On his experience as an international student and his work at Central Bank of Indonesia
Andi Widianto, MPP '15


Surabaya, Indonesia


Economic Analyst, Central Bank of Indonesia 


Industrial Engineering, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember

"Harris offers numerous opportunities for students to take the lead, as well as connect with prominent policymakers from around the globe."

What inspired to you apply to Harris?

I wanted to make an impact in public policy and the University of Chicago is a brand name that has an excellent reputation, particularly with my employer, the Central Bank of Indonesia.

How did Harris help you to realize your desire to make an impact?

I previously worked as an engineer in Indonesia, but I wasn’t and couldn’t make an impact on a national level in that capacity. I enrolled at Harris Public Policy to hone the professional skills needed to enter the policy field in the government sector. At the time, I had no idea how to use economic theory and political science for policymaking, how to exchange ideas about my social concerns, or how to challenge myself to be a policy entrepreneur. Harris enabled me do all of those things and transition into public policy with immense ease.

What kind of impact are you making on the world with your Harris degree?

Following my graduation from Harris, I began working for the Central Bank of Indonesia as an economic analyst in the Economic and Monetary Policy Department—the backbone of the Central Bank.

Since I was a child, I’ve been interested in social concerns. My Harris education helps me connect the dots and construct a more comprehensive view of how the Central Bank should produce its policy, including how to maintain low inflation and a stable exchange rate on a national scale. I am, ultimately, impacting my country’s economic policy by bridging the gap between academic research and policy practice.

What about Harris Public Policy makes it stand out from the pack?

The unparalleled faculty who challenged me to stretch my mind in ways I never imagined possible, while always remaining approachable and passionate about their fields; they are the differentiator.

Additionally, Harris offers numerous opportunities for students to take the lead, as well as connect with prominent policymakers from around the globe.

How did Harris support you as an international student?

The International Language Program that took place before the academic quarter started was incredibly useful. It helped me to improve my conversational English and get acclimated to the academic atmosphere.

You have become involved in recruiting mid-career bank executives from the Central Bank to attend Harris. Why? What is your motivation?

My Harris education was a life-transforming journey, personally and professionally. I not only received a stellar policy education, but also built relevant networks and experiences that included a Harris Trek in Detroit and participation in the Clinton Global Initiative University 2015 Commitments Challenge.

Soon after graduation, I discovered that both the quantitative and qualitative analysis skills I learned are critical to my success as an economic analyst. Therefore, I encourage my colleagues at the Central Bank to follow in my footsteps. Through their continued education at Harris, we will not only become better policymakers, but will collectively achieve our institution’s vision to be the best central bank in the region.

Describe an UChicago Harris public policy student in three words.

Inquisitive. Inspiring. Collaborative.