2018/2019 Indonesia Mengglobal President Josefhine Chitra reflects on her presidency, and passes the baton of leadership to new 2019/2020 management team under President Cazadira Fediva Tamzil (Azira).
“Time flies fast when you are having fun,” a wise and unknown (wo)man once said. But, I will add that time goes by swiftly when you are busy too. At least, that is what I feel in the past year as I had the honor to serve this organization as president.
Not to put my words in their mouth, but I am also confident that my 2018/2019 management team members also share the same feeling: busy and (hopefully) still having a good time.
Our management team members are exceptional people, dedicating their time and energy to further our organization’s mission, which is to democratize the access of information about studying (self-funded or with scholarships) and pursuing professional opportunities abroad. Essentially, we know that many Indonesian diasporas are trying to make a dent in the world, and we want to spread their stories, inspire many others, and assist them when they need it.
As per end of January 31, 2019 my term as President had come to an end. Therefore, please allow me to highlight three breakthroughs that my team members have achieved throughout the year.
Firstly, we provided not only rose-tinted stories about people who are privileged to study or pursue professional opportunities abroad, but also candid stories that highlight their struggles, their low points. Our Editorial and Communications team invited many inspiring Indonesians to share their experience in beating their own odds – from sharing stories about the son of two farmers who graduated from Columbia University, the life of deaf students in Rochester, to surviving depression as a student abroad, to the life of a mother who raises her little kid while pursuing study abroad. Why do this – perhaps you ask? Because we want to tell our readers that studying/pursuing professional opportunities abroad is not always a walk in the park – you must be ready for the downsides and the struggles. Because we also want to show our readers that if you have the right mindset, you can break any walls and surmount any challenges.
Secondly, we try to be more inclusive and widen our reach, as much as we can. We are aware that our country is very big, with diverse levels of educational backgrounds and internet access. We often receive questions, especially from our social media followers, about when we can visit their cities to give seminar or mentorship. However, as an organization run by 100% volunteers, unfortunately we do not have the means to visit every city and entertain every invitation. Having said that, we are grateful that throughout the year we have:
- Visited places outside of Jakarta to give talks. Notable ones include: Universitas Jenderal Soedirman (Purwokerto), Universitas Andalas (Padang), Universitas Padjajaran (Bandung), and Universitas Indonesia (Depok);
- Delivered two sessions in World Indonesia Scholarship (WISH) Forum, the largest scholarship forum in Indonesia attended by thousands of Indonesians from various cities;
- Organised two successful annual seminars for Undergraduate and Postgraduate students, through which we delivered Panel discussions inviting speakers from various backgrounds, occupations, and interests to cater to different needs. Kudos to our Event & Partnership team, we also managed to invite a psychologist and parents of a former US Undergraduate student who shared useful tips – not only for aspiring students, but parents who wish to send their kids abroad;
- Been noticed by and invited to give talks by government agencies such as Kantor Staf Presiden (KSP) and Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK).
From the Communications side, we also tried to cascade the elaborate information from our website to easier-to-read, bite-size information for publications on our Instagram. This approach has been proven successful, as our Instagram followers grew organically from 5,5 k in February 2018 to 17,5 k to date.
Thirdly, I would like to highlight the achievement of our mentorship program. Out of the 192 mentee applications received, we selected 45 mentees. All of them completed the program and got to apply to their dream schools. And I am especially glad to announce that one of our mentees got accepted as a PhD candidate in Oxford University! Needless to say, the success of this mentorship program is largely also driven by our 45 credible mentors, who have dedicated their time to impart valuable knowledge to their mentees who aspired to study abroad.
The above are also the result of the amazing behind-the-scene works of our Analytics and IT teams. For example, our IT Director managed to secure us a Google Non-Profit Suite which boosts our technology reliability, while our analytics team consistently delivered comprehensive reports and useful feedback for each division.
At the end of my tenure, I cannot help but ask: “If I want to make Indonesia Mengglobal the go-to platform for those who seek information for studying/pursuing professional opportunities abroad, have we become one?” I think, the answer is “not yet”. Our team worked exceptionally well this year, but I believe there is still a lot of room for improvement.
That is where I believe the new president will pick up. Right where we left this year and generate better impacts in her tenure.
On that note, I am so excited to pass this baton of leadership to Cazadira Fediva Tamzil (Azira), who has been with Indonesia Mengglobal for several years. She started as a mentor, continued as Content Director for UK/Europe, and lastly served as Editor-in-Chief during my presidency. Azira, accompanied by her amazing team who has been very selectively chosen, will, of course, grow this organization and further our mission better.
They will face an interesting terrain ahead, they will cook more interesting articles and programs for all of you; our esteemed readers, social media followers, and institutional partners. Thank you so much for sticking with us the past few years, and let’s give our support, participation, and feedback to help the new management team go forward!
Stay tuned on our website and social media for announcement of the new management team.
Photos are courtesy of Indonesia Mengglobal’s management team.