In the eyes of alumni of higher education institutions abroad, a success of earning a college degree can be translated as a brighter career development and a universal character building.
It is true that the main reason of studying abroad is due to systematic learning programs designed according to the individual needs. Nevertheless, many graduating from renowned schools in countries like Singapore, the United States and Australia find the benefits beyond just an academic pursuit.
Career development programs at higher institutions abroad are very helpful for securing students employment upon finishing their education. The programs provide a wide range of advising and career resources.
Singapore Institute of Management Global Education (SIM GE) is among the higher institutions that assist students’ future planning by means of a career development program.
SIM All-Rounder Student Development Programme (ARS) is designed to equip a select group of final year students with the necessary skills.
With the aim of becoming more employable and competitive in today’s tight job market, ARS was launched in early 2009. Employers participated in the program have spoken very well of many SIM GE students.
“Getting a job in Singapore is not easy nowadays, but I was so fortunate that the ARS program helped me secure a job,” 23-year-old Ferdian Gunawan said.
Ferdian is an Indonesian who earned his undergraduate degree in accounting and finance awarded by University of London in conjunction with SIM GE. He said ARS helped him gain a lot of knowledge through various workshops and activities. “I especially found the interview workshop in the program very useful.”
Ferdian is currently working in Singapore as an export sales executive at Fullmark Pte Ltd, a company that manufactures stationery. His incumbency includes handling foreign market studies and finding new markets for the company to venture.
For overseas graduates prefer to return to Indonesia, working at multi-national companies often become a career destination.
Santos Thenu, who earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Arizona State University, U.S. in 1995, has developed his career working in a number of multi-national companies.
He got his first job at Mc. Donald’s Indonesia from the university’s career service before climbing higher in his field. He is currently served as the senior business development manager at Carrefour Indonesia, the position he holds since 2008.
“Aside from having the advantage of honing my English proficiency, my overseas degree without doubt was the key that opened my career opportunity,” he averred.
Santos also added that networking was another advantage of studying overseas.
“Not only networking, studying abroad has given me the benefit of becoming independent and learning other cultures and languages, all of which have the potential to build my character building” Sonitha Poernomo, Citibank’s VP Corporate Affairs, admitted.
Sonitha, who earned a Master of Arts in public relations from Bond University, Australia, believes that blending with friends from different culture can inculcate in foreign students a sense of tolerance.
Sonitha was also a recipient of scholarship from Carl Duisberg Gesseschaft for planning and organizing international trade fairs while she was staying in Germany in 1997.
In line with Sonitha’s view, Dini Priadi, head of marketing and communication of Procon, one of the Indonesia’s renowned property consultancies, said that her overseas education background has played a great role in her career field.
An alumnus of RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia is convinced that much of her self-confidence in dealing with people from different background is the fruit of her experience in living and studying in Australia.
By Aulia Rachmat Sungkar. Published in The Jakarta Post on March 28, 2010.