Transitioning from a Legal Career with Hopes of Representing Indonesia on an International Stage

By: Katherine Key (MUP)


Hailing from Jakarta, Indonesia, Ayu Ariyanti’s (MPA-PNP) plan for the future has taken a few different turns. Ayu studied law in her undergraduate program, and after two years as a trademark legal consultant at an intellectual property law firm in Jakarta, she decided to continue her education as a means to transition her career. 


Ayu Ariyanti inside the United Nations General Assembly hall

“I planned to pursue a Master of Law degree,” said Ayu. “I hadn’t considered an MPA program.”  

After conducting some research, Ayu found that NYU Wagner offered her an opportunity to use her legal background as a central element in her policy development curriculum. Her experience throughout her public and nonprofit management program has allowed her to enhance her international experience in the private sector by learning skills to create policies through a public sector lens.

Since coming to NYU Wagner, Ayu’s career goals have shifted. Initially, she planned to join Indonesia’s state-owned companies after graduation and focus on operational management. However, she now plans to represent her country in an international organization, like the United Nations. Ayu’s encounters at NYU Wagner affected her decision to shift her career toward the public sector. These include serving as the communications chair for the Wagner International Student Society (WISS), taking coursework like Performance Measurement and Management for Public, Nonprofit, and Health Care Organizations, and completing an internship at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. 


Ayu Ariyanti's best pals at NYU Wagner
From left to right: Alison Lee, Ayu Ariyanti, Jonathan Masci, Brittany Mazzurco Muscato

“This goal of representing Indonesia in an international organization was crystallized when I realized that there are few Indonesians represented in the United Nations, even though it is one of the most populous countries in the world,” Ayu explained. 

She believes she can bring more awareness to Indonesian issues and accomplishments, and in turn, strengthen the economic development opportunities in her country. She plans to leverage the skills she has acquired from her coursework, her internship at the United Nations, and her legal background into a new career in international development.


Ayu Ariyanti with WISS board 2019-2020
From left to right: Shruti Punjabi, Ayu Ariyanti, Mehek Yousafzai, Koloina Andriambolason, Yipeng Dong

After graduation, Ayu would like to spend her optional practical training, temporary employment related to an international student’s area of study, to gain leadership experience with a global nonprofit organization. Subsequently, she will return to Indonesia to work in public service management. 

“I hope to learn from other nations' approaches to similar issues that Indonesia faces so I can return to my country and implement the knowledge I have gained,” Ayu stated.

During her last semester, Ayu plans to focus her studies on the management of international organizations and to continue to meet her fellow students to get exposure to other cultures while expanding her network.