Retno Lestari Ningsih

Image of alumna, Retno.
Country / region
Chevening Scholarship

Before studying her master's degree, Retno worked in the Indonesian Media Industry for fourteen years.

Retno chose to study our Digital Innovation Management MSc due to the University's reputation in media, communication and sports. 

What were you doing before you started your master's?

Before doing my master's degree, I worked in the Indonesian media industry for 14 years. My work experience includes being a Sport Journalist, TV Producer, Digital Producer, and for the past of three years, I established my own media company. The business failure and my interest in digital media technology motivated me to take a year off to gain new knowledge in digital technology and business by studying this master’s.

Why did you choose to study at Loughborough University London?

I chose to study at Loughborough University London due to its reputation in media, communication, entrepreneurship and sport. 

How has Loughborough University London inspired you and helped you to progress in your career?

Everyone at Loughborough University London has been very helpful during my study. Not only learning new skills and knowledge, but I also gained new networks. I met my current business partner, Anindyajati Handaruvitri, at Loughborough University London. In our early days, we have consulted our idea to Loughborough Enterprise Network and some of the lecturers. We will launch our business by the end of August 2020.

What did you enjoy the most about your course?

What I enjoyed the most about my course is the combination of Internet Technology subjects with business, management, and entrepreneurship. As someone with traditional media background, studying this programme was an eye opener and prepared me for the current digitalisation in the media industry.

Tell us about your most memorable experience on your course

The collaborative project was the most memorable experience of my course. As someone who had more than 14 years of working experience, I had to work with fresh graduates from different nationalities. At first, it was hard to adjust as a team. But in the end, we did a good job and I found a new best friend from China. However, I think the best take away from studying at Loughborough University London is a mutual understanding. With its diversity, I tried to treat everyone the same and use empathy to make a relation with others. As a result, I make a lot of friends from so many countries such as the UK, Netherland, India, Thailand, China, Spain, Austria, Germany, Brazil, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, and many others.

Describe a day in the life of a postgraduate student

A day consisted of reading, writing and working on an academic project. But of course, I also liked to hang out with my friends in the beautiful Here East area or Westfield Stratford City. 

Tell us about your career journey so far and the company/organisation you are currently working for.

In 2008, I received a Chevening scholarship from the UK Foreign Commonwealth Office after experiencing a business failure. Receiving a full scholarship, I chose to study at Loughborough University London, majoring in Internet Technology with Business Management. Prior to my master's study and business failure, I worked in the Indonesian media industry for 14 years. My work experience includes being a Sports Journalist, TV Presenter, TV Producer, and Digital Producer.

I am currently working on my startup business called SAVSKIN. Our platform provides a skincare telehealth service supported by deep learning that offers a personalized regimen from curated skincare products. I have started to work on this project with a fellow Lboro London alumni, Anindyajati Handaruvitri since we were in London. In the middle of my building my startup, I work as a part-time university lecturer to teach TV production and education consultant. I have just finished writing my first book about how to win a scholarship in Bahasa that will be launched in September. It will be available in English next year.

What do you love the most about your current job?

Being the Founder and CEO of my own business is my dream and my passion. Despite it being rather chaotic at times, I love every second of it. It forces me to learn new things from finance to data to copywriting, and many other valuable skills. Alongside the other two Co-founders, we do everything by ourself. It is hard, but I know it is worth it.

My position in the business allows me to have the flexibility to spend more time with my son whom I had to spend time away from whilst I was studying in the UK. I'm also very fortunate to have some side business ventures which help me stay productive.