By Fraya Saquina
Hello, my name is Fraya, and I am part of the MIM class of 2015 cohort. I was elected as one of the MIM and the graduate school ambassadors in December 2014. I was born and raised in Indonesia before coming to the U.S. for my undergraduate degree in 2007. I received my bachelor’s degree from Portland State University in Marketing in 2012.
My journey to the MIM program was quite interesting. Originally, I never planned to attend graduate school at all. However, while I was an intern at Business Oregon in 2012, one of my colleagues who was a MIM student, Jackie Wang, introduced me to the program. The fact that the the program has a strong international emphasis caught my attention; there are not many programs like PSU’s MIM in this country. However, attending graduate school was not part of my priority, since I thought I should pursue a professional career before starting graduate school. I worked at an au pair agency in Lake Oswego, Oregon for almost two years until an unexpected opportunity came.
I was active as one of the officers for the Indonesian Student Association (Permias PDX) at PSU. In summer 2013, I was chatting with a new MIM student from Indonesia, Clarina Andreny, from whom I found out about a full graduate school scholarship from the Indonesian Ministry of Finance called the Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP, in Indonesian). Later in that year, I applied for the scholarship and was invited for an interview! I finally officially became an LPDP scholar in summer 2014, and I started my MIM program in the end of September 2014. It was a very overwhelming year.
One of the reasons why I came back to PSU, was specifically for the MIM program. As I was studying for my bachelor’s degree, I came to understand that business today is conducted more internationally than ever. Becoming someone who is internationally competent and able to understand the cultural differences between countries and peoples when doing business internationally is very important. The focus on the Asia-Pacific region in the MIM program is its distinguishing feature. As the fastest growing region in the world, and as an Asian myself who wants to work in the Asia region this focus is very relevant.
I really enjoy learning about cultures and how multinational companies operate and market in different countries. It is an art of its own, although there are many challenges that come with it. We also get to learn Chinese or Japanese, depending on the students’ preferences. I like learning Chinese and the cultural elements that are taught in class. If it wasn’t for the MIM program, I would not be able to learn Chinese, and our Chinese classmates always support us in our Chinese-learning journey that makes the MIM program even more exciting!