Update from a Master Degree StudentPosted: November 11, 2013
I touched this city 2 months and 8 days ago.
And aye Captain, I still survived! Alhamdulillah 🙂
I have two things to share to you guys thru this post. I’ll tell you in advance so you can decide to finish the reading or not 😀 First, I’m going to give you some tips how to continue your study abroad. Since a lot of people ask me in Twitter, Mail, and some Private Message on how could I leave Indonesia and do my master degree here in SF, I’ll share my steps. Secondly, of course life update 🙂 🙂 🙂 I haven’t touched this blog again since 2 months ago! I have already learned like ton of great things here and it is still an amazing journey, I want to share with you all. Okey dokey, let’s roll it!
“Ikaaa, how are you? in SF now? Studying? In what program? Did you get a scholarship? Is that a good school? Teach me how to do that!”
One tweet, seven questions.
And it is obviously not easy for me to reply it in one tweet.
Yes, I am now continuing my study here in San Francisco, learn and go deep into Digital Marketing. The name of the school is HULT International Business School, with the original name of the program is Master in International Marketing. They changed the name 2 years ago. Before that, the name of the program was Master Program in Digital Marketing. Well, that makes sense because all marketing effort would go digital in couple of years, so they go with more general name. And yes, that’s a quite good school. Private school, not a state one, listed, ranked, and has good accreditations in some of business school evaluations.
I Want to Continue Study Abroad Too! Where to Start?
1. Set the north star. I started from “Where can I see myself in 10 years from now?” A really simple questions, but it’s not that simple to answer quickly 😀 Well, for me, I really want to be a person who contribute in helping Indonesia’s local SME, through Digital Marketing. To achieve that, I need to learn and experienced in Digital Marketing. Then I’m being specific to look for a master program in Digital Marketing.
As I said to you earlier, this is not an easy step. If you can’t really see where you are in the next 10 years, just keep trying. Having a good picture of who do you wanna be in the future would help you to start, a lot.
2. Research, research, research. I made a list, 20 universities who have the best Digital Marketing program. Don’t think about the requirements or the tuition, just make a best-school list first. I look for the best schools by accreditation, ranks, and public review. It took me around 3 weeks to do this. I made a document in Microsoft Word: took important notes from each the university’s website, its city (I need to know how’s the Digital Marketing Industry on that city too), and of course review and testimonials.
Then I shrank the list into 10. I asked several people and friends who have already did the study on those 10 schools, or the one who has been on that city, just to know what they say about those schools. For me personally, I want my school located in a good city, because I need to start a life too outside the school. In this part, I also started to think about the admission requirements, living cost, and tuition fee. You can start to match the list with your own consideration, make another list of your consideration if its needed. For instance, I know some people would rather have to live not too far from Indonesia. Or I know my friend that would choose a country with a city with a good football team. I know it can be silly, so just be it. Be silly. There will be time to consider all this things anyway. My list easily reduced into 5 schools. I made a plan to send an application to all those 5.
3. Work on the Requirements. This part usually would take time. You will need to prepare GRE/GMAT if you want to take major in business, marketing, or management. This test would show that you have a basic competencies on doing quantitative and English skill in class. You need to have an IBT TOEFL / IELTS too to prove that you will be survive at school. My tips is, get survived first. Take IBT/IELTS first, so you can start to apply to school that doesn’t require any GRE/GMAT score. Each school would requires different scores. Aim high, or highest. Just like you did in the school list. Doesn’t matter if we would get a lower score (or school), as long as we aim high, and give the best effort to achieve those. I took me around 6 – 8 months effective to get those scores :))
4. Good recommendation letters. School would ask for recommendation letters, at least from 2 people. The next list I made is, people who I can actually ask to give me one. Go for 5 people minimum. Make sure you know them personally, and make sure they are great people hahahaha. The easiest thing would be your ex-lecturer. If you want to do that way, my suggestion is choose the one who has already got a Professors degree, or at least has done their Ph.D program abroad, preferably if they’re also alumni from well known university. By well known, I mean not ITB, UI, or UGM (The admission staff probably never heard our best universities tho). Try Harvard, Columbia, Yale and their friends. I asked my clients too to write the letter, they knew my competencies and attitude so they can speak for me. Be as personal, as detail, and as original, as they can be. If they’re not used to write recommendation letter, give them some good example from Google.
