Lately I perceive myself as the most relaxed man on earth. From my graduation day back in February, until roughly this July, I could sleep all day long without thinking about what I’m going to do next. I feel like I could finish things up later, one by one, so that I don’t get tangled around them. My activities were mainly revolved around my personal preparation concerned with my postgraduate studies. I was collecting datas for my thesis, booking a flight and accommodation, and taking care of Visa. All of them didn’t really take much time, as I approach them carefully, well planned, and one step at a time. But it all changed on July 27th.
It was the last day of Ramadhan. I just went to sleep after eating my Sahoor meal at 4 AM. I woke up at 10, only to found out that my scholarship guarantor, LPDP, sent each of the awardee in my group, Leadership Training batch 16 (Pelatihan Kepemimpinan angkatan 16/PK 16), an assignment. “Tugas 1 Pra PK 16”, the email said. The task required us to choose a chief through a perfect deliberation mechanism. Among 125 name on the list LPDP has, each one of us has to agree on one name, and one name only. LPDP did allow us to submitted at least three candidates, but there will be no voting process allowed. Each of the candidate has to supply a full support for those who leads the race, and the rest of the group had to do so as well.
I was kind of shocked actually, because that was the very first time that I have to pick a chief from a bunch of people I barely even knows. And also the fact that we are a large group. At that time, we consist of 125 people. Even though, after a process of listing, we were actually only consist of 112 people, but it was still a big amount of 111 people I’ve never met and know personally before. And to make things even “exhilirating”, LPDP only gave us three days to deliberate this thing. It means that by July 31st, we have to submit one name to be our chief.
And so the discussion begins. Moderated by Abie (Ikhsanul Habibie), Nita (Anita Rahmawati), and Oli (Annissa Aulia Handika), we first discussed about the criteria. Most of us agree on two things : availability and accessibility. What we meant by “availibility” was that our soon to be chief has to be available 24/7, everytime needed. He/she has to have some kind of willingness, integrity, and passion toward this program. And also – the most fundamental charactersitic – is that our chief has to genuinely bridge the interests of our group with LPDP. Furthermore, our chief has to be able to mobilize easily from time to time, because he/she will be required to go back and forth to do survey, or simply meet up with LPDP. This is what we meant by “accessibility”.
After we agreed on the criteria, moderators gave us time to voluntarily run as a candidate. The first name that bravely came up was Adi (Adi Chris DPP Bangun). He is an awardee from Medan, planning to go to University of Manchester, undertaking Master’s degree. The second one was Faisal (Ahmad Faisal), who offered us maturity and efficiency. He was the most senior among other candidates, and planning to take Master’s program in University of Southampton. The third candidate was Danu (Rizky Danurwindo). He was the one with the most glimmering CV, as he achieved so much during his years in college. He’s going to University College London, taking Management as his Master’s degree. And lastly, there was me. Initially I was both shy and scared. Shy because I had nothing to offer, and scared because I’m afraid I will let our group down. But after receiving many encouragements from our group, I decided to take this opportunity as a learning process. After this process, it’s campaign time.
Moderators gave us a full day to present ourselves in our mailing list (milist). I was the first one to submit my short essay complete with my CV attached. I submit it at late night, July 27th. Then the next day, all three candidates followed. And I was in awe after seeing their CVs. They were like lists of amazing accomplishments, and well-composed with several sheets inside them.
Finally, on July 29th, the deliberation process begun. We devided ourselves into eight small groups to be able to fully facilitate each of our voice. Each group has a coordinator that aggregates his/her members’ voice. After that, the discussion result from each group was reported to our milist so that the whole group could see and give their response. The moderators gave us until noon July 31st. And eventually, I was trusted to carry on this position by each member in our group.
On Agust 3rd, LPDP’s Person in Charge (PIC), Mr. Kamiluddin, called each of the candidate to meet him in Santika Premier Hotel Bintaro, on 6 AM. As a result, I , that lived in Bekasi, had to wake up, prepare, and go really early to be able to meet his expectation. The meeting itself talked about the fix amount of members, informal assignments, and inauguration of our new chief. During that meeting, Mr. Kamiluddin gave us several informal assignments such as re-devide the group into eight mini groups that are proportionally spread, considering our almamaters, country of destination, future university, and so on. And it ended at 8 AM. With the traffic jam in Jakarta, I finally got home at 11 AM. As I checked my email, Mr. Kamiluddin already sent me a warning letter. He said that I’m not responding fast enough, I’m not executing the assignments quick enough, and my initiatives are below par. I’m simply not suitable for the position. And I was startled, and started to pick up the pieces and gave instructions to fellow awardee to finish the task as soon as possible.
In the middle of our hectic day, Mr. Kamiluddin then chat me via whatsapp to give another assignment. He wanted me to make a list consist of fourteen people who wants to go to Leadership Training batch 14 (PK 14) that will be held tomorrow, August 10th to 16th. So I insert this task into our milist and LINE chatgroup, and personal messages started to came in. My phone never stopped ringing since then. But fortunately, I was supported by amazing people like Danu, who eventually become the Vice Chief, Oli who become our secretary, and also Azby Irsalina Sajida (Azby) and Rudi Bachtiar (Rudi) who were trusted to be our treasurer.
After all my laziness, free time, and uselessness, I finally able to feel the rush of managing and organizing things. To sort things out under pressure, while at the same time keeping my composure. I finally be able to work together with amazing people at this amazing moment. I’m indeed a lucky person.
Dear PK 16, let’s be stronger than ever as challenges upon us will only get harder and tougher. And always remember that a smooth sea never produced a skilled sailor.