Fighting back to climb the career.

Michael Arga Yudika Tobing, ST

Michael Tobing comes from Medan, North Sumatra. As the eldest of two children in the Batak family, he felt he had a responsibility to succeed, both in his studies and in his career. So, in 2008, he decided to study for a degree in Information Systems at leading university Institut Teknologi Harapan Bangsa (ITHB) in Bandung. The subject is not easy, but it presents boundless opportunities – particularly at ITHB, which is regarded by several multinational companies as a key source for talented graduates.

Michael had always been blessed with strong moral support from both his parents. They helped him stay focused on his goals during the ups and downs of studying far from home. So when his father passed away a few months before the end of his course, Michael was naturally devastated. The pain was almost too much to bear, and the thought of leaving his mother alone at home only compounded the misery. Suddenly, things didn’t look so bright.

Faith and family

Fortunately, Michael’s friends and mentors at ITHB had become like a family for him. He was an active member and minister at the Harapan Bangsa student ministry, and the care, support, prayers, and strong fellowship that he found there helped him find the faith and strength to carry on.

No matter how bad things got, Michael knew that he was not alone. God had a plan for him and would always be there. Knowing he was destined to succeed, he soon regained his motivation.

Michael had always been a bright, enthusiastic student. During workshops and training at ITHB’s Career Resource Center, his frequent questions were testimony to his drive to achieve. In 2012, he successfully completed his studies, obtaining an international professional certification in SAP. Just as important, though, his CRC programs, student ministries and other activities had helped him to become a more goal-oriented, positive, and responsible person.

As expected, Michael’s education and professional certification opened up many great job opportunities, even before he graduated. Through ITHB’s employer network, he was recruited by Anabatics Technology, a fast-growing IT company based in Jakarta. The firm, which has hundreds of consultants serving Indonesia’s largest companies, has hired several Harapan Bangsa graduates to work as SAP professionals.

Demand for quality

The demand for IT professionals in Indonesia has been on the increase over the last ten years, driven on by steady economic growth. But the supply side in general has not kept up, whether in terms of quantity or quality, and it has become much more difficult for companies to find enough suitably qualified IT professionals.

As a result, the race to recruit talent direct from university has become much more competitive. Some employers have even have gone as far as offering scholarships for final-year students – almost unheard-of in Indonesia – to make sure their targets join their companies once they graduate. A number of Harapan Bangsa students have been recruited in this way.

Leading firms like Anabatics know they can’t afford to recruit just any IT graduates. Without a doubt, they need knowledgeable and qualified students. But, as they have repeatedly stated, they need more students with personal character traits such as a positive attitude, good character, passion, a willingness to learn, team spirit, and strong commitment. And Anabatics saw all those things in Michael.

Next-level knowledge

As a new recruit, Michael knew he had to repay the faith shown by his employers. His knowledge and qualifications were just the beginning. He had to work very hard – perhaps even harder than most of his colleagues. He put in the hours to take his SAP knowledge to the next level, focusing in particular on the finance module.

Following his training, Michael was soon trusted to train other consultants who’d joined around the same time as him, and even more senior colleagues. Today, he is Associate Consultant for the Finance Management Solution, serving major clients from energy, banking, and other industries. He takes responsibility for many aspects of system implementation, in a high-stakes context of producing financial reports and analysis and asset-management reports that will be used to make important operational and strategic decisions.

Michael has overcome personal tragedy to get his career journey off to a flying start, and he clearly wants to stay on the fast track. He knows how many rewards there are for those with the commitment and perseverance to reach them. “Keep your eyes wide open, keep learning,” he says. “Trust God, always give your best, and He will do the rest.”