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“One Way Ticket” (2)

(Inspirational Story)

By Sandiaga Uno

 

Amidst the new passion for the world of work, Bank Summa gave me the opportunity to continue my  Master of Business Administration education at George Washington University, (GWU) Washington DC. Overseas America no longer feels strange to me. I enjoy learning assignments from this workplace. Beautiful dreams burst into the air, of course after completing this Master’s education I was able to pursue a higher career at Bank Summa.

Sandiaga Salahuddin
Living between sports, entrepreneurship and politics

The atmosphere of DC where there are far more Indonesian settlers than in Wichita also makes me  more comfortable. The first year of education at GWU went smoothly. I also have the opportunity to be actively involved with Indonesian student associations in America.

The end of every dream, good or bad, is awakened in consciousness. My sweet dream in the first year of college at GWU was suddenly confronted with a reality that had never been thought of before.

In the country, Bank Summa experienced liquidity difficulties which led to cases of bad loans. Om Williem, —William Soeryadjaya—, intervened to take over the ownership of Bank Summa and then pledged its share ownership in the most valuable assets of the Soeryadjaya family, Astra.

But all the efforts made by Om Williem, who ultimately lost ownership in Astra, could not save Bank Summa. The impact on me who is far away in America is really felt. My scholarship stopped just in the midst of my passion I wanted to immediately complete this Masters program. For me at the time, it was truly unethical in the midst of a big storm that was being faced by Bank Summa, to ask about the continuation of the scholarship.

In 1992, I seemed to be holding a one-way ticket again. Beautiful dreams that had flown in the sky of dreams, one by one broke like a helpless bubble. The re-examination again tested my instinct to survive. To complete the study coupled with the cost of living in America, my savings at that time were far from enough.

***

There is not much I can save from working for one and a half years at Bank Summa. I felt at that time, it was no longer worth bothering parents with the difficulties I faced. The problem with the termination of this scholarship is that I keep a meeting from my parents until I have successfully completed my studies at GWU. The only option available is to find a job and with money from the work I can continue to study.

When life challenged me to survive, at that time I was prepared to do any work as long as it was halal and enough to complete the study. It even occurred to be a dishwasher or cleaner. Fortunately, with above average academic achievement, I was able to apply for a job as a lab assistant at GWU. At that time I was paid US $ 3 per hour. I worked for a long time, because then the opportunity for higher-paying jobs became tutors with a salary of US $ 6 per hour.

Working while studying in a country really becomes a test of life discipline. I have to be clever at sharing time, so that work can support the lecture I’m taking, not the other way around. Here I also realize the importance of setting targets and priorities. My target at work is to get money to complete college. This means that lectures are a top priority that must be supported by my sincerity in work. Praise be to God Almighty, I am able to go through it well. I did not just succeed in completing studies at GWU, but returned to graduating with a summa cum laude.

I am twenty-three years old when I take my Master of Business Administration degree from George Washington University. With that young age, there is a temptation to accept other jobs in the midst of uncertainty surrounding Bank Summa. The dream of working in a large, well-established company is still possible, I may re-assemble. But since childhood, I used to be loyal to one thing.

I am loyal to one sport, basketball. I am loyal to one woman, from dating to becoming my wife, Nur Asia Uno. I am also loyal to the field of finance that I study. And in my opinion it is important to be loyal to banks that have given me the opportunity to work and then even to continue Master’s studies in America. Even if my career has to end, I want that decision to come from people who hire. I returned to Indonesia, still with the status of a Bank Summa employee.

***

On December 14, 1992, Bank Summa was liquidated by Bank Indonesia. I lost my job. My blind loyalty seems to be overwhelmed by reality. Looks like on the surface. But what really happened was those important and valuable times in my life. I have the opportunity to take a closer look at how Om Willem, a business mentor I admire so much, manages the crisis. From Om Willem I learned, that business is more than a matter of profit and loss but responsibility. So much will be sacrificed by Om Willem to return the customer’s money at Bank Summa, until finally Astra was built and he grew up in ownership.

In the long run, the crisis experienced by my place of work provided a far greater lesson when I later handled companies including banks that were “sick”. I often think, if at the point of crisis in 1992 I decided to leave Bank Summa just like that, of course I would never be able to walk this far in the business world. That is the lesson from the loyalty tree whose fruit I learned in the future.

Life goes on. Clockwork is never waiting for us to move. I decided to return to complaining about fortune overseas. One Way Ticket takes me to a neighboring country, Singapore. Faithful to the field I work in, finance, I work as a finance and investment analyst at Seapower Asia Investment Limited. A year later, my career rose when I joined MP Holdings Limited Group as an Investment Manager.

