From the perspective of Andika Putra Pratama, Ph.D., organizational behavior, organization theory, business ethics, and cross-cultural management have a common thread, namely understanding the dynamics of human relations from various backgrounds. By understanding these dynamics, good cooperation and collaboration within and between organizations can be created. “The things learned in this area, for example, are values ​​and diverse ways of thinking,” said Andika.

Andika is a lecturer at the SBM ITB who is part of the People and Knowledge Management expertise group. In addition to teaching, Andika, who also loves singing and travelling, has served as the Head of International Relations (IRO) – at ITB Partnership Bureau since June 2020.

Interestingly, this work closely relates to his interests, especially bridging ITB and foreign parties.

This interest started from his interest in studying people’s backgrounds, especially those from different countries. According to him, IRO ITB aims to internationalize ITB, for example, with a student exchange program.

He believes there are two principally different objectives in the internationalization of higher education. First, internationalization for prestigious interests. Second, internationalization creates equality.

The principle of access becomes important in both cases. Access is given reciprocally and helps, complements, or empowers each other, which needs to be prioritized. Access to perspectives from various parts of the world greatly enriches the educational process.

On the other hand, activities towards the prestigious level are still being carried out, for example, for the sake of ranking universities. This, according to him, can be seen as a self-evaluation process.

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Andika’s ability to represent ITB in the context of international relations was obtained from a  sophisticated journey. Personally, Andika tends to be introverted, but he has always been interested in observing the dynamics of human relationships.

In his youth, in studying, he tended to focus on observing rather than chatting. For him, this is a moment of reflection and self-evaluation.

There were times in the past he did not feel attached to his community. There was distrust there and he did not have many friends.

However, while studying bachelor of Astronomy at ITB, Andika began to open up to socializing. His environment also supported him; there were not many students in astronomy, but they had many activities together.

When doing Master of Management Science (MSM) at SBM ITB, Andika had the opportunity to explore observing humans, but with the a more social provision. His thesis was also related to the internationalization of education.

After completing his doctoral education at Rutgers University (United States of America), Andika also took on the role of international relations in 2015, where he had to deal with many people and represented SBM ITB. He admitted that his fear of facing people was intensively challenged at that time.

“Like it or not, I have to learn to deal with people from all over the world. I always remember my struggle as a child while in this position. This position is a valuable lesson and opportunity,” said Andika.

Looking at the process so far, he believes there is nothing wrong with living this life more organically. Andika does not have a fixed goal or vision.

Apart from being organic, Andika also tries to believe in the principle of integrity. It is difficult to go along without a context following its principles.

On the other hand, when he has a different opinion than most people, he will try to bring himself up and talk it over as best he can. In a diverse world, we must deal with different people in principle.

Seeing the development of his self-confidence and social skills, Andika has sung several times in the events he is involved in. For example, in a conference, he was asked by a colleague or performed in a band with other lecturers.

Even in terms of traveling, he usually makes time for work that requires travel, for example, when meeting partners, so he can balance his hobbies and activities by integrating them.

“I’m grateful for that too. In addition, when traveling, I can also learn about the culture of the place and the people. So that, it can also be applied in my exploration area and my classroom,” he said.

For the ITB community, Andika advised that the motto In harmonia progressio (progress in harmony) from ITB is a big challenge to be realized. However, openness can be very helpful to bridge differences because they are unavoidable, especially in a diverse environment.

Written by Student Reporter (Hadiyanti Ainun Atika, YP MBA 2022)