Another letter to be prepared is statement of purpose. This would show how is the program and the school would contribute to your goal, if you did #1 and #2 very well, I think this is not a big problem.
5. Signed, Sealed, Delivered! Send all those 5 applications. Just send send send. Don’t be afraid of rejection. Failure will come anyway. At least we threw 5 nets, the probability to get fish is so much bigger than only fishing with 1 net.
Another note is: arrange the deadline carefully. Make sure you made a good countdown for all those 3 points earlier before the deadlines. Allocate 3 – 4 weeks before the closing dateline. You know, sending documents abroad need time. It’s not 1 – 3 days just like sending a local documents. A late document would show you as an unprepared student, so.. arranging deadline is effin important. It’s also not cool, if you’re late and have to wait another application date for the next term. Time is all we got peeps, manage it well.
5. Scholarship hunt! Some people prefer to look for the scholarship first before choosing the school program, well you can go for that too. For me personally, to get a good school that would contribute a lot to my career is really important. I found that if I go for the scholarship hunt first, the foundation/donor usually want you to choose certain programs, which in my case, those programs didn’t match with mine.
Each school usually has scholarship program too, I tried this. I sent a lot of email asking about the scholarship program at school. They usually ask you to make another essay. My tips are: be current on your essay (put recent news as background or introduction), conduct a solid argument about the theme given, number also will show that you’re a detail and result oriented person, and.. link the theme of the essay to your goal (#1 again, I’ve told you, this one is important).
Scholarship hunt is about getting as many info as you can. Join some scholarship mailing lists, follow some twitter accounts that release updated scholarship info (I made a list in twitter for this), subscribe some websites too, set google alerts, and put them all in a special folder in your email. I did those things, and made a schedule to read and clean the folder twice a day, in the morning and before sleep.
For me personally, Scholarship hunt is the hardest part. If you ask some people who got one, their story would be different one to another. Number of scholarship to be given is limited, only small number of people would get it. And if you are not one of them, don’t get sad, don’t be disappointed. Find another waysssss. I believe if you’ve put enough effort for point 1 to 4, God wouldn’t let you down hehehe. I know a friend of mine that got the scholarship only for the tuition, without the living cost. Another friend only got a scholarship for 1/3 of the tuition, and she worked here 3 months letter after she can adjust all her school schedule.
Every people has different story. Make yours too.
6. Don’t take “No” as a final answer. See my tweet here. I made that when I was preparing one of Marketing presentation for a client. Anyway, this is why I love to learn marketing, the knowledge is actually can be implemented in our real life. Well my point is, if you haven’t got the school or the scholarship, just keep trying. Get up, and don’t give up. Let’s make tons of mistakes, fix those, and fail again, but fail better. God is indeed never sleep. He sees our effort 🙂
Hap hap! That’s all the tips. I hope it would help! Next time when I got similar tweet with that lot of questions, I know how to reply with only one tweet hehehehehe.
Now: life update. Just a short one because probably you guys have tired to read this long post.
I loveeee my life here. I am now having 3 courses at school: Digital Marketing, Understanding the Customer, and Advertising. My fav so far is Digital Marketing! (surprise). Life outside school is also fun. I join two student clubs: Digital Marketing Club and Media Entertainment. I took important (and similar) role on those 2: Social Media Roles.(another surprise!). I do explore the city too, it’s San Francisco! I enjoy to attend several meetups and Talks in… Digital Marketing. (surpriseee!) I did some livetweet too while I’m listening to the talks (thanks to @akademiberbagi I had this behavior). You can check some of the notes from the talks in my fav tweets, I’ve made it into chirpstories so it would me more convenient for you to read it. I tried to do a livetweet also in class, but it’s getting harder everyday, because mostly I enjoy the lecture and not event want to take notes (or tweets). Think that these documentations would be fruitful for me so I can reread them again someday.
Tell me guys how are you!! I hope you guys have a blast blast November.