Hello Essay Forum!
I submitted an essay to apply for the Erasmus Mundus' GLOCAL program last week. I hope to receive feedback about it because i am not very confident about the result of my writing and i wish to use the feedback for self improvement.
Empowering Other People
Submitted personal statement (1123 words):
My purpose in life is to empower other people to make better choices and to improve themselves. I am confident to pursue this vision because I always feel the strongest when I can seize the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience through teaching and mentoring activities, or even simply through a casual and friendly discussion.
I was born and bred in Indonesia, a highly diverse country, the fourth most populated country in the world with more than 261 million population. According to World Bank, Indonesia is the largest economy in Southeast Asia and the 10th largest economy in the world. Behind this favourable economic condition, approximately 20.8% of the entire population is at risk of falling into poverty. The unemployment rate is high. The average is 5.6 percent where youth (15−24 years old) unemployment is considerably higher at 19.4 percent, especially for fresh graduates with tertiary education.
One of the underlying problem of unemployment is the quality of education. Even though the number of workers with a senior secondary and tertiary education has increased by more than 1 million annually, the quality of higher education is low, the learning achievement of most students is inadequate, and the access to upskilling and reskilling opportunities is limited. It is unfortunate, if not ironic, for a country that is being predicted to become the 4th biggest economy in the world in 2030 by IMF, to not being able to provide sufficient quality jobs. Having foreseen to reach demographic dividend within less than 15 years, the challenge to raise productivity by improving human capital needs to be resolved urgently.
In order to seize this opportunity, the urgency to reform the workforce should be the country's highest priority. Everyone has to take part, not just the government but also private sector, entrepreneurs, educational institution, and even individuals. Reforming the workforce starts with reforming the education. The literacy has to be improved. The disparities of education quality across region needs to be reduced. The need for upskill and re-skill training is greater. The pressing need for innovation has to be catered to adapt the changing global environment. Indonesia needs to prepare for a glocal transformation, to generate local competitiveness in order to thrive in global market.
According to a report by Asian Development Bank, 30 percent of unemployed Indonesian youth spend up to 12 months to get a job. I was moved by the seriousness of this matter and wanted to dedicate myself to expand the access to soft-skills and relevant hard-skills education. My vision is to start a form of education that provides teaching and learning activities for the globally competitive skills that are not yet covered by local institution.
My background of study was economics and management. In 2015, I graduated with a Bachelor degree of Economics with honors from Universitas Indonesia. During my four years of study, I had the opportunity to learn thoroughly about the fundamentals of Economics, especially Indonesian economics condition, and about many areas of business and management. On my third year of study, I decided to focus my study in Operations Management. My growing interest in that particular field led me to become a part of the teaching assistant corps for many intermediate management courses. It was from this one year worth of experience that I discovered the joy of teaching and helping my students to excel in their courses. Throughout my study, I also enjoyed developing my leadership skills by taking roles in many student organizations such as AIESEC Universitas Indonesia and Management Student Society of the Faculty of Economics and Business. I also took my chances in sharpening my entrepreneurship skills by winning two business plan competitions in both national and international scale. One of the highlight of my undergraduate years is when I was selected to be a part of the XL Future Leaders program. In this two-year development program, I had unique opportunity to learn deeper about effective communication and change management through face-to-face workshops, online challenges, and mentoring program.
I became confident in sharing my ideas and opinions with not only fellow students, but also with the executive leadership at XL Axiata, a leading telecommunication company in Indonesia. It was through this program that I was given the privilege to equip myself with the relevant soft-skills that are in critical demand in the workforce market.
After graduated from university and finished my role as a teaching assistant, i was offered to become a Recruiter at XL Axiata. Even though the role was very much unrelated with my focus of study, this experience was very fruitful for me. I had the chance to observe the differences between potential candidates with various academic background. I found out that many high quality candidates were due to their solid education that they pursued overseas. In the interviews, they usually mentioned that the experience of studying and living abroad, gave them the ability to pick up skills faster and to analyse problems more effectively. I was inspired to pursue further study abroad in order to develop my potential.
In 2017, I noticed that the company was immensely focused on doing digital transformation but struggled to hire digital talents since the skills were still rare. Inspired by this situation, I discussed with my company leaders and took up the Growth Hacker role that I was initially hiring for. This role had opened up my eyes to the tremendous opportunities of digital marketing for local products and services. Together with the team, we crafted around 70 different campaign strategies and successfully achieved double growth on a year-on-year basis for our self-care app called myXL. Having seen our team's capability, the leaders decided to sponsor us to learn Design Thinking. This approach focuses on user centricity and encouraged us to work more effectively and interdisciplinary alongside designers, product owners and developers in order to improve our customer experience. In the end of 2018, I was promoted to the Business Analyst role. My responsibility is to pay attention to the company's Small and Medium Enterprise clients and to help them grow their business by using telecommunication technology.
Overall, I strongly believe that my strong background in economics, my honed leadership skills, and my professional experiences in digital business innovation have certainly prepared me to be a student of the GLOCAL program. I am confident that I can learn the fundamentals of glocal transformation in Europe hence bring it back to improve the quality of Indonesian youths in the workforce. During my course of study, I plan to contribute to the learning community by sharing the insight of local Indonesian competitiveness. The topic of my Master thesis will be about strengthening Indonesian local competitiveness by taking advantage of demographic dividend with comparative studies of European cities.
Please help to review and feedback. Thank you!