Winning Australia Awards Twice And Becoming An Anomaly

alhamdulillah

Thank you, Australia!

 

Well, actually everything happened so fast, til I didn’t really aware what was coming over me. Just a week after I submitted my application (at the very last minutes of deadline) for Short Term Award Scholarship, I directly received an email that it was successful and I got selected to be an awardee of AAS (Australia Awards Scholarship) once again. HOoOoO o.O

For me personally, it proved one point, as written on my late post, that every time you were brave to take a step, even though you were not sure where it would led you to, it surely would take you somewhere, while hesitation to move would just bring you nowhere. I never expected that my decision for taking fellowship scholarship in Flinders Uni would give me so much benefits, even after the program ended. One of them is, I am already categorized as an alumni of Australian university, and by that, many opportunities opened. I was invited to join the alumni network, to attend the alumni events, to make connections among great people, etc, beside as an alumni, there is also a chance to apply for grant scheme to fund our business activities that making impact for people, and this, which just brought me here, to apply for a special scholarship for alumni.

I felt nothing to lose when I applied this special scholarship, remembered that I just came back from my fellowship in Adelaide months ago (9 months to be precise, not even a year, aight?) and the new scholarship I was applying titled “Transformational Business Leadership – for Outstanding Alumni of Australian Universities”, so that the awardees must be valued as outstanding persons, no? But what made me eager to apply was, the fact that the program would be run in the coolest uni in Australia, The University of Sydney (that Hogwarts look alike campus), and that we would study about economy/finance, subjects that urgently needed by me to run my business better. And perhaps, God had a plan for me, so TADAAAA… I got it, and here I am again, in the pre-departure workshop altogether with other fellows who will leave and study in Sydney later. And I’m becoming an anomaly.

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2nd day of the 3 days pre-departure workshop

 

Why I call myself an anomaly? Well… After flocked with other awardees, I found facts that:

  • Everyone in this group had graduated and got degree from various Australian uni long time ago. Some of them finished their bachelor in Oz, most of them got their master degree, and the rest even already got a Phd title from there. But me. I’m just a fellowship graduate by all means. Only me.
  • All the people here have crucial positions in their well-established companies, national and multi-national, senior managers and or directors who are averagely aged 40’s. But me. I’m the one and only still living in my 20’s and working in a relatively new venture. I’m the very youngest one and have no peers, literally.
  • Most of them have background in finance and or working in such field, but.. me again X))

Yea, but chill. Instead of feel alienated, I think that I’m privileged to be among them, to be given a chance to learn much from experienced people, and to do acceleration. Sometimes lonely, like “am I really belong here??”, but.. well, lets just take the bright side anyway.

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funny how to call them (who aged as my father) class mates

 

So, as I noticed right after the workshop started, different from my previous AAS, where not all my class mates could speak English well, in this current group, I can see that everybody’s really smart and everybody has a very good English (otherwise, they wouldn’t graduated from Oz and become global business leaders, eh?). It makes the class and discussions so much alive. Anyone can participate and share their well thoughts and experiences. And it is very very exciting! We are assisted directly by one of the directors of Sydney Uni Business School, Prof.Robin Stonecash, and the program leader, the funny smart Kyle Arthars, sooo much fun!!

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Kyle is so tall so you can always notice him right away

 

So, for those who ask me whether this program is related or is the sequel of my previous AAS, no, it is not. It’s completely apart, yet given from the same scholarship provider, funded by the Australian government.

And so what I can share with you from winning the AAS twice are:

  • I think AAS are very concerned in making impacts of their programs. So (especially for the long-term awards), they look for candidates who can give influences or create changes. That’s why some people may say potential awardees mostly come from the government institutions, rather than who work in private company, because they are more likely to be the persons who have authorities to make policy or something that will affect to the society.
  • The rule above also somehow applied in short-term award. If you’re not a PNS or working for the government, for targeting the objective of making impact, it’s good for you to have an important role in your company or institution, because in common perspective, if you do so, as you educated, there are not only you who will be benefited, but also (directly and indirectly) your environment and people in surrounding.

    Based on these two, my tip is: when you apply, tell them clearly about your role, and show them how influencing you are.

  • Another hint from me; Australia has special concern in particular subjects, such as women empowerment/gender equality, people with disabilities, and development in rural areas. So if you want to biggen your chance in winning their scholarship, you can tell them how you involve in those issues. If you are a disabled person, I strongly recommend you to apply, because instead of be ignored, you are more likely to be prioritized. I can guarantee that. (And don’t worry, Australian environment is adequately inclusive)
  • Become an alumni of Australian Uni will bring you so many advantages, so that you should not miss the chance to be a part of it. Moreover, when this post published, AAS do even have (very) short courses that only take 2 weeks.
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my bag is ready

 

And what make the short-term award special:

  • We don’t have to provide any certificate of English proficiency (maybe it can help, but not compulsory). They asses fully based on our CV, applications, and essays.
  • They will help to make our student visa. In my case, I give them the data, and the AAS officer proceed it to the embassy.
  • The stipend and facility are a bit higher compared to for the long-term awards
  • Most likely, you will be gathered with leaders of the industry.
  • To maximize the output, the program must be including business visits, networking events, and social programs for you to experience Australia way more.

So, what are you waiting for? For Indonesian, you can check to australiaawardsindonesia.org for looking for suitable program for you. Meanwhile, I’ll be finishing my pre-departure workshop and preparing for my next journey in Sydney very very soon. Wish me luck, guys!!

 

In the cold un-air conditioned hotel room,

still absorbing today’s material and trying to fit in these grown-up people

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