Rico Dwi Nugrahatama
Jakarta, Indonesia

Hong Kong Baptist University
MA International Journalism Studies

Previous university/Major
Gadjah Mada University/BA in International Relations

Employer: Mercy Corps
Position: Project Officer Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) Learning Forum
Work duration: March-June 2016

Employer: Friedrich Naumann Foundation
Position: Program Assistant and Communications Officer
Work duration: August 2014-February 2016

Award and citation
Hinrich Foundation Scholarship 2016/2017
International Academy of Leadership (IAF) of Friedrich Naumann Foundation – Gummersbach, Germany 2015
Hungarian Scholarship Board – Semester Studies Non-Degree Exchange Program 2011/2012

Class of 2018
Current scholar

Read my story here
My first thought when I learned I was awarded this scholarship was: “Yes!”. It was a joyful day, and at the same time I had just finished my exhausting business trip to Semarang (the capital city of Central Java province), where a four-day international conference was successfully held. I saw an email notification on my phone, which it indubitably turned out to be from the Hinrich Foundation.
After reading it, I just couldn’t hide my excitement and shouted, “Yes!”

I’m interested in trade because: I strongly believe that trade, in addition to a free market economy, is the only recipe for a country to prosper. I grew up reading many philosophical books, not to mention economics and politics, and I must say Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman are among my favorite. As an avid reader of their books, I have been encouraged to pursue a career with an international organization that promotes free trade, property right and the rule of law.

What this scholarship opportunity means to me: Studying abroad with a full-scholarship has been my goal ever since. I have dreamt of studying overseas, and thanks to the Hinrich Foundation, I achieved it.
Although studying in Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) wasn’t my first experience living abroad (I went for an exchange program in Europe in 2011-2012), I feel lucky that I’m now getting an exposure to the financial hub of Asia – Hong Kong, rather than those in the West.

The international experiences I’m most looking forward to include: Meeting people from around the globe. There is always a mix of excitement before meeting someone new, regardless of ethnicity, language, religion and culture. I’m eager to learn!

What I’ll bring to my dorm to remind me of home and why: I always bring my family and closest friend’s photos wherever I go to remind me where I came from and to keep my feet on the ground.

My favorite hobbies and other interests I am passionate about are: I love playing football and badminton in my spare time. Apart from sports, I am also very much passionate about international politics, language, history and civilization and philanthropy.

My proudest achievement so far in life is: Traveling to 15 different countries before the age of 23. This was the most remarkable moment of my life. I am humbled by the generosity of many donors, who helped me financially through  several fellowships, scholarships, seminars and workshops abroad.

The largest obstacle I’ve overcome so far in life is: Living abroad for the first time of my life in Europe when I was 20 years old. Homesickness, language barriers, culture and food frustrated me during the first month. There were many ups and downs. It was one of the most critical moments of my life, but I was able to overcome it, and it had become one of the best years of my life.

My future goals and aspirations include: In the near future, I aspire to become a diplomat serving my country. To do so, I must learn more languages, read more international news and gain more work experience by working at international organizations.

I plan to give back and help others by: Sharing more to my community back in my hometown, the youth I was able to work with. I want to tell people out there that there is plenty of fish in the sea. The world has many good opportunities if you work hard. Aim at excellence, then success will follow.

Personal statement: A jack of all trades, I’m a generalist with a deep passion for communication, economics and politics. Having gone abroad, I speak English, Hungarian and a little German.
After spending some time gaining work experience, I believe this is the time to pursue higher education. The School of Communication at HKBU is renowned for its Journalism Department, which is one of the finest schools in Asia. I commit to bringing out the best in myself.

Story about Rico

I am a Hinrich Global Trade Scholar studying Master of Arts in International Journalism Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University. I have worked for over two years at Friedrich Naumann Foundation, a donor agency funded by the German government that operates in 62 countries throughout the world.

I was assigned to monitor project developments and develop communication strategies to various stakeholders including the Ministry of Law and Human Rights of the Republic of Indonesia, non-government organizations, media and universities.

Subsequently, I joined the Mercy Corps as a consultant to do project-based work for the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network Learning Forum in Semarang, Indonesia. This was attended by 100 international participants from more than 20 countries in partnership with Rockefeller Foundation, the World Bank and many international organizations.

I graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the Department of International Relations, Universitas Gadjah Mada.

In 2010, I was named by McKinsey & Co. as one of the “Young Leaders for Indonesia,” a selected community of Indonesia’s brightest students projected to be global leaders for the next 10-20 years. I was selected as one of the four Indonesian students to take a Hungarian Language and Studies major in Balassi Institute (2011-2012) through a merit-based scholarship with nearly 1.000 applicants per year. I also undertook a two-month internship at the well-respected development organization based in Hungary, the International Centre for Democratic Transition. I am proud to say that that I am the only Indonesian to have worked with this institution till date.