By Kaisar Siregar
Justus en Louise van Effen Scholarship receiver
Master Management of Technology, Delft University of Technology
“Very original, Apple fanboy”, that is probably what you think when you read the title of this story. But we are not here to discuss whether I am a fanboy or whether Apple is an awesome company (in case you are curious the answers are “Yes” and to my oh-so-subjective opinion… “Yes”), we are here because I have a story and by some cosmic miracle, you happen to take an interest on reading something that I wrote in the middle of the night after my already-half-baked brain helped me finish a 10.0000 words essay on Managing Multi-cultural Conflicts.
So, if I was not already boring you with my overly long and strange prologue, I would like to share a little story about how I was stranded and eventually fell in love with this tiny little lowland that undoubtedly has the most beautiful weather in the world (1). And in case my story failed miserably to inspire you, I will also give my personal take on the Justus en Louise van Effen Scholarship (JvE for short) so at least this article will actually be useful apart from being the definitive guide on how NOT to write for “Laskar Beasiswa”.
“Always start a good story with a quote. Always!” (K. Siregar, circa 2013)
I guess a good point to start the story is on how and when did I find the drive to go study abroad. After I got my bachelor degree I went straight to work at a multi-national consulting firm, and boy, do I loved my job! I loved the work, the people, the career, the trainings, and of course the $alary. Until one faithful day, I decided to watch one of my favorite movies for the n-th time and stumbled upon the quote that literally figuratively ignite my desire to got out of my comfort zone: “Life is short. Stunt It!” Yes my friend, those two silly sentences said by a certain character named Rod Kimble from a very under-rated slapstick movie that flopped miserably in the Box-Office suddenly got me thinking and made me re-evaluate my life.
So what do you do when you ask yourself the question, “what should I do with my life?” Well if you ask Google, you will probably ended up in this website which is not entirely useful, or if you choose to ask Deep Thought she would probably went straight on giving you the answer to the ultimate question of life: “42”. Hence I ask other mere mortals namely my parents and friends. But again, much to my hatred towards anything mainstream, the only answer that I heard from them was “Just follow your passion”. Thank you Captain Obvious.
Maybe that answer is good if you already know what your passion is, but I believe some of you are just like me, a drifter I like to called it. Fear not my fellow drifters; never ever think that having no passion (yet) is a bad thing. In honesty, that very fact is exactly why I am now studying here at TU Delft. That very fact and a speech by Chris Anderson, which answered my “what should I do with my life?” question better than an inter-galactic super computer that spent 7.5 million years calculating a similar answer:
“Don’t pursue your passion directly. At least not yet. Instead… pursue the things that will empower you. Pursue knowledge… Pursue discipline… And above all. Pursue generosity… If you pursue those with all the determination you possess, one day before too long, without you even knowing it, the chance to realize your most spectacular dreams will come gently tap you on the shoulder and whisper… let’s go. And you’ll be ready.“
So there you are, the speech that changed my perception of life from constantly asking the cliché and abstract questions of “what should I do with my life?” and “what is my passion?” To a more concrete and quantifiable question of “what will empower me the most?” And for the past Kaisar Siregar on the 26th of October 2011 the answer was to let go his comfort zone, go to the post office and mail this little brown envelope.
Now I know what is on your mind right now. You must be thinking, “Wow, this boy have a pretty nice handwriting!” Sorry to disappoint you mate, it was my mom’s. However If you are also curious about the content of the envelope, fear not my young Padawan, I will reveal it in a moment. But before that I want to give a little explanation about the JvE scholarship. JvE is one of the TU Delft Excellence Scholarships that is given annually to 16 (2 for each faculty) excellent international applicants admitted to one of the TU Delft’s MSc. programmes. It is a full scholarship and it is the most lucrative one that TU Delft has to offer. The scholarship covers the following:
Now let’s get back to the envelope. Well, obviously that envelope contained all the documents required for my admission process for TU Delft, but also for the scholarship as well. In other words there is no additional process to apply for the scholarship. As long as TU Delft received your complete admission documents before 1st of November, you will be eligible for the scholarship (and other TU Delft’s scholarships as well). If you are selected as one of the recipient, they will inform you somewhere around March.
And now Dames en Heren, this is THE part where I will give you some kind of tips on how to apply for the scholarship and hopefully with that, this weird article will be worthy enough to be published. If not, maybe you will found this article as a placeholder for your banana fritters and veggie balls (3) So here they are:
The Rest of the “5 W’s + 1H’s” Questions (Because I Do Not Know What To Write Anymore)
I guess this is what happens when you do not have a structure before you started writing. But like every great writer does, just use the ultra powerful “etc.” or as the Latin said it, et cetera. Well in my case it is more like “End of Thinking Capacity” though. So anyway, here are some random FAQs that you might find it interesting:
Finally we have reached the end of this weird and quirky article. For you who actually survived reading the whole bits, I sincerely thank you and hopefully you will gain something positives from my experience. As the old saying said, “what’s goes around comes around” I would like to leave you with what I start “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish”