Waluyo’s story: Finding purpose with the SMART Planters scholarship
Recent graduate Waluyo was a recipient of the SMART Planters scholarship programme back in 2016. Originally from Cilacap, Waluyo developed his knowledge at the INSTIPER campus in Yogyakarta, majoring in Agro-ecotechnology, specifically studying agronomic practices in oil palm plantations. On 31 October 2020, the 23-year-old graduated at the top of his class.
“I’m proud to have been part of this programme because the student cadres recruited for the Sinar Mas scholarship are the best. It has been both a challenge and a stepping stone for me to be able to compete healthily in college.”
Recalling the selection process in 2016, Waluyo underwent a series of tests – including psychological and academic potential tests, interviews and medical tests. Only 30 people were selected from thousands of applicants, from Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan and Nusa Tenggara.
When Waluyo heard that his scholarship application was successful, he remembers feeling happy and grateful for the opportunity.
“After high school, I had the desire and aspiration to continue my studies, but my family could not afford it. So I looked for a scholarship as a way for me to go to college. I am very grateful to have been able to receive the SMART Planters scholarship in 2016, as it has helped me get to where I am.”
In addition to the scholarship covering tuition fees, the company also provides an additional monthly allowance for the top ten students in the programme.
“In my opinion, this is very good, because this incentive stimulates enthusiasm for learning,” said Waluyo.
Waluyo also gained valuable work experience during his semester breaks through apprenticeship programmes, including working in oil palm plantations.
“We can see how what we learn in the classroom is practised in the field – everything from plantation administration, to managing productive oil palm plants. We get to know what the real conditions are like in the field and palm plantations. Apprenticeships and fieldwork is a great stepping stone to prepare us for the real working world.”
Waluyo secured a job as an Agronomy Assistant with Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food after completing his studies. His parents, who work as palm sugar makers from coconut trees, are very proud.
Waluyo has this message for scholarship applicants.
“Keep your spirits up and prepare yourself as best you can. That way, you can make full use of this opportunity to join one of the largest oil palm plantation companies in Indonesia.”
To help students get quality education, Sinar Mas Agribusiness and Food runs several competitive scholarship programmes. If you are interested in applying, get more information here.