My Year in Review: 2013

“There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want.” ― Bill Watterson

Awesomely hectic! Those are two words to describe my life in 2013. I spent my 2013 mostly for... studying (!!). As I mentioned in my previous year-in-review (written in Bahasa), thank God, I got MBA scholarship from the best university in Korea. Coming from different education background, Computer Science, I set my goal in 2013 was to gain new knowledge as much as possible during this intensive one-year MBA course. Somehow it cost me my life balance due to the crazy workload. Well, in the end I should be thankful because only by God's guidance and protection, I could survive and perform well in foreign country.

KAIST Information & Media MBA 2013

안녕하세요! So here I was in Seoul, surviving the first winter in my life with crazy cold weather -16.5°C!! I just started new life chapter pursuing master degree in Korea. I came to Seoul in the last Sunday of 2012 and just spent new year's eve by doing 'nothing' around Gwanghwamun with some new friends. In the first day of the year, we went to Nami Island, one of Winter Sonata's filming locations, for sightseeing. Right the day after, we had pre-academic event: new student orientation. It was a good time to know all classmates. They all looked smart; some students are managers in big corporations with a lot of years of experience.

This program gave me opportunity to learn from experienced professionals. In this month, we took a short semester of 4 weeks consisted of: IT Strategy & Management, Media Economics, and Business Presentation. It was not busy until the exam week when nobody had proper sleep, not even took a shower before class. Well, it was cold winter ;-) However, school life was not that hard, saying goodbye to the loved one was the hardest part.

Winter Trip #WowKorea

"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth,
for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire."
― Edith Sitwell

Winter came earlier in Korea this year. I remember that Nov 18 was the first snowfall this year. Although it's not my first winter, I was still very excited for the snowfall experience, maybe because I came from a tropical country, Indonesia. The soft snowflakes were like kisses from heaven, cooling down my head that heated by all school assignments.

Winter at Gangwon Province, South Korea

Last Friday, Dec 13, finally I was able to join a trip organized by Korea Tourism Organization (KTO). It was the day after I had a 5-hour in-class exam (Yes! 5-hour exam till 10pm, but still I could't finish well for the last question, haha!!). So, the trip was really refreshing for me ^^. We went to Yongpyong Resort, one of the best ski resorts in Korea, located in Gangwon province. I went there by shuttle bus from Jamsil at 6.10am (first departure). You should book the shuttle bus in advanced because many people are going there during the winter season. Anyway, you should use Internet Explorer and read Korean to book the ticket ^^'. It took 3 hours to get to Yongpyong, long enough to continue paying my sleep debt.

Seoul was cold. Yongpyong was even colder.

Yongpyong Ski Resort (용평 리조트 스키장) is the largest ski and snowboard resort in Korea. It is going to be one of few venues in 2018 Winter Olympics, the biggest winter multi-sport event. Yongpyong has 28 ski slopes and it is suitable for various level of skiers, from beginners to experts. Among those 28 slopes, the famous one is probably Rainbow. Rainbow slope is the highest course (around 1,210 meters) and also the longest one (around 5,600 meters). However, if you're a beginner like me, you can try the Mega Green slope, which is only 700 meters long, quite wide and not that steep (only 12 degree).

Best Commencement Speeches

Congratulations to all my juniors in ITB! Last weekend was the graduation ceremony day for ITB class of 2013. Somehow it reminds me about one of the happiest moments in my life. That was my graduation day in 2008, a couple years ago. "Today is yours," they said. All classmates were smiling happily as they succeeded to finish their education in the most prestigious university in my country. Pardon me for the narcissism.

Computer Science ITB – Class of 2008

I remember a heap of happy people with nice suit and dress inside their graduation gown, and a bunch of happy parents were proud of their sons and daughters. I remember the classic European style of ceremony with "Gaudeamus Igitur", one of most infamous commercium songs, was played as the backsound of one session. Getting our graduation cap tassle moved by our rector before we were shaking hands and taking photo with him. We were also listening to the boring speeches from the faculties and student representatives, which I am pretty sure nobody remember about it, except for one or two students who delivered the speeches itself.

Somehow I envy the graduation ceremonies in some universities in the US, which usually invite their famous alumni to give one of the most important speeches in their academic life. It is the last lesson students get before entering the real world. I cannot understand why my almamater haven't adopted this concept by inviting our famous successful alumni for giving commencement address. CMIIW, but I hope they will start the tradition soon.

