Bagaimana Menjadi Salah Satu “Young Leaders for Indonesia”?


Participating in leadership programs organized by big companies is one of the priceless experiences one can get during college. Young Leaders for Indonesia or YLI is the notable one under McKinsey & Company Indonesia. McKinsey and most international businesses know that Indonesia could have the world 7th largest economy in 2030, but to meet its ambitious targets Indonesia needs strengths in some sectors.  YLI believes that empowering youth participation will boost development. YLI aims to unite Indonesian future leaders so that they can collaborate together and drive change for Indonesia. Not surprisingly, YLI alumni like Iman Usman (founder of Indonesia Future Leaders) and Alanda Kariza (initiator of Indonesian Youth Conferences) are  amongst the most influential youth in the nation.

YLI has invited some prominent leaders to share their ideas, such as Ignasius Jonan, Butet Manurung, Hendry Satriago, and Anies Baswedan. The program spans for six months and awardee is obliged to attend three national forums. There are two projects among YLI forums that are well monitored and presented, Personal Leadership Project (PLP) and Breakthrough Leadership Project (BLP). Besides being coached by McKinsey consultants,  this year’s applicants have the opportunity to work with company partners, such as Berrybenka, Sinarmas, Saratoga, YCAB and others. They will be trained as consultants to solve problem under McKinsey’s knowledge.

I feel so blessed since this year I had the opportunity be a part of this community. There were 1,300 applicants and as usual, the team annualy decided 60 participants. The requirements are 3rd & 4th year Indonesian students who pursue undergraduate degree from Indonesia or abroad.  In order to register for YLI, I filled the online form consisting of curiculum vitae (CV) and leadership essay. After questioned by some of friends who had previously failed in applying for YLI, I understood that failure happened because applicants did not prepare their best or did not know how to make their applications enticing. Remember that YLI is a part of McKinsey, so the application will be assessed in McKinsey’s criteria. Number is really important both in essay and curriculum vitae. Number here means achievements should clearly define the value of the leadership role.

Remember that curriculum vitae is not the list of experience (which we only mention about the description of the job or participation) but it is about the list of achievements, for example: increase the organization’s profit up to IDR 5 millions. Remember that usually, CV will be reviewed in less than 5 minutes, so we should write the greatest achievements and most meaningful leadership experience we did.

In leadership essay, again highlight achievements with numbers. People can use STAR that stands for situation, task, action, and result, which are powerful tools to make a great essay. Situation explains the context of the leadership story and specific obstacles that the applicant faced. Task describes the goals or targets that the organizations need to achieve. Here, applicants need to find a way to solve the obstacles. Action lays out what actions applicants took to solve. Here, applicants need to mention their approach. Result explains the outcome of the actions, such as what they achieved. Applicants also need to describe key learning points and how they can be used in the future. Do not forget to make sure that there are no typos and grammar errors.

After rigorously choosing, selected applicants will get scheduled phone interviews. The purpose is to check their English ability since all forums and assignments are conducted in english. The questions on the phone interview would be about the participant’s vision in 2030 and what YLI can help to achieve their vision. In order to pass the interview, I personally suggest applicants to relax and contemplate about what they have written in their application. We can also make simulation and try to record it. Above all, honesty and investing time to prepare the application are the important keys to be successful in the application.

Photo courtesy of Studio Antelope



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