Alhamdulillaah 'alaa kulli haal
I know that it has been ages ago since my last post about study in Sweden and you must have thought that I am abandoning this blog wkwk. Well, nope. I love writing and this blog is my perfect place to write, and to be read, and I hope to inspire (pfft, really, Gin?)
So, after my failure (it's okay, really) to study in Sweden, I kinda feel depressed. It is just my thing that, I do plan for things in my life because I fear uncertainty, and this failure leads to an uncertainty of my future, of my life. I even feel confused of my dream, like, do I really want to go further in the field of spatial design, while I am having a business, a hijab brand Hana Aisha, and I love being a creativepreneur.
After struggling again, alhamdulillah I have been accepted in RMIT University, Australia, which has better ranking and qualification in the world, in Art & Design subject, than the university I applied before. I have been accepted in Master of Fashion (Entrepreneurship) program and it is a perfect, perfect match with my dream. Yes, I finally find out that my dream is becoming a creativepreneur.
This started when I read a John Maxwell's book, titled, "Put Your Dream to the Test"
The very first chapter slapped me on the face, it is about Ownership Question: "Is my dream really my dream?" because the reason why I pursue spatial design major for my master degree is to be able to become a lecturer, while, later on (after reading the chapter) I found out that it is my mother's dream, not mine. My mother is a lecturer and she was the one who against the idea of me, selling hijab, for a career and for a living. She said that it is not a settle job, that I will do everything just for the money, money, and money, and that it has nothing to do with serving and helping people. I can't blame her because this is very new in our family, that no one in the big family is an entrepreneur and she just had no idea of it. It's her nature as a mother to protect me, and as a lecturer, she does suggest me to become a lecturer as well, as she knows that I love teaching so much and I am good at it.
After reading the very first chapter of the book, I agree that this is my life and I am not going to live it doing someone else's dream. Because the definition of dream itself is, "... and inspiring picture of the future that energizes your mind, will, and emotions, empowering you to do everything you can to achieve it." If it is not my dream, it will not energize me and empower me, and if things get hard I will be losing my spirit and motivation. I will never get it. Besides, if I do achieve it later, will I be satisfied with my life? this YOLO life?
I then continue to do my business, and because it is the one that I love and enjoy to do, because it is my dream, I survived many wicked problems a long the way, alhamdulillah. Even if things get really really bad, I still get the fire because that motivation comes truly from inside myself. I still do teaching as a teaching assistant in my campus, not for my mother, but because, well, I love teaching and improving people (and omg I love when my student is having that eureka moment. It is addictive wkwkwk), it is only two full days in a week so I still have a lot of time to do my business, plus it gives me a fixed salary each months to support the ups and downs in my business. After a while, I finally get my mother's full support, started when I fully paid back her money as she lent me such big amounts of money to start the business. She sees me happy and she is amazed with what I am capable to do, how creative and independent I have become, and that I can work from home at ease.
I then searched for suitable master program to help me achieve my dream, or even part of the dream itself. At first I was confused of whether choosing Textile/Fashion Design subject or Business & Management subject, because I actually prefer to get business managerial knowledge and capability but specifically for creative industry. I am afraid if I study Business & Management subject, the knowledge will be too general and not directly applicable to my creative business.
Later I found out that usually Fashion school has Fashion Business program as well as Fashion Design, for example, ESMOD Jakarta. So, I need to find a Fashion school, not Business school. However, the availability of scholarship is also a main factor of selecting the university. At that time, Australian Awards Scholarship (AAS) is open for application so I started to search for an eligible university in Australia. In case I don't get the scholarship, I also look up to LPDP Scholarship University List. In short, I list the university that is on AAS list and also on LPDP list. Later on, it turned out that I didn't get the Australian Awards Scholarship so maybe LPDP is my only chance right now.
Next, I opened www.topuniversities.com and select Rankings > QS World University Rankings by Subject.
On the Art & Humanities section, I clicked on Art & Design.
It is important to view university rankings by subject because not all top world universities is "that good" in specific subject, especially for the subject I am interested. After I clicked Art & Design subject, this page appeared.
... and there it is. RMIT University takes the 17th position, globally, for Art & Design subject. I then scrolled back to the top of the table and clicked "By Location", and chose "Oceania" to filter the list. Now the list only shows universities in Oceania region (Australia and New Zealand).
RMIT University is on the top of the list (17th globally), followed by The University of Melbourne (28th globally), while The Australian National University, which is on the list of World Top 50 Universities (general, not by subject), is not even in the top 5. So, I totally recommend you to see the ranking by subject, not in general.
After that, I opened RMIT University website www.rmit.edu.au, hovered to "Study with us", and selected "Art, design, and architecture".
And then, "Fashion and Textiles"
I got the list of available program: undergraduate, postgraduate, research, and vocational. RMIT offers range of program, and I SCREAMED as I saw "Master of Fashion (Entrepreneurship)" program. Like, this is what I want. This is perfect.
RMIT website is very easy to navigate. I got full information about this course, which are the description and goals, program structure (subjects for each term along 2 years program, description, lecturer, contact), how to apply, entry requirement, scholarship, etc.
