Class of : 2008
Major : Business Management
Concentration : Business
When we hear the word ‘retail’, what do we have in mind? Markets and shops would probably occur. What we know that retail involves selling process of consumer goods to customers to earn a profit. Can you name one big player in the retail industry in Indonesia at the moment? We are convinced to say that all of us have heard of Mitra Adi Perkasa. To have better insight, we want you to meet Aviandini Savitri (Finance 2008) or you can call her Vivi who is the Corporate Finance Supervisor and Investor Relations of PT. Mitra Adi Perkasa.
Vivi’s First Big Decision: Enrolling Herself to Prasetiya Mulya
In the beginning, Vivi wasn’t familiar with Prasetiya Mulya. She was a student in a public high school and she was enrolled in the international class. She dreamed of pursuing higher education abroad but she was more encouraged to get into national universities. Despite being a teenager, Vivi already realized that she fit better studying business from following economic, accounting, and business management classes brought her joy.
Unlike most people, Vivi wasn’t fixated into admitting herself in national university. When she was confused, one of her seniors who was already Prasetiya Mulya student at that time brought a brochure for her. “I first discovered Prasmul from my senior. She gave me the brochure and when I read about the program, it was definitely love at first sight. The offered programs are interesting because I was convinced that there would be balance between theory and practice. When I spoke of this matter to my mom, she actually knew about Prasmul because she took some courses there. I had no doubts in registering and took part in the admission test.”
Vivi passed the test and she decided to choose Prasetiya Mulya. She told us that she was just that convinced with her choice. Her considerations were also about the distance to campus and she has many friends enrolling to Prasetiya Mulya as well. Vivi had the feeling that life after high school would be exciting just by looking at our campus ground.
Vivi and Prasetiya Mulya
Vivi explained to us that her batch went through the first two years learning general business management. When she was asked to decide a concentration, she picked Finance. Vivi has long felt that she was a finance girl. Her interest is immense because not only she needs to be strong in calculation but she must possess good analytical skill. “Finance balances calculation and analysis. I noticed the big role of finance for business. All decision related to the suitability of a strategy is based on finance. Not to mention that I took investment management class which I love much.”
Vivi has positive thoughts of her four years study in Prasetiya Mulya. When we asked her what she loves most about our school, teamwork was the first word she said with conviction. “Teamwork was highly enforced throughout our study. Most assignments must be done in team. This type of work teaches us to interact with others. From the team, we can learn to know our and others’ strengths and weaknesses. I learned a lot, honestly. If we talk about team, the members must have different cultural background and it makes us more tolerant. We embrace the differences. Teamwork is very useful in a professional world because we will work with random people with various backgrounds.”
Besides teamwork, the most memorable experience for Vivi is taking part in community development. Living in a rural area for a month taught her valuable lesson. She valued highly the effort to develop the rural economy. She told us that their presence was also to teach the people on how to run a good business and understand simple accounting to manage their profit and income. The biggest challenge was changing their mindset about the importance of managing money and saving.
Her learning experiences in Prasetiya Mulya play a role in her career. She explained that the hard skills she gained in campus were useful in enhancing their logic and way of thinking along with building systematic work. “I think the soft skills developed during our study play bigger role. I remember how strong leadership and public speaking were emphasized. To be honest, I’m not an outspoken person but I was pushed to present assignments in front of the class. Trust me; it is useful because at work, it’s always about making reports and presenting it.”
Vivi, Master Degree, and Career Path
During her study, Vivi has vivid vision for her future. She aimed for professional career in PwC or EY because she was interested in consulting industry especially for advisory. Vivi made action to fulfill her dream. After graduation, she looked for career opportunity information and she applied for internship in PwC. She went through two interviews and she got the position. Vivi was responsible in internal audit division and she was given the tasks of checking the transactions.
“When I graduated, my mom insisted me to continue my study abroad. I was clueless. I didn’t know where I wanted to go and what major I wanted. It was why I took the internship in PwC. I could learn something while preparing myself for pursuing my master degree. I decided to continue my study after three months of internship. I enrolled in CASS Business School in London and I majored in investment. It was a one year program. I didn’t choose thesis as my final assignment because I was more interested in the elective classes. Those five classes certainly enhance my knowledge.”
Vivi explained that her study environment was similar between Prasetiya Mulya and CASS. She was packed with many assignments and teamwork. She was thankful because she didn’t need much time to adapt. When she graduated in 2014, she was thinking of starting her career in the UK. Unfortunately, the unemployment rate was high back then. Companies were more open to citizens, not to foreigners. With that situation, Vivi decided to return to Indonesia early 2015.
Upon her return, Vivi contacted her former employer at PwC. At the same time, one of her friends in London informed her about a vacant position in EY as an associate. She sent her resume also to EY. There is recruitment process that she has to pass. Vivi passed the test and interview in EY. Therefore, she took the new career journey.
