In this article, Hana will tell the readers her experiences while pursuing her master’s degree at the University of Westminster (UoW), London. Her experiences are rewarding and have shaped her into what she is today.
My Journey Starts Here
I never imagined in my life to continue my postgraduate study abroad. When I finished my undergraduate study in Informatics Engineering at Universitas Katolik Parahyangan, I was accepted immediately at one of the largest logistics companies in Indonesia. Being in this company for almost two years made me fall in love with the complex logistics and busy supply chain management environment. I became challenged to understand more deeply into this.
However, I felt that the exposure during my work had not been able to answer my questions. I needed more explanations and insights globally, which could not be found locally. That was the moment I was thinking to deepen my knowledge by having my master’s degree abroad in the related field.
With my education background and my working experience, I started looking for several scholarships. Long story short, I finally got a master’s scholarship majoring in MSc Purchasing & Supply Chain Management which was provided by the University of Westminster (UoW), London, United Kingdom.
Exciting Scholarship Program
University of Westminster (UoW) scholarship is open to all prospective applicants worldwide, with several categories of scholarships available. We could choose maximum two scholarship programs as long as the terms and condition matched with our qualification.
The screening stage for scholarship awardees is only two stages: administration and interview process.
The administration process is a very tough one. We are asked to submit three essays with given topics and other data through system. Since we compete with other candidates from other countries, please make sure that we are well prepared and be focused when writing our essays. Make it concise, but standout at the same point. If we succeeded, the next step will be the interview by phone.
By the year I applied, 2 Indonesian representatives were accepted, including me. The exciting part is that as an awardee, we are responsible and willing to do three things.
First, our academic score must be excellent every semester. Second, we have to do volunteering activity to UK communities. Although it is an obligation for us, but for me it was a very valuable experience. It felt like I was part of the British society. I was blessed for that experience.
Last, we have to attend the Gala of Annual International Scholarship Reception. We’ll meet all awardees from other countries. In that event, we had to wear our traditional clothes representing our nationality. Moreover, we had a sharing session, dinner, watching jazz performance, and so on. That night was amazing that I never forget.
The Campus Review
Who doesn’t want staying in London? It’s no denial that London is an incredible city through its 2,000-year history. We could explore anything in here (mixed culture, art, architecture, industrial, amusements, parks, food, football club, fashion, and so on).
UoW is divided into four different campus location (Marylebone, Cavendish, Regent, Harrow) based on specialty. Since I took business, therefore I studied at Marylebone Campus.
For me, who is a Muslim, it was very easy to pray here because all campuses provide a prayer room (musholla). Not only that, every canteen also has several halal menus. Moreover, the campus is located in central London with an easy transportation access. Since it’s located in Zone 1, it’s better if we can manage our spending.
As a student, we can apply a student membership to get special price, such as tube card, cinema membership, and so on.
My other enjoyable experiences studying at UoW was the orientation period.
During the welcoming session, we could apply to some provided societies in the fair; not forget to mention that we had an Indonesian Society at UoW. Also, we did an amazing race game finding the clues teaming up with other new students from different program, and at night it was closed by having a boat party on the River Thames with all students.
UoW also provides career development services for its students. They provide curriculum vitae review, mentoring session with experts, free virtual training, webinar, and job vacancies trough UoW career page. To enhance my experience, I tried all of them and I managed to sharpen my soft skills. Even, I got my first paid internship in the logistics department at the most iconic local fashion companies in London from it.
Last, special case in my course, they offered us with some company visits, International Maritime Organization, and museum visits. It was good to understand how logistics and supply chain play a role in many fields.
As I mentioned earlier, I also took a paid internship three times a week in one of local fashion companies in London. Working in this company comes with a complete change of lifestyle. Through my work with other departments, I was exposed to different working styles and it forced me to develop stronger communication skills and build my confidence.
Also, I feel blessed that all my co-workers were tolerant. They provided me a little space to pray in the office, and they allowed me a flexibility break when it was the prayer time. Not forget to mention, in my office, we were required to be professional during office hour. We had to be focused during working, so the time can be efficient. Nevertheless, I could still chat with my co-workers in the lunch break or after office hour.
Having the opportunity to work here although it was not permanent, it was a great chance for me to experience and learn new things.
Now I’m working in one of the biggest pharmaceutical multinational companies in the world, based in Jakarta. Being able to work here is a higher step of my career. My past working experiences in Indonesia and overseas surely have helped me a lot to adapt better with the dynamic working environment in this industry.
*All photos are provided by the Author.