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Billy Mambrasar, Master of Business Administration

Billy Mambrasar

Master of Business Administration

Billy is studying a Master of Business Administration at ANU.

Tell us a bit about your background.

I grew up in West Papua, in a village on a small island at the eastern end of Indonesia. It was really tough to study when I was young because we didn’t have much money. And I’m not being dramatic - we literally had no electricity until I was in senior high school so I had to study by the light of oil candles!

After junior high school I had to leave my island for a good education. I travelled 16 hours by a ship to Jayapura, the west Papuan capital city in the mainland where I finished my senior high school.

I then studied an engineering undergraduate degree at one of Indonesia’s top universities. I really struggled financially, I started singing at events and weddings, anything to make extra money to cover my living costs. Then after looking at my grades from the first year, the government and the university decided to give me a scholarship. I was so lucky!

What professional experiences did you have before undertaking postgraduate studies?

BP Indonesia first hired me straight out of university as a discipline engineer, doing calculations, modelling and looking at production processes in a gas facility. After a year  they noticed that I could get along with people easily and had good communication skills. So BP asked me to move from discipline engineering, where you deal with computers and software, to project management engineering. I was now able to speak with staff across the different disciplines, deliver presentations, planning and things like that. Meeting people is by far the best part of my job!

After working for four years I realised I missed school. I was also really struggling because although I had specialised engineering training I didn’t have a basic knowledge of business. I couldn’t understand a lot of the technical decisions being made in the meeting rooms. That was when I realised I needed further business and project management knowledge for the role and I decided to look into postgraduate study.

Why did you choose ANU?

When I got accepted as an AusAID Australia Award Scholarship recipient, I researched Australian institutions and decided to pick ANU. ANU is a very well respected institution back in Indonesia. I had heard a lot of inspiring stories of Indonesian ministers who had studied at this world leading institution and I was really excited about the exposure to government projects and officials due to the location in Canberra.

How have you found it here so far?

I really love the Integrated Business Project courses, which are unique for ANU MBA students. This course is structured in a way to teach us the steps involved in started up your own company - from idea concept to venture. All the knowledge learnt from other classes is applied, and we present our business ideas in front of potential clients or investors. It's such a great experience for students - learning how to present, communicate and sell our business ideas.

I also like being involved in the activities and communities. It’s all about networking and experiences. The reason why I join a lot of different groups is because I believe that maybe we can meet people that we didn’t expect and expand our networks in the future.

I'm an ANU College of Business Economics Student Ambassador, Residential Scholar at Toad Hall, Vice-President of the ANU Indonesian Students Association and a Senior Community Ambassador for ANU Pasifika and Student Equity Division.

What are your plans for the future?

I will finish my ANU MBA in December, and have been offered admission to Harvard University to study a Master in corporate sustainability management.

After that I’d like to get some practical industry experience. But my long term plan is to complete a PhD and apply to be a resources consultant or policy advisor to the Indonesian government so that I can contribute even more to my country.

I want to be an inspiration for the West Papuan people. My family is very proud of me and so is the rest of the community back home. If I can successfully manage to achieve everything I’ve set out to do, this story can hopefully be an inspiration to other young people that they too can do it.

To find out more about the MBA at ANU and other options for graduate study in business and economics, come and talk to us.

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Updated:   12 April 2017 / Responsible Officer:  Dean, Business & Economics / Page Contact:  College Web Team