Here I post my favourite commencement speeches, yes they all are from US universities. Actually you can easily find the other version of the best commencement speeches – such as from TIME magazine. However, in this list I prefer they who are in IT industries. They delivered inspiring speech and even some of them were presenting in a funny way. They all are my inspirations, and I hope someday we can be like them.

Steve Jobs, Stanford (2005)

Memorable quotes:
  1. You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.
  2. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.
  3. Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Full script: 'You've got to find what you love,' Jobs says

Knowledge for Society

Hari Minggu yang lalu, para pelajar Indonesia yang ada di Korea dan beberapa negara lain menghadiri sebuah event bernama CISAK di kota Daejeon, tepatnya di kampus KAIST. CISAK ini singkatan dari Conference of Indonesian Students Association in Korea, sebuah acara tahunan yang diselenggarakan oleh Persatuan Pelajar Indonesia di Korea (Perpika). CISAK tahun ini adalah CISAK yang keenam, dan bertemakan "Empowering National Pride through Knowledge Collaboration".

CISAK 2013 - Daejeon, 7 Juli 2013

Adapun pembicara pada konferensi ini adalah para pelajar Indonesia yang papernya telah lulus seleksi oleh panitia. Mereka terbagi menjadi 6 cluster: 1. Electronics, Communication, Informatics, 2. Energy, 3. Interdisciplinary Social Science, 4. Healthcare & Pharmacy, 5. Natural Science, Applied Science & Technology Innovation, 6. Food & Agriculture. Beberapa pelajar yang outstanding pun diberi kesempatan untuk presentasi di hall utama. Melalui acara ini saya mendapatkan banyak update tentang research di berbagai bidang, baik dari oral presenter maupun poster presenter. Selain itu, panitia juga mengundang dua tokoh ternama dari Indonesia untuk menyampaikan keynote speech. Mereka adalah Ridwan Kamil (arsitek, dosen ITB) dan Ilham Akbar Habibie (founder PT Regio Aviation Industries, putra dari mantan Presiden BJ Habibie).

Salah satu sesi yang paling menarik buat saya adalah keynote speech dari Ridwan Kamil, dosen Arsitektur ITB. Meskipun isi speech beliau tidak semuanya baru bagi saya, tetapi materi dan cara penyampaiannya selalu saja menginspirasi. Saya pertama kali mengenal Pak Emil (Ridwan Kamil) pada acara TEDxJakarta 2010. Saat itu saya baru tau kalau ada dosen almamater saya yang super cool – selain pak Onno W. Purbo & Budi Rahardjo – yang tidak hanya ahli di bidangnya, tetapi juga dikenal oleh banyak orang karena punya banyak karya nyata di masyarakat. Pada acara CISAK yang lalu, Pak Emil membawakan speech berjudul "Creativity for Society". Pak Emil memberikan contoh apa yang telah beliau lakukan selama ini di kota kelahirannya melalui berbagai kegiatan kreatif yang beliau jalankan berkolaborasi dengan beberapa komunitas di Bandung dan kota-kota lainnya. Kegiatan-kegiatan tersebut beliau jalankan jauh-jauh hari sebelum beliau memutuskan untuk maju dalam pemilihan walikota Bandung. Intinya, ilmu ataupun kreativitas yang kita miliki itu akan jauh lebih bermanfaat jika kita bisa mengaplikasikannya bagi masyarakat.

Saya jadi kepikiran, sumbangsih apa yang bisa saya perbuat dari ilmu yang saya miliki untuk masyarakat. Semenjak kuliah bisnis, setiap saya melihat inovasi di bidang sains atau teknologi, saya selalu berpikir ini business model nya bagaimana, how to make money from it, atau how profitable it is. Secanggih apapun suatu research atau inovasi kalau tidak profitable, baik dalam jangka pendek maupun jangka panjang, sepertinya sia-sia. Tapi, hanya melihat economic value saja tidak cukup, kita juga harus mempertimbangkan social value nya – apakah suatu inovasi akan bermanfaat buat banyak orang atau tidak. Puji Tuhan, kalau kita bisa bekerja di bisnis atau research yang profitable dan bermanfaat bagi masyarakat. Namun terkadang ada inovasi yang bermanfaat buat banyak orang tapi tidak profitable. Untuk hal ini, kita sebaiknya mengusahakannya untuk at least sustainable. Di lain sisi, ada juga inovasi sains, teknologi atau bisnis yang menghasilkan banyak profit, tapi tidak banyak memberikan dampak positif bagi masyarakat. Untuk hal ini, kembali lagi ke masing-masing individunya, seandainya memang tidak bisa dilakukan secara organisasi atau korporat. Teringat sebuah artikel dari Forbes yang saya baca tadi pagi tentang Warren Buffet mendonasikan kekayaannya untuk Gates Foundation dan yayasan amal lainnya. Terlepas dari apa motif samping lainnya, orang-orang seperti ini patut dijadikan contoh untuk mengingatkan kita, bahwa.. ilmu itu tidak sekedar untuk mengejar economic value saja, tetapi juga social value untuk society di sekitar kita. Dan tidak perlu menunggu menjadi besar seperti mereka terlebih dulu, baru melakukan hal-hal yang bermanfaat bagi masyarakat. Think big, start small..

