Jakarta. Top executives of Lippo Group-affiliated companies attended a career fair hosted by Pelita Harapan School in Kemang, South Jakarta, on Wednesday (07/02) to give students a glimpse into the careers of professionals from in various industries.
Among the executives were Meena Kumari Adnani, who provided a business perspective, BeritaSatu news anchor Louisa Kusnandar, who represented the broadcasting industry, and Caroline Riady, vice president director of Siloam Hospitals.
After introductions, students had the opportunity to choose which career interested them most and each speaker was given a classroom to provide insights into their careers and answer questions from students.
During these session, the Jakarta Globe had the opportunity to listen to what Meena had to say about her college life and how she entered the business world.
In her youth, Meena was determined that she was going to university, and she was going to be abroad, "keep in mind that this was at a time when not even a lot of boys were going abroad to study, let alone girls," she said.
"No one took me seriously, not even my father. I told him very early on that I wanted to go to school abroad, and he would give me certain conditions, and when I met them, he would just give me more conditions. Soon I realized that he wasn't really taking me seriously," Meena recalled.
Meena persisted, and she eventually went to the University of London to study law, where she discovered that it was not as glamorous as one would expect.
"They have no idea how to feed vegetarians, I was craving for tahu and tempe, which were hard to come by. They tried to feed me rice, but it would be undercooked. Soon after, I got really sick," Meena said.
She ultimately persevered, received her degree, and went to work for a law firm for a few years, but later realized that it was not really her passion.
"My friend offered me a job at MTV – an offer I took up – and it was one of the best jobs I had besides working for First Media. Working at a law firm, you don't really get credit for the deals you make, which was when I realized that I wanted to be in business all along," Meena said.
She is currently executive vice president of content development and business affairs at First Media, cutting deals with various channels, such as HBO and Fox, and working with streaming services such as Hooq and Catchplay, to bring cable television to the new digital media market.
"You will never know where you end up. Everyone faces their own challenges; my advice is to never give up. Learn from successful people; you'll find out they have a few traits in common with each other. And exercise! Some of my best ideas come when I'm working out; I think I could have even become a fitness trainer if things went differently," Meena said.
The Jakarta Globe is affiliated with the Lippo Group.