Anshar Munarfa

Programme: MSc Economics & Strategy for Business

Nationality: Indonesian

Undergraduate education: Management, Trisakti School of Management

Job after Imperial College Business School: Supervisor, Indonesia Stock Exchange

MSc Economics & Strategy for Business 2019

About you

What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?

Before joining Imperial, I had two years of work experience at Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX), developing regulation to accommodate startups and SME, to be listed on the IDX. I also implemented go-public socialisation for the directors of foreign companies, state-owned enterprises and SMEs. Prior to that, I completed a internship at Deloitte in their Business Tax unit.

Why did you decide to study an MSc Economics & Strategy for Business at Imperial College Business School?

In the capital market, every decision will always be based on economics and business strategy. Realising the importance of this knowledge, I decided to pursue a Master’s that combined these two elements. It was not easy to find a programme like this, most of them are only focused on either pure economics, or purely business. When I found out that Imperial offered this programme, I was so excited, as there was no doubt in my mind that Imperial will offer world-class teaching and a phenomenal academic experience.

Did you receive a scholarship?

Yes, I was fully funded by Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP). It is a full scholarship from the Indonesian Ministry of Finance for all qualified Indonesian citizens. The acceptance rate was very competitive and is expected to only get more competitive in following years. Since it is a scholarship that covers my full tuitions fees, the benefits included living allowance, UK visa, medical insurance, flight tickets, research and book allowances.  


What aspects of the programme do you enjoy the most?

I enjoyed the engaging class discussions the most. With a smaller cohort the interaction between  lecturers and students felt more personal. I found that it was also a good experience to learn from our diverse classmates who shared their views during class discussions. Also, being able to present my views in front of the class of multiple nationalities boosted my confidence, which I find beneficial for my career in the future.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

Risk Management. I’ve studied Financial Derivatives during my undergraduate, and that was my most hated subject, so I didn’t have a good expectation towards this module. Surprisingly, Dr Petri Jylha turned my perception around, he did a great job delivering this complicated module in a practical way. I used to hate this subject, but after this module I’m now considering a career in risk management.

What has been the most rewarding part of the programme?

Knowing that our views are appreciated by colleagues, lecturers, and the Careers team. The Careers team encouraged me to do an oral presentation skill workshop and I was chosen to speak in front of my class. Since English is not my first language, I was not confident enough to speak in front of the class for the first three-minutes. But at the end, I got praised from the Careers team, saying that I had done a great job, they also gave me tips and pointers on how I could improve next time. After this experience, I became even more confident with presentations and speaking in front of a group.

What has been the most challenging part of the programme? 

I would say the groupwork was the most challenging. Throughout the year, we were allocated into three different teams that consisted of students with diverse backgrounds. Every module had a group assignment aspect to it, and that usually made up around 30% of your total grade. I found it difficult for our groups to reach an agreement for assignments. Since we all have different backgrounds, it was difficult to find a way of communicating that we could all understand, as our ways of delivering our opinions are all so different. Through this experience, I have improved my communication and compromising skills, which I found very beneficial in discussions and negotiations.


How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

I would describe them as a group of sociable high-achievers. I learned a lot from my classmates, since we have mixture of educational backgrounds and professional experiences.

Did you have a favourite professor/lecturer and why?

My favourites were Dr Petri Jylha and Colin Love. Dr Jylha was amazing at making you understand difficult content with such ease. While Colin Love is very knowledgeable, and you can really see his excitement for the Global Strategy module.


What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial?

I would say the greatest opportunity has been working on the Consulting Project. It was amazing to be able to apply what we’ve been learning during the programme to a real client’s problem. This opportunity is great value for us, as it has taught me how to handle future business problems that may occur. Also, if you’re interested in consulting as a career, this project would be an amazing experience for you.

Which workshops, events or guest lectures at the school have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?

There is an abundance of workshops, events and guest lectures throughout the year - not only at the Business School but you can also attend events from other departments. There were so many interesting events available that you can go to, I personally loved the ones that discuss the role of technology in the business world.

What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?

I was a member of the Debating and Model United Nations (MUN) club, but then I also decided to join the Imperial College Union Indonesian Society, volunteering for a programme called What The Tech?! and finally becoming a student blogger for the Business School.

How have you benefited from being part of the wider Imperial College London community?

I’ve benefited from the chance to socialise with not only Business School students, but also students from other departments (undergraduates, and postgraduates). I also had the chance to attend an information session at Stanford University, Knight-Hennessy Scholars, which was specially tailored for Imperial students. John Hennessey, the Co-Founder of Knight-Hennessy Scholars, led the information session himself.


What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?

I’m working in a public sector now, the opportunity to contribute to the nation’s economic development feels very rewarding for me. I gained a great network during the time I spent at Imperial, the fact that Imperial has a partnership with the London Stock Exchange to develop the ‘ELITE’ platform, provided a very useful learning experience for me, since I am now also working on a similar initiative at the Indonesia Stock Exchange.

Have you received any job offers since commencing your programme?

Yes, I am going back to work at the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX), and I’ll be working in the Subsidiary Management Unit. My duties are to coordinate, as well as harmonise IDX strategies and its six subsidiaries, monitoring subsidiaries’ financial and operational performances, as well as advising BOD in relation to the subsidiary’s development.

How did the services from Careers help you secure employment and help in your professional development?

The Careers team were a great support to me. Along with helping me develop my public speaking skills, they also helped me learn how to act professionally in a business setting, communicate better, and promote myself in an effective way during job interviews.

London Location

Do you think studying in a central location such as London is beneficial for networking and career opportunities?

Yes! For those looking for jobs in London, firms located in central London will most likely come to Imperial and hold recruitment fair. There were several invitations from embassies, and I was fortunate enough to attend an event held by the Netherlands Embassy (which is only located right near the Business School), talking about business and job opportunities there.

Where do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?

I lived in West Kensington. It was about 25-minutes to the Business School by bus and tube. In this instance, it was cheaper for me to take the bus and it took the same amount of time – make sure you plan your route to your classes to save money on travel. I found the price of rent fairly affordable in the West compared to the East. For me, it was necessary to have accommodation that is close to Imperial, as you never know if there will be public transport delays.

When you’re not studying, what do you enjoy doing?

When I’m not studying, I love exploring London and trying out different cuisines all over the city. London has many amazing (and delicious) options, due the multicultural nature of the city.

If you had to move to London for the programme, what have been the benefits and challenges of moving to London?

Finding accommodation can be a real challenge! Be prepared to search for the right accommodation for three-months prior to making the move over to London. Some property agents and landlords allow you to do an online viewing, but be aware, some videos and images can be misleading. I personally used a property agent to ensure that I found the right place for me - I found mine through SpareRoom, but you can also search through Imperial Home Solutions (property searching website exclusive to Imperial students) and other reliable property search websites.


Looking back to when you were applying for the programme, did you attend any online webinars or on-campus information sessions?

I attended some online information sessions. I found it very useful to hear experiences from the student ambassadors about life at Imperial, as well as tips about things like accommodation, visa process and more!

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?

As soon as you are accepted to Imperial, be prepared to read through some of the reading list that’s given to you. It will be helpful in staying up-to-date with the coursework. Also, if you are coming from a country where English is not frequently used, try to start speaking in English on a daily basis, my advice would be to join some intensive English discussion classes in your country, it will help you prepare for future class discussions and group work at the Business School. Good luck!

Programme: MSc Economics & Strategy for Business

Nationality: Indonesian

Undergraduate education: Management, Trisakti School of Management

Job after Imperial College Business School: Supervisor, Indonesia Stock Exchange