"And do not forget to do good and to share with others, 
for with such sacrifices God is pleased."

Perpanjang Paspor di KBRI Seoul

안녕하세요! Hari Jumat yang lalu (14 Juni), saya pergi ke KBRI Seoul untuk memperpanjang masa berlakunya paspor saya. Seperti yang kita tahu, masa berlaku paspor RI itu hanyalah 5 tahun. Sebenarnya saya masih punya jatah waktu 6 bulan sebelum paspor saya expired karena paspor saya dibuat pada akhir tahun 2008 (berarti expired akhir tahun 2013). Hanya saja, jika masa berlaku paspor kita kita kurang dari 6 bulan, kita tidak akan diperbolehkan untuk pergi keluar negeri oleh pihak imigrasi. Ada teman saya yang pernah berencana untuk liburan keluar negeri dan sudah membeli tiket pesawat pulang pergi, tapi ketika dia sampai di bandara, petugas imigrasi tidak mengijikannya terbang karena paspornya sudah mau expired. Sayang sekali kan..

KBRI Seoul

Karena saat ini saya sedang di Seoul, cara untuk memperpanjang paspor di sini sangat mudah. Asalkan semua persyaratan lengkap, kita cukup membayar biaya sebesar USD 22 dan bersabar menunggu beberapa jam, paspor baru pun sudah siap. Adapun cara-caranya adalah sebagai berikut:

1. Download formulir PSLD berikut (atau pastikan form terbaru di situs KBRI Seoul) dan isi form nya di rumah. Tidak perlu menempelkan pas foto 3x4 karena nanti diminta foto lagi di KBRI.

2. Siapkan dokumen-dokumen berikut ini, baik asli maupun fotokopi: paspor lama, visa, Alien Registration Card, dan surat keterangan studi/kerja.

3. Berpakaian yang rapi dan datang ke KBRI Seoul pada hari kerja (Senin-Jumat), sebelum jam 12 siang. KBRI Seoul ada di Yeouido, tepatnya di 380 Youidebang-ro, Youdeungpo-gu, bisa dijangkau dengan Subway Line 9, keluar di Saetgang station, exit 3. Masuk melalui pintu samping kedutaan, bukan pintu utama yang dekat pos satpam. Saat itu saya datang hari Jumat jam 11an, dan suasana KBRI cukup sepi.

4. Serahkan form dan dokumen-dokumen yang dibutuhkan (semua dokumen asli, kecuali paspor lama, hanya ditunjukkan saja). Setelah itu, nanti kita akan diberi struk pembayaran sebesar USD 22 (untuk paspor 48 halaman). Pembayaran dilakukan di KEB (Korea Exchange Bank) yang terletak di seberang jalan utama menuju KBRI.

5. Menuju ke KEB, yang ada di lantai dasar dari Lotte Castle. Supaya lebih jelas, bisa tanya petugas security yang ada di KBRI karena beliau punya petanya. Tunjukkan struk pembayaran ke petugas KEB dan bayar sejumlah USD 22 (atau bisa juga menggunakan mata uang KRW).

6. Setelah itu, menuju ke lantai basement dari bangunan tersebut, dan cari studio foto. Cukup beritahukan bahwa kita mau foto untuk paspor, nanti kita akan dipotret dan mendapatkan 2 lembar foto 3x4, seharga KRW 10,000. The most expensive passport photo that I ever had...

7. Kembali ke KBRI, serahkan bukti pembayaran dari bank dan pas foto, lalu nanti kita akan diberikan slip tanda terima. Biasanya kita cukup menunggu sampai jam 3 atau 4 sore, dan paspor yang baru bisa kita bawa pulang. Kalau saya kemarin, karena sore itu saya ada kuliah, jadi saya baru kembali ke KBRI beberapa hari setelahnya. Voila, paspor baru sudah di tangan, dengan masa berlaku sampai 2018 dan issuing office: KBRI Seoul.

Semoga informasi di atas bermanfaat!
좋은 하루 되세요! :)