In 1995, when I was twenty-six years old, I joined NTI Resources Ltd, Canada as Executive Vice President. This work brought me back to North America, precisely Calgary Canada. At that young age, I was able to generate “six digit” dollar income. If success is measured by the speed of making money, then at the age of twenty-six I have succeeded. But the thing is, my life wheel never stops. In fact the wheel rotates faster than the wheels of life of many people.

With all the achievements I got, at that time I felt I was able to buy a “return ticket” from the one way ticket that was given by my father. The dreams of adolescence about an established life have come true. The reality was even more complete when I decided to marry my girlfriend from adolescence, Nur Asia Uno in 1996. One year later our first daughter Anneesha Atheera Uno was born. But precisely in the midst of this perfection of life, a very large test of life awaits me … (continued)

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“One Way Ticket” (1)

(Inspirational Story)

By Sandiaga S Uno

Overseas has become a trace of destiny that I received. Long before I was born, my father, Razif Halik Uno left the land of Gorontalo born in the city of Bandung. My mother, Mien Uno, after getting married with my father also wandered away from the city of Bandung to the oil-rich interior of Rumbai.

Sandiaga Salahuddin
Living between sports, entrepreneurship and politics

Rumbai is the birthplace for me and my brother, Indra Cahya Uno. Like father and mother, the homeland has never been our land of residence. When I was in elementary school, my father moved to Jakarta. In the capital, my father built fortune and at that time I thought our adventure had reached the city of dreams. I also began to depend on the ideals in the sky of the capital.

It didn’t take long for me to adjust to life in Jakarta. I have no trouble getting new friends, because our house has always been a gathering place for school friends. This is because our house is always close to school. In terms of choosing a school, you have the principle that schools must be close to home. With that, he can still watch over us.

In addition, my passion for basketball also opens the door to association. One throw of the ball seemed to bring me a basket of friends. Until I graduated from high school, I enjoyed the comfort of Jakarta with all the dynamics of adolescence. I began to climb the stairs to achieve simple dreams. I want to study at the Faculty of Economics, University of Indonesia, then with a bachelor’s degree working in a bona fide company with enough salary to live well.

When all that comfort gripped my life, my father offered me an offer that I could not refuse. The offer was in the form of a ticket to go to college in the United States. One Way Ticket, without a ticket to return. The only way to return is to go there, complete the study as best as possible and only work opportunities can bring me back to Jakarta. It’s hard to describe my mixed feelings at that time. But clearly there is no jump in feelings of joy. I accepted the offer and the overseas episode began again.

Without internet and cheap flights, the world in the eighties looked very broad. America in my shadow is a wonderland with all the miracles that appear in news and movies. Coupled with stories from people who have been there about progress that is still a dream in the country. Skyscrapers, megapolitan hustle and millions of people from various races and backgrounds with endless busyness are Americans on the screen.

***

But when I set foot in a city called Wichita, the shadow faded into alienation. Back in the twenties, Wichita was known as “Air Capital of the World” because in that city several aircraft factories were built, but still far from my previous image of America.

There are no skyscrapers, the night feels much slower than Jakarta and there is no crowd of races, you could say Wichita is only occupied by white people. In addition, I arrived there in the winter just beginning. The perfect combination for Jakarta’s memories that continue to surround the mind.

Slowly I realized, wander the stranger like a wide white canvas to paint life. Alienation provides space for us to start everything from scratch because the new place does not provide the past. Although I had to forget my dream of studying at the Faculty of Economics, University of Indonesia, I remained loyal to the dream of pursuing accounting at Wichita State University (WSU).

WSU is the third largest campus in the state of Kansas. Most of the students come from the surrounding area, not many come from other states, especially abroad. I can’t hope to find many other Indonesian students here.

In that isolation, my instinct to survive was further honed. Studying in the land of people turns out to give me multiple motivation. Not to prove yourself to anyone but more to the need to survive. There are no other options available than stopping a diploma on time with a value that must be satisfactory. It didn’t take long for me to adjust to the rhythm of WSU campus life. Struggling with numbers, from an obligation turns into something fun.

Other routines are visiting the post office located on campus, sending and waiting for a letter from the country to arrive. Connecting by telephone is difficult for students with mediocre bags like me. But I sent a letter with my parents and also with my girlfriend who later became my wife, Nur Asia Uno, making me who used to be foreign with the world of writing to be fluent in telling stories. The return distance provides a bonus for me.

