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  • Fahd graduated from Monash University with a Master in International Relations
  • He is an Advisor at the Executive Office of the President of Republic of Indonesia
  • He is also a best-selling author of more than 20 books

I grew as a professional and a person during my stay in Melbourne. My talent profile is unique and I have connections that most could only dream about.

Fahd Pahdepie vividly remembers his very first arrival in Melbourne, seeing an advertisement encouraging foreign students to come study in Melbourne. He paused for a moment, hoping the happy students on the advertisement would someday be him. Fast forward almost a decade and the Indonesian best-selling author and advisor to the Indonesian President looks back at his time as a Masters student in Melbourne with fondness.

Fahd studied a Master in International Relations at Monash University, focussing his research on how media, particularly social media, influences public opinion during elections. Now considered an expert in public opinion, he has become the youngest person to join the Executive Office of the President of the Republic of Indonesia as an expert advisor. He is considering a career in politics and is an accomplished author with more than 20 best selling books to his name.

“My time in Melbourne has advanced my career and shaped who I am. I have a unique talent profile and expertise that sets me apart from other political and strategic thinkers in my country.

“Studying abroad has given me a different perspective, allowing me to see my country in a new light. It has made me much more forward thinking and hopeful for Indonesia – I can now see the opportunities for my country. Making friends and studying with people from around the world really opened my mind,” Fahd says.

He stresses that the friends and professional connections made during his time as a student in Melbourne still play an important part in his life.

“I am constantly drawing on connections made during my stay, from fellow students to academics. Doors have been opened for me through the network. So many high-profile public figures in Indonesia have studied in Melbourne, from our top entrepreneurs to the Vice President. We share an experience and are now in the Melbourne alumni network,” he says, laughing at the nickname they’ve given their group of intellectuals: The Melbourne Mafia.

Fahd may be young, but his achievements could be those of someone twice his age. The successful writer and political advisor is a rising star in his home country and has made sure his learning journey has continued past his student life.

“Working side by side with the President has taught me a lot about leadership, while being in the power centre of government has given me unique insights and experience in developing, implementing and evaluating public policy.

“I’m now thinking about a career in politics. I’ve learnt so much from my studies and post-study work experience that I think I can have a real, positive impact on my community. I’m considering running at the 2020 regional election,” Fahd says.

There is little doubt that his experience in Melbourne has shaped him and contributed significantly to his career. It may then come as a surprise that his advice to future students come with a warning:

Melbourne is the most liveable city in the world. Top world universities are there. If you choose Melbourne for your future study journey, I guarantee that will be the best choice in your life. But, be careful, you’ll find it is hard to move on after you finish. The kebabs and coffees in Melbourne are seriously addictive!