Network and Alumni Officer, Mega Savitri, interviewed Dayu Nirma Amurwanti (LSE, 2013), the first president of Indonesia Alumni Association.
Q: What was the most memorable thing from the time when you were studying in UK?
A: When I was studying in the UK, I had the opportunity to represent the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in a number of debating competitions. Coming from Indonesia- I would never thought of debating for the LSE, against past Worlds Debating Champion such as Oxford and Cambridge! In my first competition my debating partner spoke in a thick Irish accent – at first we could not understand each other – we were amazed that we did rather well. I feel very fortunate to learn so much – even in a competition setting everyone provided support and constructive feedback.
Q: Please tell us about your current job role.
A: I am currently a lecturer at International Relations Department, Bina Nusantara University. I am teaching International Political Economy and Indonesia Trade Policies. In Bina Nusantara I am also a Coach for a student club promoting intellectual exchange on current issues. I am very proud that my students are very motivated, and now are actively taking part in student competitions and forums. I am also a counsel in Rahayu and Partners Law Office, a law firm owned and managed by another Chevening alumni, Sri Rahayu.
Q: Can you tell us the most memorable story during your career?
A: Soon after I graduated from LSE in 2013, I was recruited by the World Bank Indonesia to help the Country Management Unit prepare what they called as an ‘engagement’ strategy during the elections and transition period. I met with teams from both Presidential candidates, and then the Transition team – it was amazing to see that despite the fact that they were from two competing fronts, there seemed to be a genuine desire to set facts and issues based platforms. I was very excited to hear that some of the materials that the World Bank provided were quoted, and used as reference in the Presidential Debates and later on in briefs produced by the Transition team. And now every time I feel discouraged when reading elections or political news, I would remind myself to the time when everyone worked together, setting aside differences to ensure that the country is run by a government makes evidence based priorities.
Q: Congratulation for being appointed as the President of Indonesia Chevening Alumni Association. Can you tell us about your future plan as the president?
A: It is important to get the Association legally established – that would be our priority in the next 6 months. We would like to also add visibility of the association internally and externally through our events and outreach. The association has 6 key thematic areas: “hard talk”, community development, networking, arts culture and sports, and UK-Indonesia ties; so we hope to be able to organise and engage alumni under each themes.
Q: Do you have any messages for Chevening alumni in Indonesia?
A: The Association is here to serve alumni’s needs to network, to have a platform for intellectual exchange and to give back to the society. We need you to volunteer, to share your ideas and stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you in our events, so follow us on Twitter [@IDChevAlumni] and Instagram[ @idcheveningalumni] for news, information, and stories. We have a social-healthy-fun event, CheveRUN scheduled in early March, so get those sneakers ready. And finally, as the association is now running after years of deliberation,wish us all good luck!