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UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy

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Shitta Aspendira Dharmastuti

Policy Analyst – Indonesia COVID-19 Task Force
MPA in Science, Engineering and Public Policy - 2021

Head shot of Shitta Aspendira Dharmastuti

What were you doing prior to starting the STEaPP MPA?

Before applying to study at STEaPP, I had decided to pursue a career in government. I took an internship program with the Indonesian Legislative Assembly and National Resilience Agency as a personal assistant before joining the department.

Why did you choose to study at STEaPP?

I graduated from one of the best universities in Indonesia, Universitas Indonesia, where I majored in Bioprocess Engineering. Before graduating, I was torn between continuing with Engineering or pursuing my interest in government systems. I ultimately chose to learn more about government systems. I had always dreamt of studying public policy abroad and with my bachelor background in Bioprocess Engineering, STEaPP was the most suitable destination to fulfil my goal.

What was your favourite aspect of the MPA?

I really felt the benefit of my cohort’s diversity. We all came from different cultures, education backgrounds, and professional experiences, which complemented UCL’s educational approach. The comprehensive and advanced education system combined with the diverse backgrounds of my peers helped us to expand our capabilities while also developing a “healthy” studying environment.

How has the STEaPP MPA shaped your experiences since leaving UCL?

Straight after finishing my final project presentation, I applied for several jobs related to public policy. With my final project, which focused on COVID-19, and my professional portfolio, I was accepted as a policy analyst within the National COVID-19 Task Force in Indonesia. I have applied everything I learnt from my studies at UCL, especially analytical thinking skills and other public policy foundations. I was given the opportunity to represent the Task Force, examining the current health protocols in industry and how these can be converted to national policy.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to future candidates? 

To all STEaPP’s future candidates, choosing STEaPP as the steppingstone to pursue your career is a good decision! You will have the opportunity to learn how to work closely with your cohort from different backgrounds. Moreover, the education opportunities that UCL provide is applicable for any line of work. This includes your cohort, the teaching staff, and UCL’s facilities. It is important to maximise the system as much as you can for your own self-development.