After I read the information, I had some questions in my mind, so I clicked "Enquire", filled the question form, and got the answer after 1 working day by email. They even called me, directly to my phone number (I filled it in the question form) but at that time I was on morning train, the number is unknown, so I didn't pick up the call.
There is no exact period of enrollment (you can apply whenever you want) and we can freely choose when to start study either on February or July each year. I applied on June 2017 and choose July 2018 to start my study. The selection process is very fast, only 10 working days maximum. In my case, I got the result in 8 working days, and it was D-3 closing of LPDP application. It was so close but in the end I can apply LPDP with Letter of Acceptance (LoA) alhamdulillah (':
I clicked "Entry Requirements" to see what I need to have for applying this program.
In this page we can see the requirements. The requirements are different for each program. What listed above is for Master of Fashion (Entrepreneurship) only. You can explore RMIT website and find out the requirements for your own chosen program.
As we can see, the minimum GPA is 2.5 in any discipline (we don't need to have prior fashion degree) or if you have completed minimum 5 years in fashion industry experience, you are eligible to apply. Then, we get Selection Tasks: Statement, Interview, and References. Since I didn't apply on the basis of work experience, I didn't have to provide References, so I only made the Personal Statement (I will explain later on this post). They didn't requested me to attend the Interview and I don't know why. Maybe (this is my personal opinion, though), the Interview is done if our application/document is not complete/something missing, or if we have GPA below 2.5, or if your IELTS/TOEFL score is below the requirement and they want to test your fluency, or simply if they have further question. However, in my case, they didn't interview me and I am very very grateful (': well, you know how introverted I am.
Next, I clicked "How to Apply"
I skipped Number 1 as I already did it, and continued to Number 2: Supporting Documents.
So, other than the Selection Task (Statement, Interview, References), this is the documents we need to provide. The list above is general for all program, except the "Other attachments (if applicable)" section, it depends. The documents are scanned then uploaded. The documents I submitted are:
- Scan of Passport
- Certified copies of academic transcripts in English and Bahasa
- Certified copies of ALL graduation certificate (if you are cum laude and have the certificate, submit it) in English and Bahasa
- IELTS Test Result form
I use Europass CV format, but I think any format is acceptable. I only list relevant experience with fashion entrepreneurship in the CV. My suggestion is, before you apply for any program, make sure that you already have any relevant experiences. This will make your application strong and get you bigger chance to be accepted.
- Personal Statement (selection task for Master of Fashion (Entrepreneurship) program).
About Statement/Personal Statement, it is written in Selection Tasks section,
"You must include with your application a one page personal statement outlining the reasons why you will benefit from undertaking the Masters of Fashion (Entrepreneurship) and how it is aligned to your interests, aspirations and career ambitions."
so this is how we tell them about ourselves and our intention. Why we choose the program, what we have already got, why we are eligible for the program, why we are the best candidate. I wrote in a very honest way possible. We are expected to "sell" ourselves without being too selfish or too arrogant. I studied some personal statement sample that I googled and learned the essence. There is no exact format, except if the institution gives you one. In this case, RMIT only specifies the key contents: what benefit will I get from this program, aligned to my interest, aspirations, and career ambitions. This is my personal statement:
To be noted, you can't make it perfect by only one draft. So, revise, revise, and revise. Ask opinion from other people, like, is this too cocky, have I elaborated myself clearly, are the content on track or do I need to eliminate some derailed details, is there any grammatical error, is there any more suitable and more powerful, 'elegant', vocabulary, etc.
After you have everything you need, you can access iapply.rmit.edu.au, create an account, verify, and start filling the form. Unfortunately I cannot provide the screenshot and step by step because I didn't document it and my application is finished. However, again, you can always Enquire and get your answers. You don't have to finish the application in one single access. You can fill, save, log out, and log on back to continue from your saved progress.
As I said before, it takes 10 working days maximum to get the result, or two calendar weeks to be exact. They sent me an email saying that I am Conditionally Offered which means I got a Conditional LoA. The term "Conditional" means that I need to provide something before they unconditionally accept me. I was surprised and happy, but also anxious at the same time, worrying about the condition I need to provide.
Alhamdulillah, the Condition is only that they need me to send a certified copies of my transcript and graduation certificates to RMIT via post/courier. They need to have the documents in hard copy, since the application process only got us to upload the scan or the soft copy. They will not give the documents back, that's why it is the certified copy that they asked for, not the original documents.
I sent the documents via EMS Pos Indonesia because it is the cheapest and trusted. We can also track the status of the delivery. It took 3 or 4 working days to send from Bogor to Melbourne, Australia. A week after my documents are delivered, I got another email. This time, the LoA is not conditional anymore (:
This is called Letter of Acceptance (LoA) or offer letter. I have to accept the offer in order to really enroll in this program. However, accepting the offer needs me to pay a deposit, fees, and OSHC which I am unable to do without getting scholarship. I currently in the process of LPDP scholarship selection and hopefully this time is my time. Well, if it is not my time, yet, it is okay. Learning from my previous failure, when Allah postponed to give what I am pursuing, He then Gave me a better one (: so.... ya.
I am afraid that is all I can tell you about my RMIT Admission Story. Please let me know if you have further questions, or if I need to correct anything. Leave a comment below, or if you need fast response, contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope this post helps you.