Sat, 08 Oct 1994

Bogor-based IPB graduates can make it almost anywhere

JAKARTA (JP): If graduates of the Bogor Agricultural University (IPB) don't exactly end up becoming farmers or entrepreneurs, where do they head off to after they complete their studies and enter the real world?

Mangiring L. Toroean, a 1967 graduate of IPB's school of fisheries, ended up as vice president of Citibank. Rahmat Mulianda, who graduated from the school of Agricultural Technology in 1989, became an account officer at Bank Muamalat, and Lita Ginting, who finished her studies at the school of forestry in 1990, decided to work as a distribution manager at McDonald's.

These are only three examples, but there are numerous others working in insurance offices, in the mass media, in state banks and in many other sectors where IPB graduates simply "should not be."

Why the change of course?

"If you want to get a good job in Indonesia, it often means you need to have top-notch connections. If you disagree with this -- and many IPB graduates do -- you'll find yourself working anywhere, and not necessarily in your field of expertise," says Mangiring.

But "anywhere" doesn't mean just any other place: what's important is that it must be a place where your logic and common sense really counts, he added.

"From my experience and observation, people who don't work in their field of expertise tend to be more serious in studying their new fields. They are forced to be more innovative and creative," he said.

Rahmat admits that deep down in his heart he had wanted to work in his field of study. "I know the country needs more people to develop agro-industry, but the system won't allow it... our country's resources are simply not developed to head into that direction."

"Agriculture should be a process of production, but from the rate farmland surrenders to non-agricultural projects, I can see how uncommitted policy makers are towards developing agriculture," he added.

Lita admitted she spent six months applying to forestry companies in a hope to work in her field. Failing to get a positive response, however, "my idealism simply collapsed."

She considered that there is already an excess of forestry school graduates who are prepared to fill managerial positions at forestry companies. An established apprenticeship program is necessary, "so students have more experience and graduates have a surer place to go."

"Our studies at IPB are very general, so we can go anywhere," she pointed out.

But of course not all IPB graduates end up outside the industry.

Just to name a few: Minister of Agriculture Sjarifudin Baharsjah, Director General of Fisheries Muchtar Abdullah, Director General of Forest Management Hendarsun Suryasanusiputra and Deputy of the National Mapping and Surveying Coordination Board and former Director General of Forest Protection and Nature Preservation Rubini Atmawidjaja.

It may be a matter of choice or fate, but either way IPB graduates continue to contribute to the increasingly tougher competition in job-seeking nowadays.(pwn)