Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Student Spotlight: Heru Yuda

For this post, we’ve interviewed Heru Yuda, a first-year SAIS M.A. student from Indonesia concentrating in Southeast Asia Studies.  Heru graduated from Universitas Gadjah Mada in 2010 with a BA degree in International Affairs, and he spent two years working in Indonesian higher education before coming to SAIS.
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When considering graduate school, what was appealing about SAIS?
I had spent slightly more than a year searching for graduate school while working in the university system and that experience taught me the difference character in American universities. SAIS is comprehensive in a unique way for its location in DC and global presence in Bologna and Nanjing, historical legacy, renowned scholar, the richness in its diverse international student body, and the sound outcome of the graduate employment report which stands as the proof of high quality academic and professional education. I then simply concluded that I need to seize my future through SAIS. 
How do you see the SAIS degree helping you career-wise?
I believe that SAIS degree will aid me in both improving professional skills and academic capacity which equal to years of on the job training. Therefore, it would give me two advantages for my career. First, SAIS degree will render promotion at my latest fulltime employment if I return. Second, by the time of graduating from SAIS I would have achieved the outlier pool of Indonesia job market which will give me certain competitive advantage against others.
Tell us about your concentration and why you chose it.
During my first semester at SAIS, I can confirm that I made the right decision to study Southeast Asia at SAIS with the “rebalance towards Asia” inclination of contemporary US Foreign Policy. As a region, Southeast Asia reemerged as economic growth persisted in the midst of global recession and the “competition” between the rising power and status quo. My other reason is simply as the people from the region, I would like to deepen my understanding of the place I belong from a better perspective. In addition, I have a dream to develop Southeast Asia study in Indonesia upon the completion of my pursuant of higher education.
How has the support of the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture scholarship helped realize your dream of pursuing graduate studies at SAIS?
“Beasiswa Unggulan” of the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture scholarship is the bridge that connected me and my dream to continue my study at SAIS. I can certainly said that if it was not because of the scholarship from the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture, I would not have been able to join SAIS class of 2014.
What are some of the courses you’re taking and skills you’re learning right now that will help you in your professional career?
In the first semester, I enrolled in two regional based courses; a policy making class that focused on US Foreign Policy toward Myanmar, and the security dimension of Southeast Asia. In the former, I am not only learning about what we need to know about an issue to formulate a comprehensive policy, but also how we defend the proposed police recommendation in a deliberate debate and presentations. In the latter, I learned to perceive Southeast Asia from the US security perspective in both country specific and in transnational issue. In the economics wise courses, I enroll in both Micro and Macroeconomics. Taking all four courses has significantly increase my understanding about Southeast Asia as a region in the politics and security sense, as well as using the concept from Micro and Macroeconomics to understand the current progress of regional economic integration.  
Thanks for reading!
– Erin Skelly Cameron, Associate Director of Admissions