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News > Alumni Spotlight > Living the Dream as a Political Researcher

Living the Dream as a Political Researcher

Aldwin Yusgiantoro '12, an SJI International graduate, shares his transformative journey, overcoming initial setbacks and pursuing a career in politics and international relations.
Living the Dream as a Political Researcher
Living the Dream as a Political Researcher

Greetings, my name is Aldwin Yusgiantoro and I graduated from SJI International in 2012. I am proud to say that I am part of a special ‘pioneer’ group that came to SJI International back when it was first started in 2007 and did a full cycle of finishing to Grade 12. I am currently based in Washington DC working as a Director of Energy and Natural Resources for a strategic advisory firm called BowerGroupAsia. I received my Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from the University of Colorado at Boulder (2016) and a Master’s degree in International Development Studies from George Washington University (2019). 

As soon as I finished IB, I struggled to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I was feeling extremely disheartened and unmotivated after I received my score. I knew well among my friend’s group; I was the lowest. It took a few months until I gather some courage and overcame what I considered then as “failure” as a driver for motivation to do better. Only if I can turn back time, I would have been kinder to my younger self and not let bad scores define me or my life.  

I developed a great passion for politics and international relations early on in my IGCSE and IB days. Working as a public servant or at a multilateral organisation was always a dream of mine. Therefore, choosing to focus on International Relations for my study and later on honing in on International Development more broadly was a straightforward decision. 

I have had a great college experience in the United States both in Colorado and Washington DC. The experience of learning from great professors, and the community of students and alumni has undoubtedly shaped who I am today. I entered college with one goal in mind which was to absorb everything there was on the subjects I would be learning during that semester and to not let one bad grade bog me down. During college, I have learned that it is okay to fail and it is okay for you to take time to dwell on the failure. But the most important component would be how you reacted and looked for lessons to be learned. 

During and after college, I always knew that I want to pursue a career in a nexus between politics, policy and development. While I did not achieve my dreams of working in the public sector or multilateral organisations, I am currently aspiring to be an Asia-Pacific policy expert. My line of work focused on the development and implementation of strategies encompassing government relations, public affairs, facilitating investment, and capturing new opportunities for the world’s leading multinational companies in the APAC region. 

To sum up, all of my life experiences including during my time at SJI International have contributed to where and who I am today. And if I may give a word of advice to IB juniors who will be embarking on their next journey after SJI International would be to remember that failure is temporary and its aftereffects do not have to be long-lasting. It is all up to you and how you will respond can and will define your true character. All the best!



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