***

The learning routines that were really occupied made me not have many opportunities to develop wider relationships. In my opinion, it is a reasonable sacrifice for a handful of dreams to work in a large company for an established life. The dream of becoming a businessman wasn’t in my mind at that time. In fact, on the WSU campus it was the first time I seriously knew the word “entrepreneurship”. In 1988, at the beginning of my study there, the first stone was laid for the construction of Devlin Hall.

In 1990, with the end of my study at WSU, the building dedicated to the Center for Entrepreneurship was completed and stood majestically in the middle of the campus. Devlin Hall is one of the first campus buildings in the world for entrepreneurship development.

In addition, in the middle of the campus also stood a simple building that was recently moved from Bluff and Kellog Street in 1986, Pizza Hut Number One. The building was the first Pizza Hut store founded by two WSU students in 1958 which later became a worldwide franchise network. And even later I have the opportunity to have ownership in the franchise network in Indonesia.

Two years have not been felt since my father handed me a one way ticket. Thank God Alhamdulillah, I did not just get a Degree from the W Frank Barton Wichita State University School of Business but also complete with a summa cum laude predicate. Academic achievements in this country made me called back home, invited to join a Finance and Accounting Officer at Bank Summa. The bank, owned by Edward Soeryadjaya, at that time was one of the private banks that was growing rapidly.

Slowly, my dream of the world of work began to materialize. Being a junior at Bank Summa opened a wide opportunity for me to get to know the world of banking and finance. I followed the whole process that had to be experienced by a new worker, training, getting guidance from seniors who already had names in the banking world to work on jobs that seemed small and trivial to many people but important for self-development … (continued )

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Anies-Sandi Dalam Tantangan Membangun Jakarta yang Manusiawi

Anies sejatinya bukan penduduk Jakarta, sama halnya seperti Joko Widodo yang datang dari Solo. Rumah batihnya terletak di Kuningan Jawa Barat, kira-kira 180 kilometer dari Jakarta. Akan tetapi sejak kanak-kanak, Anies menghabiskan waktunya di Yogyakarta.

Sejak kecil Anies hidup bersama Kakek-nya yang seorang Pahlawan Nasional, sebagai wartawan dan pernah dipercayakan sebagai Menteri Penerangan dalam kabinet Presiden Soekarno.

Kedua orang tua kandung Anies bekerja sebagai pengajar dengan masing-masing spesifikasi keilmuan. Bapaknya dosen Fakultas Ekonomi Universitas Islam Indonesia, di Yogyakarta dan Ibunya seorang guru besar Psikologi di Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta.

Meskipun sama-sama di Yogyakarta, tapi Anies malah tinggal bersama Kakek dan Neneknya. Perjalanan pendidikannya juga sangat gemilang. Mendapat SMA terbaik di Kota Yogyakarta, beberapa kali mendapat beasiswa dari negara yang berbeda, hingga mendapat gelar “doctor of phylosophy”.

Anies dan Sandi di Jakarta
Jakarta ditangan generasi baru yang terdidik, santun dan cerdas

Ketika SMA, di samping mendapat kesempatan dalam program pertukaran pelajar, Anies juga pernah didapuk menjadi Ketua OSIS seluruh Indonesia. Semacam presidium dari gabungan OSIS sekolah menengah di Indonesia.

Sebelum mendapat kesempatan sebagai gubernur DKI, Anies telah banyak mendapatkan pengalaman di beberapa lembaga. Meskipun “wong ndeso”, tapi sejak kembali dari Amerika Serikat, dia menghabiskan waktunya hidup di belantara Jakarta dengan berbagai pengalaman pekerjaan.

Program pribadinya yang ajeg hingga saat ini adalah “Indonesia Mengajar”, yang bertujuan memberikan pendidikan gratis kepada anak-anak muda Indonesia. Khususnya bagi daerah pedalaman dan desa-desa tertinggal di nusantara. . Namun hingga kini Anies giat meneruskan apa yang telah dirintis bersama dosennya ketika ia masih berstatus mahasiswa di UGM

Anies merekrut mahasiswa post graduate yang masih fresh yang gemar tantangan dan petualangan untuk menjadi pengajar di daerah terpencil. Program yang ajeg hingga saat ini, ini banyak mendapat partisipasi dari para sarjana baru dari berbagai disiplin ilmu, untuk mengabdikan diri sebagai pengajar sekaligus untuk mencari tantangan dan menikmati petualangan.