Vivi joined EY in 2015 as an associate in the Restructuring division under transaction advisory service group. She was immediately entrusted with a project: a liquidation of Pertamina’s subsidiary. She jumped into the due diligence before liquidating the company and she told us she enjoyed it. Subsequently, she was working on PLN’s projects. “There were four power plant projects. I was clueless at first but with non-stop learning, I understand almost everything about electricity infrastructure. I was working with a small team too. The next project I handled was LPG terminal. Can you imagine? Despite the challenges, I am thankful because I feel that I have enhanced my competency. How could I not, right? I was given an assignment where they expected me to learn quickly so the project would not be on hold.”
Getting closer to hear two years of service in EY, Vivi felt the urge for getting new challenge. She told us that she needed a new industry because she realized she wasn’t passionate about specializing in infrastructure projects. Vivi was informed by her colleague about a vacant position in MAP (Mitra Adi Perkasa). Coincidentally, her colleague is a friend of the Head of Corporate Finance who was looking for talent.
Vivi submitted her application and she was called for recruitment process. She was interviewed twice, by the Head of Corporate Finance and the CFO, and to her surprise, she felt high connection with her future employer. At first she was reluctant to move to corporate because she thought she would get easily bored. She took the new challenge because her tasks would be project based.
“I work in many corporate projects. The division I am in, we basically work on all MAP corporate actions. It was stressful at first because I have to work more individually, even for administrative work. I was so excited though when I was working for IPO of one of our brands. I am responsible to understand the regulations and meeting with every parties, especially OJK. I worked with the investment banker team. I love it.”
Vivi is also responsible for restructuring and potential acquisition. She explained that she analyzed a brand and prepares the report as the basis of the CFO’s decision. Preparing for IPO (initial public offering) is on her job description too. We got the impression that she loves it based on how she explained it at us. Vivi has to prepare public exposure where she invites media and potential investors. She would be explaining about the company, brands, and their strategy. Her works demand travel too. Since she holds the position of Investor Relation too, Vivi meets with securities who invest in MAP. She prepares the company’s performance report and presents it to them.
She told us that her knowledge that she has gained from her education is more applicable in her new position. She feels her exposure to the CFO helps her develop her strategic management skill along with her operations knowledge. The work culture differs from her previous workplace. As she mentioned before, she begins to adapt to the new environment. Looking at the opportunities in the future, Vivi sees her organization will grow. Even when we asked her how she portrays herself within five years, she said she would be still in the same company because there are still a lot for her to learn. Not to mention that the industry suits her love for lifestyle and entertainment.
Retail Industry in Vivi’s Perspective
“Retail is very close with our daily life. Let’s take an example when we go to the mall. We go in and out from various stores. Its proximity with our life makes this industry interesting. In addition, economic growth can also be seen from consumers’ spending.”
In Vivi’s opinion, working in retail requires future talent to be adaptable with the culture. The working hours are sometime unpredictable especially during festive seasons. Despite that, the career opportunities are widely opened in the retail industry. Vivi sees this industry similar to FMCG. She added that they look for graduates with business management on their management trainee program because they have the basic knowledge of operations, marketing, and finance.
The competition in retail industry is very high therefore retail companies must think of their marketing strategy. Not only against competitors, they also face challenges with technology and the growth of e-commerce. “E-commerce is growing rapidly. Though it is not highly significant but soon it will be. I see the need of having our own selling platform. Our consumers are slowly leaving conventional store to online store.”
Retail industry is very welcome to fresh graduates. “When you first enter the professional world, you have to be ready to be more independent especially learning about your job. Knowing that retail is a dynamic industry, we have to keep up with the changes. As I said earlier, it is not hard to learn about the industry. They are looking for talents who is diligent and who is not a quitter plus who can work under pressure. Learn to take initiative when you work. ”
Vivi’s Words of Advice
For Vivi, campus life and professional world is different. Working is the real world. It is a matter of responsibility. When we are still students, we are only responsible for ourselves. No matter how lazy we are, the impact is only to us. It won’t work in the professional world. You are responsible for others within the company. You have others to think about.
Vivi believes that future graduates need to be hardworking and who are not easy to quit. These two characters must be built early. Why are they important? We will eventually meet more and bigger problems at work but we can’t just quit. We have to be skillful in problem solving. Organizations may help but case studies will help you. So, maximize the career learning and opportunities. Hopefully that it sharpens your knowledge.
If you think Vivi is very detail oriented, it is necessary to make you closer to your dream. She learned the hard way when she was in London. It was stressful for her being away from her family. She admitted she had a hard time on the first semester beginning her graduate study. “The point is: nothing worth come easy. You can’t take things for granted. No matter what, you have to have self-confidence with good skill but you can’t be lazy and easily quit. Believe in yourself!”
Two standout Prasetiya Mulya’s graduates tell their exciting career journeys that have unlimited their potential and ability in Sampoerna.
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