Connect. Listen. Deliver.
Gaby Keles, SE. | Wednesday, 12/03/2014 14:17 WIB
Gaby Keles works as a trainer in the Project Management Office (PMO) at Accenture, the world’s largest management and technology consulting company. She didn’t get much of a break between graduating in September 2012 and starting at Accenture, but she didn’t mind. After all, she was getting the chance to work abroad, in a position of authority and trust, helping a world-class consulting firm serve Malaysia’s largest telecommunication operator.
Today, Gaby’s responsibilities include creating strategic plans and designing training. She also works in a team that is developing a sophisticated training application. The PMO side of her job requires her to communicate senior management’s policies to staff, coordinate various events, and handle the administration of multiple projects running in parallel. It’s a busy, challenging role – particularly for someone fresh out of university.
Originally from Manado, Gaby came to Institut Teknologi Harapan Bangsa (ITHB) at Bandung in 2008, to study Management. She was following in the footsteps of her elder brother Kristo Rano Keles, who studied Information Systems at ITHB in 2006.
Right from the start, Gaby had her sights set on a global career. “I was once told that ITHB is one of a few universities in Indonesia that really listen to and connect with global companies to ensure that its graduates meet their expectations,” she recalls.
Like many other young high school graduates, especially those who live far from Indonesia’s economic and academic centers, Gaby didn’t really know what to expect from her college education. Coming to ITHB, on a different island thousands of kilometers from home, was a big decision. But Gaby’s family were completely behind her, knowing that the university campus would provide all the community and moral support she needed.
ITHB’s extensive connections with business have opened up many international job opportunities for its students. More importantly, though, they have also given the university a profound insight into what industry needs and expects from graduate recruits – not just qualifications, but personal qualities too.
Building on this understanding, the university makes sure that its curriculum includes up-to-date theoretical and practical content, character education, and a wide range of professional skills, such as career planning, resumé writing, interviewing, professional business presentation, and practical computer applications. Students can even gain professional IT certifications that meet global standards such as SAP, the world’s leading Enterprise Resource Planning system.
However, it’s not just about knowledge. ITHB also makes sure that its students understand what it takes to succeed over the long term. While qualifications such as GPA, TOEFL score, and SAP certification are certainly important, they become much more valuable to employers when combined with a passion to learn, sensitivity to real-world business problems, and a drive to achieve. Ultimately, positive attitudes, integrity and purpose are more critical to success than academic qualifications.
The hard work done by lecturers and students is paying off. ITHB graduates are gaining a positive reputation in the job marketplace, and the campus hiring events run by the university’s Career Resource Center attract leading Indonesian companies such as Telkomsel, Dexa Medica, and HM Sampoerna, as well as multinationals like Accenture. Gaby, along with 46 of her fellow students, was hired through one of seven on-campus Accenture recruitments to take place over the last two years.
For Gaby, adjusting to the demands of her new role hasn’t always been easy. She now works with people from many countries and cultures. Like any fresh graduate recruit, she’s had to quickly develop the discipline, work ethic and mental strength of a working professional. And she also needs to hone her communication skills, both verbal and written, which is always a challenge for those who use English as a second language.
Fortunately for Gaby, she’s not starting from zero. “I’m so glad that ITHB gave me the foundations that I need to succeed,” she says. “Now it’s up to me to carry on developing my skills, however steep the learning curve.”
The promise of a long and illustrious international career keeps Gaby going through the tough times, “Today, I’m working with 46 colleagues at Accenture Malaysia, all graduates from Harapan Bangsa,” she says. “When academics connect with employers, everybody wins – especially the students.”