Milica Aathifah Soemarno

Milica Aathifah Soemarno

Postgraduate Research Student


Development Studies and Education

Graduation Year: 2011

Indonesian Translation

Milica Aathifah Soemarno completed her Arts Degree in Development Studies and Education from UNSW Arts and Social Sciences in 2011. During her study, she undertook several volunteering activities that focused on education and poverty alleviation such as Education Without Border and CARE Australia. After she graduated, she continued her volunteering passion with The Surya Institute in Indonesia. Milica began her career as analyst in human resource leadership and development. She had experience as HR Strategist and business partner, and currently running her family business in courier service and logistics company named PCP Express.

1. You’ve been through many phases on your professional journey. Which one of those you would say has been the best thing or the most unique experience and why?

My career path so far has been fulfilling. I would say every experience I’ve had has lead me to where I am now. I studied Bachelor of Arts majoring in Development Studies and Education, and I was exposed to all types of knowledge and thought I can be a jack-of-all-trades. My first expectation after I returned to Indonesia was to work as a teacher and develop community programs particularly on K-12 education in rural areas and taking part of government initiatives. I wanted to be a leader in education development, and help people to be more open to a lean and holistic approach on gaining knowledge. Then I was introduced to a consulting company who were a huge part of a program called “Indonesia Mengajar”, I think this is one of the most successful education development initiatives ever implemented in Indonesia. I quickly applied to their Management Development Program and worked my way up to become a Consultant.

2. Why did you decided to pursue Bachelor Degree in Australia? Did you consider any other countries? And why did you decided to choose UNSW rather than any other universities in Australia?

I considered UK and USA before I finally decided on Australia. First, Australia is closer to Indonesia as a neighbouring country, and there are so many great and friendly Indonesian communities in Sydney, very active and aware of incoming students. Australia is also very diverse country and accepting of different cultures, which made me more comfortable living and studying here. I chose UNSW because it is the only university that has focused so much on research, new knowledge, and innovation. The campus was great, I can choose so many interesting course subjects, and the way it was delivered are concise and structured. Great faculty professors with experience and research-based knowledge.

3. What made you choose the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences and what did you enjoy the most about it? (or any other things like extracurricular activities)

FASS had so many course subjects to choose from, it was all interesting and useful knowledge. There are many courses which I took from FASS expanded my way of thinking and helped me shaped who I am today, such as Philosophy of Science, Making Histories and Historians, and much more. Most of all I enjoyed majoring in Development Studies, I got so much information and depth understanding on how to manage human development and the trend on how it will focus in the future, as well as its global practice. There were so many aspects such as global law and regulations, politics, social, and economics that we need to understand and apply to perform well in Development Studies. That kind of practice during college really helps problem solving and analysis in all phases of my career.

4. What impact do you think your time at UNSW Arts & Social Sciences has had on your career?

I learned the basics and origins of leadership and organisation development and that helped me a lot through all phases of my career. Now I am back to support my family business, a logistic and courier services called PCP Express. I am the owner, strategic partner, and the chief of HR revitalization team. We are committed to providing service excellence, building partnerships, and expanding our networks further in Indonesia. Our mission is fully providing service even to the most remote area to support even distribution of goods and economic growth in our country. I hope that this step in my career can help create good impact to communities around Indonesia. The upside of managing people is that we as a company can influence our closest networks on learning and development, motivation, and culture. UNSW Arts & Social Sciences gave me the right mindset for life and career, not rigid at a certain profession but to become social entrepreneurs, being able to perform and contribute no matter where we are in our career.