Context: While Indonesia has developed rapidly over the last several decades, not all persons and groups have benefited equally, evidenced by a youth unemployment rate of 19.3 per cent in 2015, which was more than three times higher than the overall rate. One of the reasons for high youth unemployment is the gap between what is taught in university and what the labour market demands. Specifically, students express a deficit of career development opportunities. At the same time, the founders of MavenPRO that alumni and companies voiced concerns over the lack of graduates with industry aligned skills and the absence of a bridging mechanism connecting students to alumni and businesses. Additionally, it was found that few organizations in Indonesia focused on tackling this challenge.
Implementation of programme/ initiative: Students from the Communications Department of Universitas Indonesia initiated MavenPRO (Communications Consulting Club Universitas Indonesia), the first of its kind in the community. Students from diverse backgrounds are put in groups and assigned to solve the communications, public relations, marketing and brand challenges faced by social-oriented clients (NGOs, Government, Social Enterprises, etc.) and apply their knowledge as pro-bono consultants, with the support of professional mentors (corporate partners, alumni and academics). The student consultants are expected to adhere to a high standard of professionalism.
MavenPRO provides an environment that encourages students to network and challenges them to make a difference in their society through hands-on case practices and professional development training. Professional consulting firms provide sponsorship in the form of mentorship, in exchange for an opportunity to extend their corporate social responsibility and the chance to hire the talented youth of MavenPRO.
Main challenges: Given that MavenPRO is a pioneer in the community, they have to convince a wide range of stakeholders including the university, prospective clients and partners, and members to invest their trust in MavenPRO. In order to garner this trust, MavenPRO conducted extensive research and benchmarking, and sought feedback from professional consulting firms. Furthermore, MavenPRO implements a comprehensive selection process to ensure those with the most potential have the chance to receive valuable training and ultimately provide clients with the best possible human capital.
Results achieved: Edelman, one of the highest rated communications marketing consulting firm in the world, invested US$ 20,000 to kick start MavenPRO. Membership reached 60 student consultants in 1.5 years with 14 projects completed for clients ranging from Government ministries, Forbes-listed tech startups and Ernst & Young’s social business of the year, to intergovernmental organizations. MavenPRO assisted the country’s largest volunteering hub reach their target of 10,000 volunteers. Additionally, MavenPRO aided a public policy NGO in Indonesia to launch a digital democracy class for youth by providing support for communications asset audit, media relations, marketing strategy, campaign development, social media engagement and more.
Moving Forward: MavenPRO hopes to recruit more students (especially those with a background in computer science and STEM) to build a community where diverse perspectives and solutions are encouraged. Furthermore, MavenPRO hopes to inspire the creation of branches/chapters in other universities so as to build on MavenPRO’s success.
Replicability: It is highly possible to emulate MavenPRO’s work in other communities and countries. As a community, MavenPRO acts as a bridge that connects students with the wider society (through non-profit oriented organizations and social enterprises) and the professional workforce (through corporate partners, research centres and alumni), thus it is imperative to involve diverse stakeholders. Starting MavenPRO was difficult because there was no organization like it in the community; the founders, though, found out that it is vital to be brave in challenging the status quo and believing it is possible to succeed.
“Edelman Signs Mentoring Deal with Indonesian University”, press coverage on MavenPRO by a global industry press.
MavenPRO UI social media handles:
This good practice was kindly prepared by Ms. Kemala Fabrian
Date: April 5, 2017