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Merrysa Dirganova (MSc Development and Psychopathology 2012)

Merrysa volunteered for 2 years as our International Alumni Ambassador in Indonesia and is now working out of Dubai for Emirates Airlines.


During my studies, I was involved in psychological research and I really enjoyed it. Taking all the experience back home, some colleagues and myself are looking at establishing a psychological association as a home for all the psychological practitioners around Indonesia and connect them to the global world. Professionally, I am working with Oxford University Press as an International Education Consultant. I am based in Jakarta and I look after international schools in Indonesia in terms of giving them advise on school resources. This position allows me to travel a lot around Indonesia while develops network with various education institutions.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading?

The course I chose is quite specific and not many universities offer them. Knowing that University of Reading is actually in the top 30 in research, I had no doubt to join as soon as possible.

What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading?

Coming from a very crowded and busy capital city, I prefer a more quiet and peaceful environment. Reading is just a small town and since there are not many Indonesians there everyone knows everyone. This just brings the feeling at home back to me while I’m actually away.

What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?

Just keep your head up and finish what you have started. There might be moments when you are struggle with your study but nothing to worry since everyone is there to help and support you. 

What are you up to now? How did you get there?

I am working with Oxford University Press for Indonesia. I took this opportunity because I have  always had a passion for education and business skills is also something we need to learn. Working with the Press enables me to develop my skills and abilities in both fields.

How has your degree helped in your chosen career path?

Having a degree from a reputable overseas university makes me stand out when I’m looking for jobs. The experience and knowledge that I’ve got is something that I can implement throughout my career. Hopefully it will also be something useful for people around me.

What University activities are you still involved with and why do you volunteer?

I currently am an International Alumni Ambassador for Indonesia, advising new students about the University. At University, I was involved in befriending activity with the National Autistic Society (NAS). It was an experience that I wouldn't be able to get if I were anywhere else. I am not actively involved anymore now, but still keep in good relationship with the NAS and the family I volunteer with. They have inspired me to establish an institution like them to help people in Indonesia.

What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory?

Perseverance and friendship. I never thought I would make great friends in such a short period of time. We support each other by studying together or just hanging out after exam periods. We ae just bonded regardless of where we are now.

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