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Disappointment Turns into Gratitude (1)

In some points of life, you might experience a major disappointment

I never cried for not getting scholarship.


….until that day.

It was not the first time I failed on things. I did many times. And I get up and learn.

As for school and scholarship, I have received various results:

  1. Not successful (yet)
  2. Reserved list (and no one withdrew their awards, so I didn’t get it)
  3. Admitted at the school but didn’t get the scholarship (one of them is a school of international development in Geneva, Switzerland, which the admission itself is highly competitive)

…. Etc

I am usually relaxed. Of course I feel a bit sad and disappointed for a while (like a few minutes only. Really…), but I easily move on. Usually.

Unfortunately not for this one.


Recently when I re-read my previous application documents, I realize that long long time ago I didn’t make it very well. I mean I should have put more effort and improvement on my motivation letter for example. So I improved it. I tried to gather information about the study program and the relevant (economic and development) issues, as well as try to connect them with educational background, professional experiences and my future goals. I have my motivation letter read by a Senior Economic Advisor at my office and some of my friends and seniors. I think by being more opened on this, I can get their feedback and input. I found it important and helpful in making my motivation letter better.

scholarships-signApplying for school and scholarship is a journey. I can call it a reflection process. Why? Because along the journey, I actually try to figure out myself: what I have achieved, what I am doing now, what I want to do in the future, how they are connected and how the study can help me achieve my future goals. How I can contribute to community at large with the knowledge I have.

It helps me connect the dots in my own life.

You might know that applying for school and scholarship is very time-consuming. Sometimes I feel so sick seeing those thick forms with many questions inside. Also various required documents that I have to collect. As you know, it needs patience. Even extra patience.

Sometimes I have to sleep late and wake up early for doing all the essays. That is the price to pay. And I am always sure that this is worth it. Even more.


To make it short, I was admitted in the Master of International Economics and Business program at the University of Groningen, Netherland. This university is among the world’s best 100 universities. I was so happy and grateful for the result. But the next homework was to obtain funding source for the study. I am so dependent on scholarship. Yes, I am a scholarship hunter.

I was suggested to apply for the university scholarship called Eric Bleumink Fund (EBF) Scholarship. The first stage is the selection process in each faculty. I was one of the two students who were nominated by the Faculty of Economics and Business. But unfortunately I didn’t make it in the final stage of selection process, there were only four students awarded after being selected from all faculties.

The next opportunity was LPDP Scholarship from the Ministry of Finance (Kemenkeu). I applied for this scholarship and felt quite confident because I met all the requirements. Plus I already have a Letter of Acceptance from a university which will be an advantage. Having experience in competing with other international students, I think I can do better in national scale (I’m being optimistic here). So I completed the application with all the requirements include some essays and recommendation. I got reference from Pak Anies Baswedan who is quite influential person I think.

8 May 2013 was the announcement of the scholarship.

I was about to start a meeting outside office so I kindly asked Chendra to check the result which was announced on the website.

I was so nervous.

I know it must be hard for him to tell me the result. It’s not a comfortable position to be a person who passes unexpected news (not to say bad news).

“Sorry but you’re not on the list,” he said (with sad emot)

It surprised me. I know some of my friends passed the first stage of the selection process. What is so wrong with me not to be accepted? I thought I already did my best. I was so disappointed that I could not really concentrate during the meeting.

In the evening when I was finally home, I could not manage myself not to cry. I chatted with Yani, a bestfriend of mine, told her about the result of LPDP scholarship. Then she checked the LPDP website and reverted back to me.

“Icha, your name is on the list! You passed!”

I was (again) surprised. REALLY? How come? Previously I also saw the announcement and my name was not there.

(to be continued)



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