“Jakarta punya cerita”

Sandi, adalah anak Jakarta yang lahir, hidup dan dibesarkan di Jakarta. Ibunya seorang pakar kepribadian dan sekaligus pengusaha. Sandi mengikuti jejak Ibunya menjadi seorang pengusaha. Sandi juga aktif di organisasi Kadin sebagai tempat berhimpunnya para pengusaha nasional.

Bagi Sandi tak terlalu asing jika berbicara tentang Jakarta. Seluk beluk tentang ibukota telah melekat dalam dirinya. Sejak mulai masuk sekolah TK hingga sarjana, dihabiskannya di Jakarta.

Sebagaimana anak Jakarta lainnya, hidup Sandi selalu dipenuhi dengan “jakarta punya cerita”. Sandi melebur menjadi bagian dari geliat Jakarta yang dinamis. Jakarta yang dibayangi kehidupan yang agamis dan humoristis membentuk pribadi Sandi sebagaimana anak-anak muda Jakarta lainnya. Selalu ceria, penuh persahabatan dan tidak gampang tersinggung.

Budaya Betawi sendiri, memiliki kekerabatan yang unik. Kehidupan masyarakatnya kental tolong menolong dan selalu dipenuhi kelakar dan candaan. Karena memang mereka sebagai masyarakat yang penuh humor. Jarang ditemukan berbicara dalam tensi tinggi sampai wajah dan mata jadi memerah.

Sandi selalu tampil sumringah, murah senyum dan welcome dalam pertemanan. Dia selalu tampil apa adanya. Kehidupan baginya bukan lah harus dibawa susah. Semua selalu dihadapi dengan hati yang lapang, karena baginya setiap masalah sudah disediakan jalan keluarnya.

Lebih dari tiga ratus lima puluh tahun hidup di bawah penjajahan, semakin memperkuat sosok budaya Betawi yang tetap lestari hingga hari ini. Tidak ada kesan terkontaminasi dengan budaya yang dibawa kaum penjajah. Di mana ada perlawanan yang hebat di situ agama tetap terjaga. Tak sedikit pun ada pengaruh terhadap kehidupan agama orang Betawi. Lebih dasari sembilan puluh persen orang asli Betawi, merupakan penganut Islam yang taat.

Anies dan Sandi merupakan perpaduan dua figur yang saling melengkapi. Keduanya juga dikenal dermawan. Terbukti dari program Indonesia Mengajar yang dipersembahkan Anies bagi negara ini untuk memberdayakan anak-anak kurang mampu agar bisa mengenyam pendidikan yang layak dan berkualitas. Semuanya tanpa dipungut bayaran.

Sebagai pengusaha

Kehidupan pribadi Sandi berada di dalam dua sisi permukaan. Sebagai pengusaha, Sandi menjalankan kegiatan yang berorientasi profit; mencari keuntungan. Namun di sisi lain di dalam kehidupan sosialnya, Sandi merupakan sosok yang dermawan.

Sandi sebagaimana juga Anies, tidak tinggal di kompleks eksklusif. Melainkan menyatu dengan masyarakat luas dari berbagai corak, tradisi dan latar belakang budaya. Bukan dalam lingkungan satu warna. Dengan begitu, baik Anies maupun Sandi sangat mengerti kondisi masyarakat yang ada. Kekayaan empati yang dimiliki keduanya sudah lebih dari cukup untuk membuat Jakarta nyaman bagi seluruh golongan dan tingkatan.

Dengan kapital sosial-intelektual yang telah dimilikinya saat ini, kini tinggal dukungan dari DPR Provinsi DKI agar di samping kontrol yang baik juga sebagai suporter untuk pembangunan Jakarta. Namun karena Jakarta adalah ibukota negara, maka perhatian pemerintah pusat juga sangat diperlukan. Seperti biasanya sebagian sumber alokasi pos anggaran pembangunan (APBN) berada di sini.

Anies dan Sandi harus mampu mengantisipasinya dengan mempersiapkan manajemen, pengaturan dan sistem serta mekanisme kerja yang baik. Agar segala sesuatu yang terkait dengan kinerja, dapat dipelihara tingkat efektivitas, ekonomis dan efisiensinya.

Anies bertemu dengan istrinya di “Kampus Biru”, Universitas Gajah Mada, Yogyakarta, sedangkan Sandi bertemu istrinya ketika sama-sama kuliah di Amerika. Dengan dukungan istri yang well-educted, sangat diharapkan keduanya bisa mewujudkan harapan warga yang telah memercayakan estafeta kepemimpinan Jakarta bagi mereka berdua…*.