Home Inspirasi Karir Talk the Talk with Desi Anwar

Talk the Talk with Desi Anwar

Inspirasi Karir IV

By: Abigail Megan Widya


To hear tales about ambitious young people working all they have, trying to find their place in this world is one thing. But to know stories of those who live their life one step at a time with all their Zen is another. And yes, Desi Anwar is one of the latter.

My hearts were thumping and my hands were shaking, but all those nervousness is gone the moment Ms Anwar step into the room. Slender and serene, her presence brought such a tranquil atmosphere.

‘I’m sorry to keep you waiting, I get hold up in a meeting. And also, I might have to leave sooner than I planned to, depends on when they call me.’ After the cancellation yesterday and the delay this morning due to her workloads, Desi Anwar is truly a busy woman and it’s such an honor that she’d spare some time for PPI UK. Hence without further ado, we start our interview right away.

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Photo credit: Abigail Megan (PPI UK)

‘Yes, because we’ll be having a launch soon for this new TV program, so we’ve been quite busy,’ told Desi when I asked her how she’s currently doing. Add into that, she is also a regular columnist for both Tempo and The Jakarta Globe and host in her talk show too. It would require someone with an adept skill at time management to juggle all those things at once. Was this something she learnt during her university years?

‘I was part of the Student Union, but I wouldn’t classify myself as very busy. I guess I was active in a sense that I was hanging around, dating boys, finding myself… I was in an all-girl school before, so coming to university was like having a feast. But yeah, being a good time juggler is not something I specifically learn, I just do things as they come. I do what I have to do,’ chuckled Desi.

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And she does do a lot of things. How was it that she got to do them in the first place? Are there really any tips on how to be successful? ‘Well, I’d say take opportunities. When they come knocking on your door, you just got to open them. I didn’t plan to work in the media back then. A friend of mine was heavily pregnant, and she needs someone to take over her work. So there I was, a temporary copywriter at ANTARA. From then I met people who work in the media, learn the basics of Indonesian journalism and get suck into it. Became the national TV anchor, get known by people and the rest is history.’

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Throughout our interview, her elocution was coated with a rich English accent. It turns out that Desi Anwar was in the UK since her junior high school years, up to her master degree. In awe at how much experienced she went through, I then proceeded in asking her the dos and don’ts in studying in the UK.

‘Really practice your English. Read a lot, write a lot, watch movies.. Work your English. And try to enjoy UK as much as possible. There are many museums and libraries which are mostly free, visit them at your disposal. Befriended people regardless of their origins, and try not to stick to Indonesians so much. Enjoy the UK and all it has to offer.’

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‘I guess it was pretty simple for me. I was already into art, but my parents steer me away from art as they deem it as something I could learn in my free time, and I agree. So I did European Studies with French, as I thought how lovely it is to have a year in France, and it was.’ After her graduation, Desi Anwar was not in any rush to search for a job as she was living by her motto, live by the moment. So she helped her mum in the library of S.O.A.S., and that’s where she got her Masters Degree. ‘I didn’t plan any of it, actually. As I said, I just do what I do, and I have always opened my door for opportunities. I was helping in the South East Asia section, and then one of the librarians there suggested that I should take a Master and learn what I already was learning from those books. And so, I did.’

As her phone chimed and she picked up the call, I realised that our time is short and it was, as confirmed by Desi herself. Hence, the last part of Q&A is due. Words of advice for the current Indonesians studying in the UK? ‘Do your best, don’t stress too much, and don’t forget to always seize the day.’

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