by Author)

I remember the first and the toughest task I had to deal with when start following this mentorship program. It was called Comprehensive History, which required me to brainstorm all the things I have done, including all the achievements and accomplishments, failures, as well as goals I believe I can achieve by applying to the school and program I have chosen. It was perfectly not easy, but I could not thank IM enough for this first assignment as it gave me the chance to better depict my true values and how I am going to draw the line so it can improve the way I frame my personal profile and plan for essays and any writings I need for my application.

Besides its structured and well-conducted system, this mentorship actually, for me, works really well as it motivated me to have stronger commitment for the targets I already set by my own. It also provided me with a resource by which I can always be alarmed with the timeline, as my mentor would give periodic reminder or feedbacks on everything I was working on. It reminded me to keep making progress and be persistent to pursue the dream I would like to seize. This is very important for me as I tend to put things off when I need to juggle with work and activities in the office. However, by joining IM mentorship, I could finally have a step-by-step to do list to go through all the school and scholarship applications which I needed.

The London School of Economics is ranked the second in the world, and top in the UK and Europe for social science, according to QS World University Rankings 2018.
The London School of Economics is ranked the second in the world, and top in the UK and Europe for social science, according to QS World University Rankings 2018.

Other experience I will not forget from this mentorship was the opportunity to be in a group of people with the same spirit and goal which helped me a lot to boost my courage to work harder and never despair. I often got inspired and triggered by other friends in my group who, for instance, still attempted to complete the task and join skype-call for discussing group assignment even when they were away for work duty and couldn’t get proper internet connection. This kind of moment will definitely bring you to a realization that there is no success without your best endeavour.

Finishing the program well, is a pretty tough job, but implementing the plan you already made during the process, is something else. I can say that the real battle begins after you complete the program, when you finally start your application. This time, you would not have a mentor to always be by your side, to guide your steps; you would not have friends whom you can always strive with; and you will have to maintain your persistence until you can develop an application which can show your grit and bring you to the place, you deserve for.

There was me who struggled along the way and be stubborn enough to never give up, that finally arrives at the school I always dream of: the London School of Economics and Political Science. There was also me who started this journey with all the mess I had which get me tumbled very often that finally drives me to the program I always wanted, Environment and Development. And now, probably is your turn, to tidy up your puzzles and get mentored, as the door (IM) is re-opened.

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Nisa Vidya Yuniarti
Nisa Vidya Yuniarti is a geographer with specific interest on environment, development, and gender issues. Nisa currently works as Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at Indonesia One Health University Network (INDOHUN) and Project Specialist for USAID joint research project called Disease Emergence and Economic Evaluation of Altered Landscape (DEAL). She previously spent one year working in a startup focusing on developing environmentally-friendly products for agriculture. Nisa graduated from Universitas Indonesia, majoring in geography. This year, she will be taking MSc in Environment and Development program in London School of Economics and Political Science.